Every belief that citizens try to express politically is rooted in some philosophy or religion or some set of assumptions about society and its
well-being. They do not come from out of nowhere. Religiously-based convictions about society and morality are as legitimate as those that spring from non-religious philosophies. Hence, Christians, Muslims, or Jews may seek to get laws passed that are rooted in their religious convictions. Such laws are appropriate as long as they have a secular purpose and do not constitute an establishment of religion.
Whether these laws are wise or worthy of enactment must be judged by whether they promote the common good as judged by national values not by the fact that they are or are not rooted in the religious faith of those who support them.
A religious foundation is neither required not forbidden. Neither secular humanism nor religious faith is privileged in this regard. Ideally and in principle, religious believers should not seek to get laws passed on religious grounds but because they express the values of the secular society. These norms and goals are defined by the founding documents and cultural traditions as they have come to be embedded in the common life. For example, if people of faith want to crusade for universal health coverage, e. g., they should argue for the policy not because the Bible or the Pope authorizes it or because God wills it but because it promotes “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and because Congress is constitutionally permitted to spend money to provide for the “general welfare.”
Likewise, religious groups that seek to outlaw racial or gender discrimination should make their case on the claim that it would be good for society as a whole not on the fact that it is authorized by their religious faith. In practical terms, however, if believers feel that distinguishing between the religious
basis and the political implications of their faith is an intolerable splitting of a unitary set of beliefs, then let them act accordingly. If people actually
convince other voters to support legislation because the Bible, the Pope, Buddhist teachings, the Koran, or church doctrine mandates it, not much can be done about it except to make an effort to persuade them that there is a better way.
TRUST ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We cannot determine or control the reasons why people vote or support the policies they do or prevent them from convincing others to do the same. In the voting booth citizens are a law unto themselves. They can vote for whatever or whoever they want for any reason that motivates them. It is pointless to demand purity of principle on this matter. Voters act out of prejudice, self-interest, racial identity, ignorance, and for all sorts of other good and bad reasons, including their religious beliefs, philosophical commitments, and a devotion to justice based on American principles. Let us be realists about the matter.
Democracy is an untidy, often VERY messy, matter…..IF you do not believe me… look at AMERCIA! Ugghhhhh……
The people can do what they want restrained only by Constitutional mandates. But it is better when acting politically in the public arena for believers to translate religiously-based beliefs into the traditions, language, and values of the secular order. This is called for as a matter of principle. It is advisable pragmatically as well, since the tying of policy or voting explicitly to the tenets of a particular
religion, denomination, or sect may repel large number of voters and hinder rather than further the cause.
I love Politics AND History……………