WCC -God has no place in U.S Politics...
Find a Conversation
|Fri, 11-05-2004 - 10:13am|
Published on Thursday, November 4, 2004 by Reuters
Council of Churches: God Has No Place in U.S. Politics
GENEVA - God has no place in politics and should not have been used by churches in the United States to influence the presidential election, a council representing 342 Christian groups around the world said.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) told U.S. member churches in a letter that they should not ask whose side God was on in an election but only offer "a moral and spiritual compass for their community, their nation and the world."
The letter by WCC General Secretary Rev. Samuel Kobia chided some U.S. churches for presenting God in partisan terms.
It was released late on Wednesday.
Preachers in some U.S. churches, mostly among conservative evangelical Protestants but also some Catholics, made clear during the campaign that they preferred President Bush over his Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry.
U.S. experts said that Bush's Republican Party had made an unprecedented effort to court church-going voters and that some churches had played a new role in the election by closely twinning politics and religion.
And analysts of the vote said Bush built his election win on a coalition of older, white, church goers in a race where voters were more likely to cite "morality" as their top concern rather than war on terror.
Kobia said many people around the world had watched in recent months "with great interest how churches shape a powerful nation's stance toward the world.
"The harsh claims that make most of the headlines, that invoked the judgment of a partisan God, have provoked deep concern around the world," he wrote.
"We do not ask whose side God was on in this election. Rather, like Abraham Lincoln when he confronted a divisive war, we seek to be found on God's side."
The Geneva-based WCC joins 342 churches from 120 countries in all Christian traditions but the Roman Catholic Church.
It took no stand on the U.S. candidates, both of whom stressed their Christian faith to voters, and wished the United States "God's grace and peace."
© Copyright 2004 Reuters Ltd