I, as a member of the clergy, am a minister of God; public officials are also called “ministers of God” in Scripture (see Romans 13). The authority we exercise, whether in the Church or the State, ultimately is based on and subject to the authority of God himself.
Moreover, America was founded on an acknowledgement of God. Our Declaration of Independence is also a declaration of dependence on the Creator and giver of our rights.
In the light of this, let the God talk flourish! The key is sincerity. If the politician is speaking about God, it’s unfair just to jump to the conclusion that he/she is trying to score political points, just as silence about God should not be automatically interpreted as an effort to avoid political trouble.
But if one is speaking out of a heartfelt belief, let him or her do so. Sincerity, or a lack thereof, can be noticed based on the consistency of one’s words and actions. For instance, does one speak of faith on the campaign trail but never set foot in Church? Does one profess belief in God but back legislation that is hostile to belief in God? Does one claim to be religious and take actions that antagonize religious groups?
In other words, the sincerity of one’s religious speech will, in the end, be evident if it is in fact real. Our attempt to evaluate the candidates and their faith should also be marked by the same kind of sincerity.
Frank Pavone | Sep 23, 2011 12:12 PM