Dear Members and Friends,
"Religion gains influence when it renounces power" (David Brooks, NYT columnist)
In another election season, religious people, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist or other faiths, are courted for their vote. We are being courted, sought after for our support of one candidate or another.
The long history of the Church confirms Brooks' observation. When we reject the idea that 'real' Christians vote this way or that, we are stronger as a Church. The separation of Church and State is good for the State and for the Church. The Church is stronger when we renounce power.
I often think that I, or we, have little or no influence in our civic life; in the soul of our country. I think that because it's correct: we do have little influence. Faith groups, like Christians, regularly hanker after political power. But when we turn away from the powers of this world, our spiritual and moral witness is stronger.
Embracing raw political power, or trying to link up with it in any way, makes the Church weaker. This does not mean we don't care about our civic life, but only that we don't go running after those perceived to have power, when in fact, the power of the Gospel, faith and justice, are in our very hands.
Bless you all, and, Good Courage,