Thursday, November 18, 2010

Justice in the Public Square

Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us JustOften we hear people make assertions that the separation of church and state demands that we not bring our personal morality or religious convictions into any discussion on public policies.  I'm currently reading Generous Justice by Tim Keller.  In his chapter entitled Doing Justice in the Public Square, Keller argues that Christians' work for justice should be marked both by "humble co-operation" with secularists as well as what he terms "respectful provocation."  By this he means, "Christians should not be strident and condemning in their language or attitude, but neither should they be silent about the Biblical roots of their passion for justice."

I especially appreciated this quote which was included in the chapter:
But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Oh yeah.  The quote was actually a citation of something said by President Obama.  Just thought that was interesting and I am happy to say I agree with him wholeheartedly.

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