Michael Gerson’s article in today’s Star Tribune makes an important point that is ignored by some and misunderstood by others. Gerson states, “The Founders were not secularists. They assumed that people would bring their deepest moral motivations to political life -- motivations often informed by religious belief. But they firmly rejected sectarianism. America was designed to be a nation where all faiths are welcomed, not where one faith is favored. This was and is the American genius.”
In other words, the Founders never intended to silence motivations informed by religious belief in the public square. That means, people of all faiths are welcome to bring their religious convictions into politics and use them to inform our laws and legislation.
In fact, when some people say that America is a Christian nation, they mean that our politic and laws have been influenced primarily by Christian “motivations.”
Gerson concurs, “Religious faith remains one of the main foundations for belief in human equality and dignity -- as it was in the Declaration of Independence.”
Too many people erroneously label this motivation as being “in violation of separation of church and state.”
Some of these people are victims of historical revisionism. Others are more like thought police, viciously cleansing the public square of any and all religious motivations.
I like Jefferson's comment, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."