Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Religion and Politics

In today's St Louis Jewish Light, Rabbi Robert Cohn describes a workshop led by Rabbi David Saperstein:  "Social Justice: The Use and Abuse of Religion in the 2008 Elections."  At the workshop Rabbi Saperstein discussed what he calls the "ten commandments of politics."  The article includes examples from different religious backgrounds of how several of the commandments should be applied.  The article provides the following list of seven commandments:

* Thou shalt not offer an explanation to the electorate about how your religious beliefs shape or alter your views on the issues.

* (Candidates) shalt discuss their views on political and legal issues that directly affect religion.

* (Candidates) shalt feel free to use religious language to explain how their beliefs or practices would affect their ability to perform as President or in another office.

* (Candidates) shalt feel free to discuss the role religion plays in shaping his or her values.

* (Congregations) shalt NOT seek to organize partisan support in houses of worship.

* (Religious organizations or clergy) shalt not use authority or threats of religious discipline to coerce decisions or actions by American citizens.

* (Congregations) shalt not endorse or oppose candidates.

Thanks to Ellen Aprill of Loyola Los Angeles for sending this link.

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