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Faith and Values in Public Discourse

Originally publised on Blogger 3/3/12

Many people have argued that faith and values have no place in public discourse. These people would make you believe that politics and indeed public policy never involve faith. Oftentimes, they will say its about making the best decision or doing what is best for the individual. And they are important things to consider in public discourse. We do need to make the best decision and we always should set policies in place that produce the greatest good for the individual. That is the intrinsic nature of trying to do what is right.

However, how we come to these decisions always involves faith or values. Our individual and collective values determine how we assess a problem, how we come to a solution, and how we implement the strategy we devise to solve the issue. Values are ever present in what we decide to watch on TV or who we decide to vote on. Its a matter of human nature, logic, and frankly faith. Too often someone will say, "Faith has no place in politics.", which is ludicrous because we all place faith in something so faith is always involved in politics.

The issue then becomes whose faith or values should be the guiding principle. This depends upon the will and effort of the people. Those people who active and have an effective plan on how to influence others will ultimately decide whose values reign. That is why people seek to influence schools, city politics, law, and music. Simply put, influence over time in a given area will produce people who value the things they were taught. In short, input of values in an organization or system will produce people or constituents that have similar beliefs.

I think that clearly there are values that are better or correct but that is not the point here. My point is to demonstrate that anyone who says values and faith should not be in public discourse is either a fool or a liar. Because everything we do or support is based on what we value or the things or ideas we place our faith in.

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