CNN's David Mattingly looks at what South Carolina's evangelicals are searching for in this year's primary.
In this country everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want, and this liberty is a good thing – but mixing religion and politics is, in my opinion, a very bad development. Is not good for a democracy, especially in a country like America. The President, Congress, and the judicial branches have to be responsive to all the citizens, irrespective of what they worship. The Government must work for everyone; Evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and Atheists. Political pandering to one particular group , or the strong influence of one group over others, undermines democracy because religion is intrinsically divisive. A functional democratic government is about compromise and team work, not religious certainties. Religion is not about compromise and team work, is totally the opposite – is about mandates from Heaven, and Heaven is not a democracy. Religion does not really bring people together; it splits them apart into non-negotiable positions. This was recognized way at the beginning and one reason why we have an Establishment Clause in the Constitution. I get no comfort whatsoever when I see our political leaders showing off their piousness – I find it, if not outright phony, crass posturing for strictly political purposes. But, you see, it comes at a price, and that price is political influence. I do not want necessarily a Christian president, or Congress, or judges – I want people that will uphold the Constitution. I don’t want a Christian theocracy, I want an American democracy. Religion has to stay out of government, or we will destroy the country.
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