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Mixing religion and politics



Published: Fri, April 22, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The (Nashville) Tennessean: Sen. Bill Frist, the majority leader from Tennessee, is not the first politician to turn to religion for help with an agenda.

Still, Frist's plan for a videotaped address to a major church gathering regarding judicial appointments is drawing valid criticism. He should reconsider aligning with the Family Research Council's planned event "Justice Sunday," in which organizers bill opposition to President Bush's nominees as being "against people of faith."

That characterization of filibuster threats by Democrats is extremely unfair and off-base. The filibuster issue, on its own, could pose a vitriolic political battle, but it has not been about religion and shouldn't be painted that way now.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., probably put it best this week, saying, "When we talk religion and government, neither should become an instrument for the other."

When the politically conservative side of the debate couches the debate in religious terms, the message becomes clear: God is on our side. That should be insulting to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Personal faith should not be defined by political affiliation.




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