Among the public overall, 23 percent describe the Obama administration as unfriendly to religion, up from 17 percent in 2009. But another recent poll suggests the “war on religion” argument isn’t gaining traction with most adults.
A national survey conducted this month by the Public Religion Research Institute found a majority of Americans, 56 percent, do not believe religious liberty is under siege.
Should the church body necessarily speak to political decisions? I believe they should in certain cases. However the American church has seldom been skilled at deciding which cases warrant an opinion. Throughout history, at times they have spoken about everything or nothing. they have remained silent in the midst of atrocities and told society how to educate children. Perhaps a helpful approach would be to create a matrix that includes the teachings about social issues, Jesus believed important – defense of the weak, justice to the defenseless, etc. The problem with a matrix would lie in its application; therefore, we are back where we started. Perhaps another solution would be to teach church-goers what was important to Jesus socially as well as theologically, then release them to speak to issues selectively in their world from a religiously informed perspective or worldview. However developing, living, and articulating a worldview takes work, and what pew sitting church member these days would want to make that kind of commitment? Based on commitments in other non-critical areas of the church, I believe few. This brings us back to the necessity of churches to be a voice in the community. If individuals will not speak for the weak and defenseless in politics, then the church should; but choose the battles that are important, the one’s Jesus would have spoken about…then be about the Father’s other business, not political business.