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Father Richard John Neuhaus and Reverand James Forbes
Neuhaus and Forbes
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March 1, 2002

Back in 2002, on NOW with BILL MOYERS, Bill Moyers asked two prominent men of faith, Father Richard John Neuhaus and Reverend James Forbes, for their opinions on a recent speech by then Attorney General John Ashcroft.

After leaving office, Ashcroft has helped to spread his message of faith and politics in the classroom, specifically as a professor at Reverand Robertson's Regent University.

Reverand Forbes sees the inherent danger is mixing faith and politics or believing your policies are mandated by God:

"Anyone who is in a powerful political position who uses the language of God as if God actually endorses the position, the action, whether it's political or military; if you claim that God put you on this course, you immediately preclude the possibility of self-criticality, because you're simply doing what God told you to do."

Father Neuhaus too sees mixing faith and politics as "a risk" but "it's a risk that is in many cases unavoidable, and it's a risk that was certainly taken by this founders of this country."

And many prominent political figures agree that the Founders never intended to keep faith separate from government. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, for example, remarked in a speech, "We've said in our opinions that the government may neither favor nor disfavor... religion in general. Never mind that this is contrary to our whole tradition."

back to Keeping the Faith

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