December 8, 2007

Private vs. Public

I was flipping through the channels tonight and came across Rev. Gene Robinson speaking on C-SPAN. If you aren't away of who he is, he is the Bishop of New Hampshire for the Episcopal Church and happens to be openly gay. I must admit it was a somewhat interesting lecture, though many of his points have been used elsewhere and I struggled with the parallels he made between the plight of the African Americans and their struggle for equality as being the same struggle that homosexuals are experiencing today but that's not what I found most interesting.

Rev. Robinson made a comment to the effect that "religion should be separate from civic life" and this has been an especially hot topic as of late with the wide range of presidential candidates and the faiths they represent. I wasn't alive when JFK ran for office so I think it is easy to say that faith has been brought up in this presidential election more than any other in my lifetime. What role should religion play in our public lives? Should it have a role at all?

Now if I take a step back and look at the life of Jesus, I can't help but think that His faith was both public and private. And I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be the basis by which a candidate is elected into office but what does it mean for people like you and I who are looking to hold a public parking spot not an office?