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Legislating Morality
by James Robison


Senator Obama openly discusses how his faith impacts legislation.

"You can't legislate morality," Alaska senator and presidential long shot Mike Gravel recently told a television station in New Hampshire. But this illogical mantra of secular progressives took a beating recently at the hands of three top presidential contenders. They laid out the framework for their faith in God and emphasized the importance of morality in legislation.

Here's the punch line: They are all Democrats.

"Tonight, we expect to tackle some of the most important moral issues of our times," the CNN anchor intoned as she opened up the faith forum.

Senator John Edwards labeled poverty "a great moral issue facing this country" and declared, "I have a deep and abiding love for my Lord, Jesus Christ."

Senator Hillary Clinton called abortion "a moral issue" and expanded that list to include virtually everything a legislator does. "I think that every vote I take carries with it a moral responsibility," Clinton declared fervently. "And it is always a challenge to try to arrive at what you think is the right thing to do based on the information and the assessment that you make at a time. And sometimes it turns out that you're right, and sometimes it doesn't. But certainly every vote has a moral implication."

Senator Barack Obama went a step further and directly tied faith and morality to governing.

"The starting point is that, 'I've got a stake in other people, and I've got a set of responsibilities towards others, not just towards myself,'" Obama told the audience, "and that those mutual responsibilities, those obligations, have to express themselves, not just through our churches, and our synagogues, and our mosques, and our temples, not only in our own families, but they have to express themselves through our government."

In case there was any confusion about the link between church and state, Obama also said, "Faith can say, forgive someone who has treated us unjustly. Faith can say that, regardless of what's happened in the past, there's a brighter future ahead. And that's the kind of faith that I think has to form, not just our international policies, but also domestic policies."

But what happens when faith says that a child in the womb is a valuable life, worthy of protection? What kind of faith informs our school children that there is no Creator, but that everything is random order out of cosmic chaos? And whose morality determines whether marriage is between one woman and one man, instead of three men and a boy? When Rudy Giuliani publicly opposed President Bush's 2004 bill banning gay marriage, did that not send a clear signal of the former mayor's belief system and how that would play out in public office?

Sir William Blackstone, whose commentaries on law formed the basis for the free world's legislation and its interpretation, opened his writings with this declaration: "NOW, as municipal law is a rule of civil conduct, commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong... it follows, that the primary and principal objects of the law are RIGHTS, and WRONGS."

Clearly, each of us believe certain things are "right" or "wrong," but how does that influence the creation, interpretation and enforcement law? I agree with what Texas Governor Rick Perry reportedly told a group of ministers, "One of the great myths of our time is that you can't legislate morality. If you can't legislate morality, then you can neither lock criminals up nor let them go free. If you can't legislate morality, you can neither recognize gay marriage nor prohibit it... I say you can't not legislate morality."

I also agree with the quotes pulled from the Democrat forum. I believe Senator Obama would enjoy reading my chapter from The Absolutes entitled, "Servanthood: The Key to Significance and Success." I just don"t understand how some leaders can talk one way and walk another. Their actions truly speak louder than their words.

Only John Edwards allowed a glimpse into the true though process behind the disparity between campaign rhetoric and cold reality. When the moderator asked, "If you think something is morally wrong, though, you morally disagree with it, as president of the United States, don't you have a duty to go with your moral belief?"

Edwards responded, "No, I think that, first of all, my faith, my belief in Christ plays an enormous role in the way I view the world. But I think I also understand the distinction between my job as president of the United States [and] my responsibility to be respectful of and to embrace all faith beliefs..."

So while some candidates profess to be true Christians, they feel a responsibility to embrace Islam, Atheism, Scientology, the New Age movement and every other belief (or at least select portions of them.) Their wisdom holds that their leadership role demands a dualistic split between attitudes and actions. They personally want moral legislation, as defined by most mainstream Christians, but feel duty-bound to not provide it...except in a few specific cases that they personally hand pick.

Peculiar. Very peculiar.

I suppose there's just one more quote I want to add to this discussion. It comes from a guy named James, who had a famous half-brother. He wrote:

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Pray for our leaders. Truly, they need a healthy dose of Godly wisdom to return our country to the absolute, unshakeable truths that made this country great. Our next president will influence the legislation of morality; of that there is no debate. The real issue is what kind of morality he or she will promote.

Publishing Information

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 993

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at