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    A Quick Political Rant

    In Obama’s speech on religion and politics that I asked you to read in the last note, Obama concluded that people of faith must “translate their concerns into universal, instead of religion-specific, values.”

    After reading this view, my immediate thought was that if I were to do that, it would cheapen my faith. I follow God’s rules and suggestions for behavior because I want to be obedient to Him, and any movement to a universal statement for all Americans could not capture this motivation, since all Americans do not wish to follow God. Most universal statements of morality that are translated into laws have the form “Do not do X, which is bad because of Y and Z, or we will inflict W punishment on you.”

    Something that I missed in all of this, and that Christians and other miss as well, is that God tells us to do things because they are good for us. It can seem that God’s laws have the form “You are not allowed to do X because I said so,” but they are really more like “You should not do X because I don’t want Y or Z to happen to you and those around you.” In this light, it should be relatively easy to turn our beliefs into universal statements that can then be turned into laws, by just trying to understand why God does not want us to do certain things.

    Unfortunately, there is still the problem of deciding on a punishment, because without those, the consequences of reprehensible behavior are not enough of a deterrent to allow a nation to exist peacefully. Like I said in a previous note, losing the intent of obeying God is enough to make me reject writing laws based on my Christian beliefs in the first place, but I now understand how and why Obama and others pursue this route. The goal for individual Christians is to allow the desire to follow God and to avoid the consequences of bad behavior (outside of the punitive consequences) guide us away from harming ourselves and others with immoral behavior.

    In other news, I’m very done with this political vein in my writing. You can stop pretending you’re interested now.

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