Everyone disagrees with you (or me).

I ended last time by asking, “What other assumptions did we make then or now?” Because I think we really need to question some of our assumptions as members of faith communities, for those who participate and participate, and even for those who are seekers but have no part in any particular tradition or institution.

Recently a member of Congress said that the government should not tell the churches what to do, but that the churches should tell the government how things should be.

While this is not a representative with whom I agree on many points, I can take this point and agree to some extent. Churches should, and are, telling governments what the kingdom of God is and how we should bend the arc of history in that direction. If we have any integrity in our worldview, epistemology and metaphysics, damn it yes, we should ask our elected officials to follow the truth and not the lies. I am in favor.

What the Colorado person was implying, however, was that not only should the idea of ​​a church-state wall be taken down (oh, so many pillars there, past and future), but I heard them ask that we “return” (again ?) to the church telling the state what to do. And that’s where I hear some grand old assumptions rattling around.

Sure, let’s see how that plays out. If the Progressive Church is in charge of federal policy, I think we would quickly move to more support for childcare, parental leave, and increased child tax credits. Was that what the congressman asked for?

Or my good friends in the Anabaptist churches, Mennonites and Amish and Hutterites, not to mention the Church of the Brethren: If they tell the government what to do, not only will the military apparatus be defunded, it could be shut down and the bases were not only renamed, but repurposed into farms and community halls. Was that the point?

More importantly, you could entrust the Catholic Church with civic affairs. Political conservatives may be pleased with the stance on abortion and pro-life issues, but the positions on economic policy might surprise them. Try reading papal encyclicals from Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno by Pius XI. I’ll be here when you come back

My point, of course, is this: which church or church? The good representatives who want “the church” to tell the state what to do assume that most people have the same ecclesiastical and Christian positions in mind as they do.

This is what democratic pluralism is about, and this is what even the most conservative and committed person of faith is well advised to celebrate in a place like America, the freedom to be wrong: because many people out there think WE are wrong. So let’s get to work on convincing others of the truth we have and put less emphasis on dictating to everyone to act and even think as we do, for victories of a forced kind are only of short duration. Always.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and preacher based in central Ohio; He’s still not done with this topic. Tell him how you convince those around you of the truth you are affirming at [email protected] or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.

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