FAQ 4: Shouldn’t we just keep religion out of politics completely?
Things are not, and can never be, that simple. Religious convictions are not just private opinions about spiritual matters; they are part of public belief systems that create social networks, patterns of behaviour, ethics and institutions alongside others in the civil sphere. In this sense, religion is inherently political. The question is ‘what kind of religion?’ engaged in what way with ‘what kind of politics’?
Ekklesia argues against the privileging of religious interests in governance and public life. We oppose manipulative and overbearing lobbying. But we believe that religious persons can and should be encouraged to engage with public issues in a creative, challenging, non-domineering way.
The shared campaign against global debt, environmental action, work against social injustices like poverty, and the quest for non-violent solutions to our problems - these are all positive examples of how people of faith can make a distinctive and decisive contribution to public life, alongside others.
In short: freed from its top-down ‘Christendom’ mentality, the Christian gospel (and the alternative community it creates) can be a hugely liberating and radical force for change - spiritual, social, cultural, personal, political and economic.
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