Most of the labored questions about religion and American politics–around George W. Bush’s invocation of Jesus Christ, or Joe Lieberman’s observation of the Sabbath–strike the author and law professor Stephen Carter as no-brainers. The separation of church and state, he points out, has never kept religious conscience or language out of our politics. The question that interests him, as a religious man and an activist, is rather the right distance from politics that keeps religion radical and pure, like the Hebrew prophets, like Fannie Lou Hamer and other religious heroes of the American civil rights movement.
The mission is to keep religious voices faithful to a vision of truth, far from the inside arguments over slices of the legislative pie. The risk of closeness, he says, is corruption of religion, not politics-and he sees the corruption right and left in religious America today. Stephen Carter’s warning about “God’s Name in Vain” is this hour on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Stephen Carter, author of “God’s Name in Vain: the wrongs and rights of religion in politics”.