Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On Lies and Legislation

Yesterday, the AP released an article about U.S. Representative Katherine Harris speaking on the record to the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. Harris, a Republican who oversaw the 2000 presidential recount as Florida's secretary of state said that the separation of church and state is a lie we have been told, that God chooses our rulers, and that He did not intend America to be a nation of secular laws.

She also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

I find it fascinating that our politicians are increasingly knowledgeable about "what God intended." They are also increasingly vocal in telling the masses what they should believe.

Interestingly, Harris is not expected to win the race against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November. For some reason, the issues she wants to talk about (lies and legislating sin, evidently) have been sidelined. Voters seem to be more interested in news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

I can listen to both sides of most political arguments. Abortion. Gay marriage. Gun laws. Immigration. Health care. It's not that I don't have an opinion. But I can play Devil's Advocate for issues that I don't believe in, just to explore what the Other Side might be thinking.

I find it difficult, if not impossible, however, to see the Other Side of two issues. One is the mandatory separation of church and state. The other is the unequivocal freedom of the press.

From a very young age, I appreciated the importance of a media unfettered by politics, cash flow, or polemics. "A free press" is the answer to the question, "Who watches the watchers?"

I've also always been proud of the privilege to live in a country that did not govern through religion or dictate what I could, should, or must believe. God created us with free will. It's not any government's right to change that. I don't require my elected officials to legislate my salvation. I just expect them to put their religious money where their mouths are and make every vote count -- Ms. Harris notwithstanding...