NY Times Letters Respond to Daniel Ross on the Role of Faith in Public Policy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

6 Comments
Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

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1. Henry Greville wrote:

If these letters are at all representative of the range of American opinions about the proper scope and reach of, respectively, religion and government, then I have to say that as we have become far more religiously diverse than we were when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were established, I prefer a strong central secular government that constrains religions as much as possible to the private sphere, in order to keep us from violent conflict over theological differences.

April 15, 11:48 pm | [comment link]
2. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Henry,
China is doing their best to fulfill your preferences.

April 16, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
3. Sarah wrote:

RE: “I prefer a strong central secular government . . . “

Except that the people who decide what the acceptable version of “secular” is are also people of a definite foundational worldview and thus *their* particular faith would get enshrined in the “strong central secular government.”

I’d personally prefer that our leaders follow the Constitution, which they have sworn an oath to uphold.

April 16, 2:51 pm | [comment link]
4. Henry Greville wrote:

Dear Paula and Sarah:
I understand and agree, at least partially, with your responses. Nevertheless, I have less fear of a strong central secular government in the USA, however, than I do with the kind of violence that we know is continually stirred up between Muslims of vying traditions in the Middle East, and between Muslims and Hindus in South Asia, and between both either Muslims or Hindus and Christians in various parts of the world - notably always where central government authority and policing power is weak.

April 16, 6:07 pm | [comment link]
5. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

#4, yes, but, that begs the question of how violent a “strong, central secular government” is, say, in places like China.  Violence is still violence, either overt or closeted.

April 16, 7:21 pm | [comment link]
6. Sarah wrote:

RE: “notably always where central government authority and policing power is weak.”

I disagree.  The unchecked violence in those countries is notable where there is very little liberty, little respect for private property, limited rule of law, and the various other accoutrements of a free society.  A controlling central government is precisely what happens *when* there is little freedom or Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

But at the end of the day it may be a clash of values—I’d rather be free and less secure then secure and less free.

April 16, 9:25 pm | [comment link]


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