August 7, 2008

Speaker of the House not Entirely Mum on Faith in the Public Square

In an online discussion on August 6, Nancy Pelosi discussed her new book, Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters, with the listeners of Book World Live. As was written in the Washington Post, the book is about "the women who have inspired her in her personal and professional lives, and about the lessons she wants to pass on to the women in her own family as well as around the country."

One of the participants in the online interview inquired about the role faith has "clear[ly]" played in her life. To this, Pelosi replies:
My faith has always been central to my public service. Growing up in Baltimore, we were raised in a devoutly Catholic family and taught that we had a responsibility to other people and that we must always honor the spark of divinity in each person.

When I became Speaker, I quoted St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of San Francisco: "preach the Bible; sometimes use words." I try to follow that guidance in my work - to remember that we are all God's children and we have a responsibility to each other and to our planet - God's creation.

I'm not quite sure what it is about Pelosi that makes it "clear" to this individual that faith plays an important role in her life, and I'm a bit confused about this devout Catholicism she seems to have experienced as a child. "Responsibility to other people," especially as a devoted Roman Catholic, includes a responsibility to the unborn, something Pro-Choice Pelosi lacks in her worldview.

What are we to make of Pelosi bringing her faith into the public square? Of course, she is suggesting in this quote that she utilizes the words of Assisi to justify an inexplicit use of religious language. But this is, in and of itself, a religious argument for a certain religious language and mission. Simply because she or any other liberal doesn't quote the Bible chapter and verse does not make them secular--secularism truly is a myth. As well, what is most clear is that from her own words she is functioning according to a religious worldview. We may not appreciate its contents and how it works itself out, but she has made it impossible for herself to argue against religious worldviews making themself apparent in the public square.

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