The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Religion and “Justice Sunday”

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The Family Research Council sponsored “Justice Sunday—Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith” (April 24, 2005) as a wake-up call to Christians that judicial nominees are being filibustered because some of the nominees consider religious beliefs to be important in judicial decision making. The claim is being made by liberal Democrats that these nominees are “radical”—outside the political mainstream on abortion and homosexuality—and should never get to the floor of the Senate to be voted on. I wonder what the response from the left would be if they heard any one of the participants say the following?

• “I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.”[1]

• “We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.”[2]

• “Seems that I can hear God saying that it’s time to rise up now and make it clear that the evils of the universe must be removed. And that God isn’t going to do all of it by himself. The church that overlooks this is a dangerously irrelevant church.”[3]

• “If one is truly devoted to the religion of Jesus he will seek to rid the earth of social evils. The gospel is social as well as personal.”[4]

• “Any religion which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that scar the soul, is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried.”[5]

• “The church must also become increasingly active in social action outside its doors. . . . It must exert its influence in the area of economic justice. As guardian of the moral and spiritual life of a community the church cannot look with indifference upon these glaring evils.”[6]

• “At the center of the Christian faith is the affirmation that there is a God in the universe who is the ground and essence of all reality. A Being of infinite love and boundless power, God is the creator, sustainer, and conserver of values. In opposition to Communism’s atheistic materialism, Christianity posits a theistic idealism. Reality cannot be explained by matter in motion or the push and pull of economic forces. . . . In contrast to the ethical relativism of Communism, Christianity sets forth a system of absolute moral values and affirms that God has placed within the very structure of this universe certain moral principles that are fixed and immutable.”

These are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. Put these same words in the mouth of a speaker at “Justice Sunday,” and you would have heard cries of “intolerance,” “keep religion out of politics,” and “you can’t impose your morality on others.” The political left agrees with imposing religion on politics as long as the religion that’s being imposed agrees with its brand of politics. The left opposes the relationship between morality and social issues only when such an alliance threatens its liberal social agenda. If those on the left truly oppose mixing religion and morality with politics, then they should denounce the influence churches had on the civil rights movement, legislation, and judicial nominees.

Endnotes:

[1] From a sermon preached in November 1956. Quoted by William J. Bennett, from the Foreword in Ralph Reed’s Politically Incorrect: The Emerging "Faith Factor" in American Politics (Dallas, TX: Word, 1994), xiii.
[2] Quoted in Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), 743.
[3] Quoted in Branch, Parting the Waters, 696.
[4] Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986), 117.
[5] King, Stride Toward Freedom, 91.
[6] King, Stride Toward Freedom, 208.

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