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According to scripture or church history, should Christians in the United States let their faith influence their political decisions given that they live in a republican society?

If so, what do you believe they should they base their decisions on? Given the assumption that they should base their decisions on biblical guidelines for Christians. Should they then impose those guidelines on others who don't adhere to their faith.

If not, what should they use as a basis for their decisions.

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closed as not a real question by DJClayworth, Andrew, Narnian, MaskedPlant, warren Mar 4 '13 at 21:16

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Sorry, I'm voting to close this one as not within site guidelines. I don't mean to discourage you from participating, but I'd invite you to read the FAQ, as well as these posts: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/faq Your question seems to be one about answering Truth, which isn't really what the site is about.If you could edit this to ask from a certain denominational teaching or tradition, that would bring it more in line with site guidelines. –  David Stratton Mar 3 '13 at 2:10
That said, there's an article here that addresses this from one Protestant, fundamentalist perspective: lc.org/resources/myth_of_separation_church_state.html –  David Stratton Mar 3 '13 at 2:11
@DavidStratton I've read the facts, but I'm still unsure of what is wrong with this question. I'm unsure what you mean by saying that my question is about answering truth. –  AlexHeuman Mar 3 '13 at 2:33
I think you can make this question fit better in this site by asking "Should Christians let their faith influence their political decisions?" Then in the body say "What is the biblical support for letting your belief in Christianity affect your political decisions?" –  fredsbend Mar 3 '13 at 2:41
Welcome to the site. I have one question wrt your question. According to whom? That's the part of this question that's missing. Because right now the answer to your question is "Depends on who you ask". That's not very useful. If you'd like to clarify please flag for reopening. –  wax eagle Mar 3 '13 at 3:35
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1 Answer 1

Whether we should allow our faith to affect our political decisions is irrelevant. everyone's political outlook is affected by their worldview. So from that perspective, it's a question based on a false assumption that we can separate our beliefs from how we vote. Everyone does that.

As for whether Christians should "force their views" on others, that's also flawed for the same reason. The point of voting is to vote your views. Atheists, Muslims, Wiccan, doesn't matter. Everyone votes their conscience.

Fundamentalist young earth creationist Christians , for example, feel that outlawing any mention of the idea that there is a Creator is the atheists "pushing their views" on people. Atheists, on the other hand, feel that YEC groups trying to get Creationism included in the classroom constitutes the YEC Christians trying to "push their views on others." Who is right and wrong is a matter of debate and neither side is likely to agree with the other. Ever.

In the United States, as a Constitutional Republic, it is expected for people to vote their conscience. That's why we have freedom of religion (not from, of), freedom of (not from) speech, freedom of assembly, etc. But that's a political question, not a Christian one.

As for an angle that includes a denominational or historical Christian view:

This was the concern of the Danbury Baptists, who were concerned that the government would impose laws governing religion. They believed that the protection of religious liberty was important, and it is based on their concern that Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase "separation of Church and State". It was meant to protect individuals from governmental interference, not the other way around.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptists_in_the_history_of_separation_of_church_and_state

The Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut sent a letter, dated October 7, 1801, to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson, expressing concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion.

In their letter to the President, the Danbury Baptists affirmed that "Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions — That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor..."[4]

As a religious minority in Connecticut, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might "reproach their chief Magistrate... because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ," thus establishing a state religion at the cost of the liberties of religious minorities

Thomas Jefferson's response, dated January 1, 1802, concurs with the Danbury Baptists' views on religious liberty, and the accompanying separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice. Jefferson writes: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."[5] This doctrine, known as the "wall of separation" or "strict separationism," would later become highly influential in 20th century Supreme Court understandings of the relationship between church and state. As a result, the relevance of this letter is a subject of heated debate, with scholars such as Robert Boston emphasizing its importance, and others such as Mark David Hall arguing that the letter was a historical outlier.[6][7]

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I guess my question then is, while I agree with you that everyone's worldview affects their political decisions, my questions is what is that worldview? Does the bible support a worldview that we should allow the government to enforce Christian morality, or is this in another realm say that of the church to evangelize the saving of man and not the government. –  AlexHeuman Mar 3 '13 at 4:10
Perhaps I could have worded the question a lot better. –  AlexHeuman Mar 3 '13 at 4:11
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