By Quardricos Bernard Driskell, originally posted on the Hill.
Religion and politics: two topics you are not supposed to discuss in the public square. Yet, if one surfs cable television or navigates Youtube and social media, these windows into our public life quickly showcase politicians, mechanics and grade-school teachers all weighing in on the topic with great passion and reflective commonsense smarts. (Not really!) Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump dominates the news cycle with his ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and his recent attacks on Muslim and Latino judges. Fear of the other is a motivating factor, evident in public discussions and the behavior of crowds at Trump rallies. And it’s not just presidential candidates spouting anti-Muslim rhetoric; thousands of Americans have bawled them and other religious minorities have been targeted, too.
As a minister, professor and right-of-center Republican, I’m struck by the lack of critical thinking in theo-politcal centered debates. I’ve been in forums and classrooms where political liberals and conservatives go at each other without ever attempting to identify, thoughtfully, how their faith influences their politics and vice versa. While both sides argue their political opinions and spout their faith beliefs, what’s missing from these debates is political theology.
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