Is it fair to ask the president who named Jesus as his favorite philosopher, “What would Jesus do when interrogating terrorist suspects?”
I think so.
It’s not a trick question or a frivolous one. It’s an attempt to figure out how compassionate conservatism applies in the real world of foreign policy, congressional corruption and displaced hurricane victims. If religious belief is a cornerstone of one campaign, it can’t be pushed aside when the script changes.
The line between politics and religion was blurred – erased – a long time ago. Issues of faith and politics deserve careful examination and questioning. To do otherwise plays sincere people of faith for fools.
Every election cycle, parties and politicians pick a few issues to bring voters to their side and to the polls. In 2004, it was moral values, narrowly defined to mean opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
This year, it’s national security and immigration, and some journalists are relieved all that God talk is over. We’re more comfortable dealing with facts than faith unless Jerry Falwell compares Hillary Clinton and Lucifer.
But seriously, the issue is not going away.
In fact, it gets more interesting every day.
All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., is being investigated by the IRS after a 2004 anti-war sermon.
Children at the Christian camp featured in the 2006 documentary “Jesus Camp” pray over a cardboard cutout of President Bush.
Sojourners, a progressive Christian ministry headed by Jim Wallis (“God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It”), is issuing a guide for Christians for Election 2006 that speaks of peace, human rights and dignity, and racial justice.
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren (“The Purpose-Driven Life”) has backed efforts to fight global warming.
Muslims worry that the war on terrorism is being interpreted as a war against Islam.
Journalists don’t have to become theologians to connect the dots between belief and public policy.
Retired General Colin Powell opposed redefining part so the Geneva Convention, citing – in a letter to Sen. John McCain – America’s “moral obligations” to those in our custody.
So, “How would Jesus feel about water-boarding?”