Response to Prayer and Politics, By Jen Bailey

Posted on September 24th, 2010 | Filed under InterViews

Response to "When is it okay to mix prayer and politics?"

Religion is the most powerful force in the world. For billions of people around the world, religious practice provides meaning, purpose, and direction to their lives.  I should know. There is no aspect of my personal, professional, spiritual, or political life that has not been influenced by my faith.   The day I gave my life to Christ everything changed. I chose to follow in the path of a faith tradition I believe to be defined by love, grace, and reconciliation. My commitment to social justice is derived directly from a scripture in Matthew 25 where Christ states, “As you have done to the least of these so you have done to me.” I am convicted to act on the political issues I care most about—food insecurity, poverty, immigration reform, the achievement gap— because I believe that is what Christ would do.

As the videos show, I am not alone. Faith moves people to act. Problems arise, however, when individuals on all sides of ideological spectrum use religion as a tool to advance personal political agendas at the expense of others. What disturbed me most about the recent debate surrounding Cordoba House, dubbed by the media as the “Ground Zero Mosque”, was the willingness of some pundits and politicians to exploit it as a campaign issue. What should have been a local conversation became a polarizing national issue in which fear used as a tool to isolate communities and create an “Us versus Them” narrative.

History has shown us positive and negative examples of what can happen when religion and politics mix. As a nation, we are at a pivotal moment where religion and politics are once again front and center. The question is, what path will we choose—a path of conflict or respect?

One Response to “Response to Prayer and Politics, By Jen Bailey”

  1. […] Religion is the most powerful force in the world. For billions of people around the world, religious practice provides meaning, purpose, and direction to their lives.  I should know. There is no aspect of my personal, professional, spiritual, or political life that has not been influenced by my faith. The day I gave my life to Christ everything changed. I chose to follow in the path of a faith tradition I believe to be defined by love, grace, and reconciliation. READ MORE HERE. […]