I have a question for those who took a very strong “keep your religious beliefs out of my life” view in the context of the thread on homosexual marriage: Do you think there is ever a place for religion in politics? And, also, what do you think of the below? [I agree with Prof. Volokh generally]
[Eugene Volokh, 4/26/2004 03:16:22 PM]
“Religious Fanatics, Out To Impose Their Morals On The American Public”: Clayton Cramer has the details:
Since 1983, with the formation of Eco-Justice Working Group, the National Council of Churches has been providing an opportunity for the national bodies of member Protestant and Orthodox denominations to work together to protect and restore God’s Creation. A major task of our environmental ministry is to provide program ideas and resources to help congregations as they engage in environmental justice. . . .
Christian Leaders call on Bush to protect God’s gift of Air
In a letter to President Bush released on Earth Day, more than 100 national and state leaders of the National Council of Churches expressed moral concern over the President’s stewarship of the environment – particularly on the Administration’s “clean air” policies and its implications on public health. . . .
I rather doubt that many people who regularly criticize conservative religious groups for “mixing religion and politics” will criticize these religious groups for doing so. Most people would, I think, conclude that it’s generally quite proper for religious people and organizations to seek bans on conduct that they see as immoral and harmful to people and to the Earth, just as it’s proper for secular people and organizations to do the same.
Now naturally one can still disagree with the specific agenda of the groups: One might, for instance, think that the environmentalists' claims are morally unsound, just as one can think that pro-life forces' arguments that fetuses should generally have the right not to be killed are morally unsound. And one can also believe that these sorts of religious arguments might be unpersuasive. But I doubt that one would say that there's something per se improper with the National Council of Churches -- as opposed to the Sierra Club -- urging that its views on the environment be implemented in government action. And if that's so, then the same would, I think, apply when churches urge that their views on fetal rights be implemented in government action.