Welcome to the Bible and the Ballot, a new blog helping people navigate politics from a nonpartisan and biblical perspective.
Dr. King famously stated that “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”
As a person of faith who teaches politics for a living, has worked as a political commentator, and been a candidate for public office, I am often faced with the question...should religion be involved in political decision-making? Dr. King recognized religion's significant role in shaping the morality of the society. He thought that it shouldn't be forced on people. Yet regulating and controlling behavior is at the heart of law-making. Consequently, he recognized the importance of using the law to restrain those that were immoral; guided by no higher law. For them, the law was the final barrier between their potentially deviant activity and the well-being of the rest of society. Therefore, the law was critical in invoking morality and protecting the society from those that would care less about it. For him, public policy was a major tool in guiding the society towards what is right, just, and fair.
When looking at the political landscape in 2018, I am reminded that we need a commitment to a higher moral law. Without it, the injustice, inequality, vitriol, deception, and immorality of much of the political leadership will go unchecked. The scriptures teach in Prov. 14:34 that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."
My hope is to explore a variety of political issues from a biblical perspective. However, in my work I have never been interested in strictly ideological answers to our dilemmas. The bible lays out both conservative and liberal principles from which I believe viable public policy can be derived. If you are interested in this approach, I invite you to join me on this journey.
I look forward to it!
-Ted Williams III