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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Voters: Discern how politicians' faith impacts policy

"In candidates, seek integration of faith, policy"
Published in The Washington Times, October 13, 2011
By Jonathan Imbody
Mitt & Ann Romney
"Romney rivals duck Mormon issue" (Politics, Monday) provides a cogent theological summary of Mormonism as viewed by those who hold the Judeo-Christian Scriptures as authoritative: "They claim it either denies or unrecognizably redefines such Christian doctrines as the Trinity, original sin, the atonement, the continuity of the church and the canon of Scripture."
The real key in the public arena, however, is to understand whether the politician marries or divorces his or her theological beliefs from public policy.
Some politicians--such as oxymoronic "pro-abortion Catholics"--manage to concoct a questionable wall of separation between their theological beliefs and their public policy decisions. Yet if a theological tenet is true and good--such as the principle that we are all made in God's image--then to choose a public policy contradicting that truth is to choose a lie and an evil that will harm the country. Witness slavery and abortion.
Many voters are learning, having observed faith-pronouncing presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Obama, to discern the critical difference between a politician's preaching and practice--especially on vital social issues such as abortion, embryo-destructive stem cell research and conscience rights in health care.
American voters must learn to look beyond rhetoric to evidence, beyond appeals to faith to the practice of faith principles. The personal faith of our president matters, but the crucial question we should be posing to the candidates is how he or she integrates or separates the principles of that faith in public policy.
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