To say faith does not or should not play a part in politics is like saying we should make mindless decisions about who we want leading our country and who we want representing us. Our beliefs are what fuel our political decisions, and with faith being part of that belief system, how can we separate the two?
To fully examine this, we need to better understand what we mean by the word ‘faith.’ While most people automatically associate this word with religion, faith doesn’t necessarily mean faith in an omniscient being. Every person has faith in something.
For people like me, I put my faith in God and His Word, but for others, faith might be believing that people hold the power to help others and to make positive change. Even for those who claim to not have faith in anything, their lack of faith will influence the way they approach politics.
Whatever the belief system is, there are always influences impacting our political views. For me, my faith in God is what impacts my decisions, whether I realize or not.
Immigration is at the forefront of news media, and it’s an issue that isn’t going away. If I were to look at this issue strictly from a political view, I would say that the people entering into the U.S. illegally should be punished and denied asylum. There’s a proper way to enter into this country, but many chose to dismiss the right way of passage and come anyway — but it’s not that easy.
As a Christian, I have been taught to love all people, lend a helping hand to those in need and to show empathy and compassion to those who need it. These are the same beliefs that I take with me into my political stances and decisions.
I have so much empathy for the families being separated at the border. I have compassion for those fleeing their own country because of the inhumane treatment and danger they face everyday.
Lindsey Lupo, a PLNU professor of political science, said, “My faith informs every part of my political beliefs. My faith calls me to be empathetic in all parts of my life in politics.”
But even putting faith completely aside, beliefs are at the core of politics. Without beliefs, there is no politics to be discussed because there are no collective standards of what is right and what is wrong. Nothing is influencing people’s political ideologies, which means they do not exist.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, an ideology is “the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.” These ideologies make up the construct of politics that we, as humans, have created. Without these ideologies, politics cease to exist.
Think of it this way. You can’t have a wave without the tide just like you can’t have politics without the beliefs or things you have faith in.
So, you cannot separate beliefs from politics.
Written by: Abby Williams