At the Saddleback Church Forum, pastor Rick Warren began his interviews with John McCain and Barack Obama by saying: "We believe in separation of church and state, but not faith and politics." What's your response to that and to the forum?
Sally Quinn and Jon Meacham on August 18, 2008 10:37 AM
Evangelicals have a right to be involved in politics. They also have a responsibility to educate themselves on the issues. Thank God they are a minority of our population. If they were not, then America would be subjected to what John Stuart Mill called "the tyranny of the majority."
Posted by John Shelby Spong, on August 22, 2008 10:34 AM
Too many journalists habitually turn communication towards a fight narrative, which makes for what some people call "good television." Warren, on the other hand, wanted to create a context for understanding.
Posted by Brian D. McLaren, on August 21, 2008 12:19 AM
If a church wants to promote religion in its social service programs, it should use its own money. If it does not want to (and, therefore, qualify for federal funding), why does it need to impose a religious test in hiring?
Posted by J. Brent Walker, on August 20, 2008 2:02 AM
We need a third way of understanding the separation between church and state - a never firmly fixed place between the religious triumphalism of the right (that simply feeds the fears of the left) and the trivialization of religion of the left (that feeds the anger of the right).
McCain lifted up General Petraeus as one person he would listen to intently were he president, while Obama lifted up his wife and grandmother. That's nice and all, but good Americans are not interested in what your wife and grandmother would say. This thing is about America, not your family
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on August 19, 2008 9:19 AM
As a Catholic priest I found the Civic Forum at Saddleback Church a bit weird. I kept wondering what would have been the response if the event had been hosted by Cardinal Francis George in his cathedral in Chicago. (Jewish and Muslim believers might ask the same question about a similar event in their houses of worship.)
Posted by Thomas J. Reese, S.J., on August 19, 2008 12:42 AM
Rick Warren is not to be blamed for taking advantage of the public's faithiness in order to promote his brand of evangelical Christianity. The candidates are to blame for their eagerness to appease not only evangelicals but all who do not understand our heritage as the first secular government in the world.
Posted by Susan Jacoby, on August 18, 2008 2:05 PM
Pastor Warren who admirably has been on the forefront of issues like AIDS/HIV relief in Africa, speaking against human trafficking and the genocide in Darfur has said very little publicly on immigration reform
Posted by Gabriel Salguero, on August 18, 2008 10:39 AM