Do Christians Impose Their Values On Others? Part I

In order to impose, one must have the power or authority to impose.  This applies to a group or an individual.  When it comes to government, especially in the United States, there is not a single Christian group endowed with such authority.  Every law “imposes” someone’s moral “values” on someone else.  If you give a person power over you, then they can impose their values on you. Silly sayings like “stop trying to force your religion down my throat,” are straw-man arguments that deflect attention away from reasonability.  It’s like trying to win an argument with audible volume instead of veracity. 

The truth is that in every society, someone’s values must reign supreme.  Societies which attempt to produce a moral code based solely on human rationale can be manipulated by whoever has the most votes, power, or weapons. 

Some Christians may want to impose their values, but they, by doing so, would be acting in a manner contrary to biblical thinking:

Matthew 5:44 – “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Romans 12:18 – “So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

1 Timothy 2:1 – Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for all people.”

1 Timothy 2:2 – These should especially be made for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

In a representative democracy, each one has just as much right as another to be involved in the political process.  In a pluralistic society each one has just as much right to voice their opinions as anyone else.  In a religiously free society, each one has just as much right to live out their beliefs as anyone else.

Last time I looked, in the United States, it was still a representative democracy, pluralistic, and religiously free.  Those who object to the “imposition” of Judeo-Christian values should perhaps work to repeal the laws against murder, perjury, and theft.  Christians don’t and can’t impose their religion over you unless you let them.  Christ on the other hand…






0 thoughts on “Do Christians Impose Their Values On Others? Part I

  1. Mickey says:

    I think that the use of hyperbole in suggesting that repealing laws such as murder, perjury, and theft doesn’t do the argument justice. The implication being that Christians have the market cornered on various “wrongs” that can be done that society won’t tolerate.

    When someone, such as myself, gets their panties in a bunch because of religious zealots use the law to force me to behave in the way that they think God wants me to behave, the blame is put on “the church” and not the zealots. In my experience, however, I have found that many churches support such non-sensicial laws and encourage their members to vote a particular way.

    Lets visit some, shall we?

    Its illegal to buy alcohol on Sundays in many states. In Texas, its illegal to buy alcohol before noon on Sunday. What is the secular rationale for prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sunday? There isn’t one. To an Agnostic, such as myself, Sunday is just another day. The irony is that the bible makes no mention of drinking on Sunday (or even drinking for that matter excepting in excess). Maybe the rationale is that buying or selling on Sunday doesn’t keep the Sabbath holy. In that case, the law should extend to all retail establishments and not single out only alcohol. But when someone wants to repeal a law like that, who complains? Christians. Why? Because *they* think its wrong, in God’s eyes, for *me* to drink…. at least on Sunday.

    Christians would have you believe that The Bible says that marriage is between one man and one woman. Everybody who’s even casually studied The Bible knows that this is bunk. There are references to marriage in the scriptures as being between *men* and *women*, but multiple spouses were a-ok to God. So is it OK, as a Christian, to lie in order to get a law passed that prevents homosexuals from marriage? The gay community is not asking for salvation – just the same legal rights (insurance, retirement, final wishes, etc…) that any other married couple already has. For a Christian to oppose this because the notion of a gay couple is icky, in my opinion, is *fine*. But to hide behind scripture is when badness happens. When someone says “God doesn’t want gay couples to marry.”, it removes the responsibility of their own selfish insecurities and places the blame squarely on God. Once you can use God as your personal scape goat, then anything you find icky you can say God doesn’t want others to do it. If the law is to say that marriage is between one man and one woman because God wants it that way, then by the same argument, other religious beliefs must be made illegal. God makes it very clear that worshiping false gods is one of the (if not the) highest sin – much worse, if you measure sin, than adultery or homosexuality. So how is it that Hindus can live and marry in the US, when its a sin to be a Hindu, but because God doesn’t want homosexuals to marry, we make laws to prevent it?

