RELATED ISSUEWhere do young people come down on questions of faith, values, and public life? How do they relate their values to public policy issues including education, economic inequality, and the environment? These questions, critically important for the 2012 election, are at the center of a campus conversation being organized by the Berkley Center and Georgetown University. This blog features an ongoing conversation about these issues between students selected as Millennial Values Fellows through a national competition. You can read and comment on their blogs here.
To learn more about the project, visit the Campus Conversation on Values page.
November 15, 2012
November 12, 2012
November 7, 2012
November 7, 2012
November 6, 2012
November 5, 2012
November 3, 2012
November 2, 2012
October 31, 2012
October 29, 2012
October 25, 2012
October 23, 2012
October 4, 2012
October 4, 2012
October 3, 2012
October 2, 2012
October 1, 2012
AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES: MUSLIM
Dillon Tyler (UNC-Greensboro) on Faith and Values
April 2, 2012
In conclusion, while faith may be valuable in its determination for right and wrong, it does not belong in a world where politics and economics take aim and reign over a growing world. “Faith” remains with base human nature, where we stride to cooperate and maintain peace and stability. With international institutions like the United Nations and the European Union, even realists and liberals can agree that the system is better off without faith-based injection.
David Vreeland (UNC-Greensboro) comments April 4, 2012
I like it Dillon! Why you gotta use so many large words!?
Colin Steele (Georgetown) comments on Dillon Tyler April 12, 2012
Dillon, I agree with you that "if men were angels, we would need neither religion nor politics." That said, it follows that, being human, we do in fact need both religion and politics. You seem happy to conserve the second (I can't disagree with you there), but eager to toss out faith as an unequivocally negative influence on world history. I do have to take issue with that: religion itself has been a force for tremendous good as well as evil (Martin Luther King, Jr.; religiously-grounded reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland; etc). We do need religion to allow us to contemplate highest things: even committed atheists are confronting the highest (or deepest) questions and values of our human existence. This has classically been the role of theology ("the handmaiden of philosophy").
Where we have got in trouble over and over again is the combination of religion and politics. The Crusades were a political event more than a religious one; neither can you ignore the political message inherent in 9/11. Look, too, at how Rick Santorum had to circle the issue of how he would enact his faith as a politician (could he be true to his firmly-stated beliefs and preserve religious, ethical and legal freedom for the rest of us?). In that sense, the Founders were right to separate church and state institutionally. What they did not do -- and did not intend to do -- was separate faith from politics. As you point out, faith grounds much of our ethical and moral (and thus political) debate. We instinctively use faith language with regard to all sorts of political and philosophical issues -- "I believe abortion to be a good/bad thing"; the collegiate experience encourages behavior contrary to the way things are supposed to be. We will not easily escape such language or sentiment, and I would argue that our recent economic and political experience is the strongest argument of all not to wish to do so. Humans, in addition to not being angels, are not perfectly rational creatures, no matter what your freshwater economists tell you. Faith holds potential to start a conversation that says, "Yes, according to the model, that's what should happen. But what do we believe will happen in real life?"
In short, we need to separate our politics from our religious claims. We cannot (and must not) look for politics to save us or for prophecy to govern us. Politicians should have beliefs (it's hard to run or get a vote if you don't believe something) and religious leaders are entitled to recognize and point out the political ramifications of their beliefs. The bottom line, however, is that we must restrain our temptation towards messianic politics and a one-size-fits all politics of prophecy.