We live in an age in which politics has become suddenly alarming and fascinating all at once.
With the election of Trump, the rise of One Nation, and the Brexit referendum in the UK, many people feel a growing sense of uncertainty and alarm. The extremes in politics seem to be becoming more powerful. We’ve lost the ability to disagree with one another; and there’s profound disagreement about the future shape of human societies. Instead of working out compromise, we now simply shout at, ban, boycott, shame, hound, and harass those with whom we disagree.
Lots of people would feel that religion adds fuel to the already smouldering pile of sticks that is contemporary politics. People who are religious seem to think that they can force everyone else to accept their vision of a good and just society, but then they turn to the Bible as their source book, and if you don’t believe the Bible, you can’t even talk to them. Senator Penny Wong recently expressed a very common view when she said:
"Religious freedom means being free to worship and to follow your faith without suffering persecution or discrimination for your beliefs. It does not mean imposing your beliefs on everyone else… And it most emphatically does not mean deploying the power of the state to enforce one set of religious beliefs. One's own views should not determine the rights of others."
Shouldn’t people keep their religious views private and personal? Shouldn’t Christians in particular keeps their noses out of the public sphere?