    How about The Pledge of Allegiance. Christians scream that “they’re under attack” because people want to remove “under God” from the pledge. Don’t they know that these 2 words weren’t added until 1954 as an “in your face” to communists? It was a blatant insertion of religion into government for political gain, forcing all citizens (Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, etc…) to acknowledge “God” as the center point of our nation regardless of their religious beliefs. Now, after the communist menace has passed, trying to remove those words brings on weeping, waling, and gnashing of teeth from the devout that there is an attempt to make Christianity illegal or for the government to run The Church.

    The Reverend M. R. Watkinson, as part of a campaign initiated by eleven northern Protestant Christian denominations in a letter dated November 13, 1861, petitioned the Treasury Department to add a statement recognising “Almighty God in some form in our coins. (thank you wiki) So here again are churches banding together to insert religion into law and to make me, as a non-Christian citizen, acknowledge something that I do not believe is true.

    The danger here isn’t that “good Christian values” aren’t reflected in our society. The danger is that when enough ignorant people band together under a false premise, they can change society for the worse. The false premise being that any Schmo knows what God “wants”.

    Its better to live *your* life by Christ’s teachings and stand before him to be judged, than to believe you’re God’s instrument to save me against my will by making me live life the way *you* think God wants me to live it.

  2. wbmoore says:

    In a democracy, yes. Its part of the system. If you dont vote for god-fearing people because you dont want to impose your beliefs, then you have imposed the beliefs of someone who does not love God and others upon the constituency. You vote for people who agree with you on issues you consider important, so if you are pro-life then you will vote for someone who is pro-life, otherwise that is not as important to you as other things.

    There is no authority except as has been ordained by God (Romans 13:1). If God provides government, should Christians avoid it? Peter commended us to submit to the government (1 Peter 2:13-14). Jesus said to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s (Mark 12:17). Paul said essentially the same thing (Romans 13:1-7). This means to meet your responsibility to the government. In a representative democracy, the people are the government, in that they have a responsibility to take part in the political process – at the very least by voting and making your views known to your representatives.

    If God has called people to be kings and queens, why would He not call people to be president, senator, representative, or governor? If Christians should love others, should Christians who are part of a representative democracy abdicate their responsibility of representing other Christians in government and so allow people who do not know God through faith in Christ to write laws which institutionalize a distinct lack of love for others?

    We are told to show love in practical ways. Luke 10:25-37 and Matthew 25:31-46 show us what Christ thought was being loving. James 2:14-26 tells us to have a faith that is active, not dead. Words are not enough, we must live lives which actively reflect the love we have for God and others (Matthew 25:31-46). One way to do this is to feed the hungry. Another way is to give clothes to those who have none. Another way is to visit the sick or the enprisoned. Another is to stop someone from murdering someone else. Another is to create organizations which help do these things, such as hospitals, homeless missions, orphanages, schools, clinics, etc. Another is to work to pass laws/regulations which help people do these things.

  3. Marshall says:

    religious & philosophical ideals filled the vacuum of State from the founding of the USA; man borrowing what he does not understand to build what he cannot manage. (There remain few other options for the machine of State or society?) as example: If the populace moves toward narcissism, the machine is painfully adjusted to match. Pluralism makes for a bizarre mechanism that (like ancient Rome) winds down by repeatedly disassembling & damaging itself: the iron & clay of Nebuchadnezzar’s image.

    true believers are not guided by the social or national interpretation of things; their faith is such to make it impossible for them to apply for themselves a code of morals, mores or ethics. They walk by faith, and in the Spirit of Christ.

  4. Henk says:

    In saying “My Kingdom is not of this world, if it were, my followers would fight….”, the Lord Jesus not only makes things clear for non-Christians, but also helps Christians to make the distinction between exercising Kingdom authority wherever they live, and trying to make use of worldly authority in order to achieve political aims. These two are mostly poles apart and the effect of the last devastating to the church’s witness.

    But then….. Christians will and should make a difference wherever they live. Not everyone will like this difference, and “let’s free ourselves from their yoke” (Ps. 2) will always be heard.

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