Saturday, November 05, 2005

Political Leaders Professing A Belief in God is far cry from Religion taking over the State - Roy Paul

Here is Roy Paul's response to my column "Keep the Church and State Forever Separate"
A columnist recently expressed surprise that some would-be aspirants to political leadership have declared that their belief in a Supreme Being will inform their approach to the administration of any government.

She felt that this would lead to the errors of the past when the Church assumed control of the instruments of government, and so denied freedom to those who wanted to follow the dictates of their choice.

She has at the same time professed her own belief in a Creator, but seems to be confused about this faith and the practice of some formal religion, having now a personal problem as to how she should practically manifest this faith.

First of all, Church control of government, in the times when it has raised its unwelcome head, has been in direct response to the dissoluteness of political leaders which caused the state to be so corrupt and inefficient that the values of religion had to be re-instilled into the system.

It means therefore that if leaders of government were to follow ethical principles and function under the guidance of these, then there would be no need for the Church to inject itself into politics.

It is a matter of opinion, but the problems with which our own government and people are now faced can be seen as a direct result of the efforts of succeeding atheistic governments in eliminating the divine providence in our affairs, in refusing to consider spiritual values in their formation of their policies, in eliminating religious education in our school system, in fostering materialistic economic success as the end-all of our existence, and of lacking the creativity to come up with the vision and the insight to solve our problems.

But I am in agreement with the columnist I mentioned in principle. Even though political leaders may profess their religious faith, and use those values to inform their approach to administration, we still have to ensure that our state is a secular one, and that everyone will always be free to pursue his own beliefs according to his conscience.

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