- Politics and Social Issues
Founding Fathers and Religion
I often wonder if politicians understand the vision the Founding Fathers had for America, or simply choose to ignore what doesn't fit their vision for the country. It reminds me what often happens with the Bible, preach what you agree with and ignore the rest. It astounds me how few politicians, pundits, and members of the media point out the Founding Fathers opinion on religion and its place in politics. Founding Father and former President, Thomas Jefferson, once said "history, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
The first President of the United States and Founding Father, George Washington, made it clear that religion in his opinion is too divisive to be part of the rule of law and governmental process. “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
Former presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio, constantly confessed his opinion during the Republican debates, that the U.S. must get back to strictly following the constitution. Rubio has often remarked it is the job of the Supreme Court to "apply our constitution as strictly constructed by the founders." However, Rubio's desire to strictly follow the constitution and rule of law is trumped by his religious beliefs. "We are clearly called, in the Bible, to adhere to our civil authorities, but that conflicts with also a requirement to adhere to God's rules. When those two come in conflict, God's rules always win. Rubio's claim to be a strict constitutionalist is absurd and a slap in the face to the Founding Fathers. But his stance that God always comes first, even over the rule of law, is held by many politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Though there are many different interpretations of the constitution, they pale in comparison to the amount of different interpretations of the Bible. Not to mention there is not only one holy book or religion. And it should be pointed out that many of the interpretations of the constitution are influenced by religious beliefs. When religion is removed from the political process, a clarity is achieved as well as a consensus. Debates over abortion, gay rights and same-sex marriage only exist due to religion involved in the political process. Remove religion from politics, you remove judgment, discrimination and alienation. That was the goal of the Founding Fathers, whether politicians are willing to admit it or not.