The fundamental democratic principle of separation between church and state was articulated eloquently by then presidential candidate John F Kennedy in a famous pre-election speech at Houston, Texas, in September 1960.
Kennedy spoke of his belief in an America “where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act” and in a president “whose fulfilment of his presidential oath is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual or obligation”.
This is a clearly secularist vision. It is a healthy approach to state governance which ensures that legislators make laws without reference to the doctrines of any religion. It also enables freedom of religious expression by individual citizens, because no one religion may dominate, or wield power over, state institutions.
At last week’s Kennedy summer school in New Ross, a very different vision for the role of faith in politics was articulated by Archbishop Eamon Martin, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland. He spoke of “Catholic politicians” having responsibility “to support laws which uphold the dignity of every human person made in God’s image ... from conception to death” and cautioned against politicians having “parallel lives” compartmentalised into “spiritual and secular spheres” …
… Archbishop Martin’s view that religious teaching must influence public policy represents a perspective which has overshadowed Irish society for far too long.
Continue reading @ The Irish Times.
How about a separation of the church of secular perversion and the state? Bacik and co. wants your five year old children to be taught about masturbation and that its okay to be a transexual, or even a cis or a whatever. How awful.ReplyDelete
The problem is not entirely with the imperial Papacy, however. JFK wanted to reassure his mainly Protestant electorate that he as President would not seek to impose RC policies or accept Papal directives. His policies would be what he had promised the people and his loyalty would be to them, not Rome.ReplyDelete
But as a faithful Catholic, had he the liberty to do so? Was he not obliged to pursue Rome's agenda rather than America's? That is the crux of the matter. Protestants knew the answer for a faithful son of the RCC was obedience to it. But they believed JFK.
The Archbishop today is merely reminding every Catholic that they are not free to support policies condemned by the RCC. And rightly do, for if we join a club and sign up to its rules we must strive to adhere to them. Or if we no longer believe some of those rules and the club is not for changing, then we should leave it. Professing to be a faithful member but working against its rules is utterly dishonest.
So Catholic politicians have a duty to oppose abortion, SSM,and any other policy that is opposed to the teachings of the RCC.
If they don't like that, they should quite the Church.