Popular PBS journalist Bill Moyers is no fan of religion-based politics.
Asked about the intersection of religion and politics during a recent interview with The Christian Century, Moyers responded, “Whose religion? Christian? Muslim? Jew? Sikh? Buddhist? Catholic? Protestant? Shi’ite? Sunni? Orthodox? Conservative? Mormon? Amish? Wicca? For that matter, which Baptist? Bill Clinton or Pat Robertson? Newt Gingrich or Al Gore? And who is going to decide? The religion of one seems madness to another.”
Continued Moyers, “If religion is the voice of the deepest human experience – and I believe it is – humanity contains multitudes, each speaking in a different tongue. Naturally, believers will bring their faith into the public square, translating their unique personal experience into political convictions and moral arguments. But politics is about settling differences while religion is about maintaining them. Let’s realize what a treasure we have in a secular democracy that guarantees your freedom to believe as you choose and mine to vote as I wish.”
The interviewer then asked Moyers for his views on recent attempts by the Democratic Party to increase the amount of religious content in its messages.
Moyers replied, “If you have to talk about God to win elections, that doesn’t speak well of God or elections. We are desperate today for cool thinking and clear analysis. What kind of country is it that wants its politicians to play tricks with faith?”
Moyers, whose broadcasts on PBS have spanned several decades, holds a master of divinity degree and is known for his interest in religion. The entire interview can be read online at: www.christiancentury.org/article.lasso?id=3196.