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While governments enforce the law written on the books, religion teaches and encourages adherence to the law written in the heart. Those who abide the latter will seldom if ever violate the former. But where matters of the heart are ignored, the black letter law and the legal machinery of government will eventually bog down.

Roger S. Gottlieb

Civility in society is achieved when the majority of people do what is moral because they believe they should, not because they are compelled by law or by police force. Government oversees the conduct of its citizens. It tries to get them to behave in a decent and moral way.

Religion, on the other hand, tries to get them to desire to behave in a decent and moral way.

Contentions Over Public Space: Religious and Secular Voices for Peace & Justice by Daniel Oduro Sem

President Ezra Taft Benson — , a cabinet member under U. Eisenhower, taught this most important distinction:. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment.

Christ changes men, who then change their environment.


  • Edited by Roger S. Gottlieb.
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The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. Over time all free governments must ultimately depend on the voluntary goodness and support of their citizens. Their passions forge their fetters. To that end, good government protects religion and fosters religious freedom. And good religion encourages good citizenship and adherence to the law of the land.

Introduction: Religion and Ecology—What Is the Connection and Why Does It Matter?

Good government need not take sides. It should not foster or favor one religion over another.

Its representatives must be free to believe and practice according to the dictates of their own conscience. By the same token, good religion should neither endorse nor oppose any political party or candidate.

Religious Voices in Public Places - -

And its believers must be free and even encouraged to participate in the political process and to support whichever party or candidate they think best. While the Church, as an institution, has repeatedly affirmed its political neutrality, Latter-day Saints are encouraged to engage in the political process and to add their voices to the public debate.

It is part of our religion to be good citizens wherever we live. One day the Savior will come again. Must religious voices keep quiet in public places?

Lift High the Cross? Religion In Public Spaces

Does fairness in a plural society require it? Must the expression of religious belief be so authoritarian as to threaten civil peace?


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Is a religious argument necessarily unreasonable? What issues are specific to Islam within this exchange? These are just some of the pressing questions addressed by this book. This book comprehends both political philosophy and theology, and moves adeptly between political theory a This book comprehends both political philosophy and theology, and moves adeptly between political theory and practice. Forgot password? Don't have an account? All Rights Reserved.

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