Marc bourbonna 2012-05-07 08:33:23
Tiens pour faire contrepoids au Devoir ou la SRC
qui semble r p ter ce qu’ils ont entendu avec joie
leur de la fiert gay (et non on est triste ?)
et, encore, ce matin n’en ont que pour des critiques
du Vatican (courageux le Pape ici) et une person-
nalisation enfantine du bat (le cardinal Ratzinger
est le r ac, pas le pape ni le clerg semble-t-on
comprendre pour offrir une grossi re porte de sortie
l’ glise qui se serait fourvoy e selon les crit res
de cette nouvelle inquisition h*** et pseudo intel-
Donc pour faire contrepoids, cet article
du Calgary Herald sur la mauvaise interpr tation de
la s paration de l’ glise et de l’ tat : cela n’a
jamais voulu dire que les politiciens religieux
devait taire leurs convictions et ne laisser qu’aux
ath es ou agnostiques le loisir d’exprimer leurs
Politicians of faith should examine their
conscience on gay marriage
Sunday, August 03, 2003
The emerging debate prompted by a recent papal
directive concerning gay marriage to Roman
Catholic politicians, reveals how contemporary
society has forgotten what the separation of
church and state actually means in practice
and in history.
For example, on Wednesday, Canada’s likely
next prime minister, Paul Martin, said his
role as a legislator will take precedence
over his Catholicism as it concerns gay
marriage. The implication is that faith
— any faith — has no part in political
decisions, or governance.
If that is Martin’s argument — and
certainly, others have advanced it —
[la tribune t l phonique du Qu bec la SRC
vendredi pass e par exemple, mais bon la
SRC…] it shows a gravely mistaken understanding
about the proper role and influence of
core beliefs in politics.
The original historical purpose of separating
religion and state as advanced by the framers
of the American republic in their foundational
documents was that there ought to be no
institutional control of the organs of
government by a particular denomination
or any religion, or vice-versa.
The reason Americans set up their government
as they did was in response to the conditions
of the day. Then, as now, the Church of England
was established as the official state religion
in both Great Britain and its American colonies.
(It remains so today in Great Britain.) This
had critical implications in matters of worship
for people of other faiths, and when the
colonists had a chance to separate the church
from the state, they took it.
That separation, however, was never intended
to oblige politicians with faith to set it
aside as they conducted affairs of state.
Nor did they, in America or Great Britain.
For example, 19th-century abolitionists, such
as English parliamentarian William Wilberforce,
were driven by their religious beliefs that
slavery was un-Christian.
Indeed, both the U.S. constitution and British
common law pervasively reflect the religious
ethics of the Torah and the New Testament. Laws
governing life and property and the principle
of personal accountability, among others, are
the work of legislators informed by what they
believed to be divine precepts. True, some are
universal, but they have their particular
origins here in Judaism and Christianity and
were not constructed in some sort of a vacuum
absent motivations from faith.
Besides, if one were to banish religious
impulses from decision-making in politics,
why not banish irreligious convictions that
originate in feminism, environmentalism or
atheism? It is a mistake to force politicians
to separate their decision-making from their
understanding of what is important in life —
no matter where their convictions originate —
as if the two ever could or should be so separated.
Instead, arguments from all motivations
should be aired in the public square, and
democratically elected politicians will
then necessarily balance the competing claims
of their own conscience, the citizens who
elected them and the position of their party.
Finally, insofar as politicians with faith
are concerned, there is the risk of great
personal hypocrisy if they do not follow
at least some teachings of their church
in matters of state, presumably the ones
that are grave. If politicians who claim
to be Catholic blindly listen to their
critics and not their consciences, and
then endorse abortion on demand or
homosexual unions, leaders in that church
should consider whether they wish to
allow such persons to continue to pretend
they are in harmony with church teachings.
That is a matter for that church itself to
decide, but people of faith bring their
religion into their politics, and ir-
religious people bring their irreligion.
Neither should feel constrained to be
something other than the whole of what
they offered to the voters.
Setting aside deeply held convictions for
the sake of political expediency does not
constitute the proper separation of church
and state, but the separation of one’s
conscience from one’s deeds. It is in fact,
intellectual and spiritual suicide.