This column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on March 5, 2007. A shorter version will air on KQED FM’s Perspectives series soon. Stay tuned.
Last month, Walter Cronkite came to San José to speak on behalf of “First Freedom First,” a national campaign seeking to reinvigorate the American commitment to separating Church and State by preserving our government’s secular inclinations in matters such as public education and health care policy.
By temperament and proclivity, I have a hard time disagreeing with Cronkite and his fellow activists. I don’t want my children to be taught creationism instead of biology; I don’t believe external religious mores should come between a patient and her doctor; I don’t think the mandates of one person’s sacred text should keep another person from marrying the man of his choice.
But I’m not entirely sold on the “First Freedom First” agenda because part of what is being promoted is a call to silence houses of worship by keeping them from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Continue reading