Saturday, November 03, 2018

Politicians and the church, in 1960 (Kennedy) and in 2018 (Sessions)

Recall the words of Presidential candidate John Kennedy in 1960:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.


From a speech on Sept. 12, 1960, given by John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, a group of Protestant ministers. The Protestants were concerned about possible Catholic influence on political decision making.

Flash forward 58 years, and Protestants are trying to impose religion upon public acts of officials.

A recent comment in the discussion of Attorney General Sessions and the United Methodist Church:

Political actions are not personal conduct’? What’s that supposed to mean? What’s the basis in Scripture for that statement? I know nothing in our Book of Discipline that bifurcates personal behavior from public, politically motivated behavior. Whatever happened to, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings (Acts 5:29)?”


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