#1059 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 12 April 2015
A committee charged with reviewing the constitution of the West African nation of Liberia has recommended that Liberia be declared a “Christian nation.”
The proposal has not only angered Liberia’s Muslim community, which comprises some 12 per cent of the population, but also some Christians.
The Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, the nation’s oldest Christian denomination, said Liberian Baptists had “no room for sectarian arrogance within the country’s diverse Christian persuasions and in a progressively more pluralistic world where Liberia is for all persons regardless of faith persuasion or affiliation.”
In my view, they are right. Declaring a nation “Christian” is to misunderstand the nature of Christian discipleship, and the nature of politics, and to underestimate the moral and intellectual poverty of one’s own power base.
Politics and faith should coexist, and influence one another, but when either faith or politics is drafted into service of the other, both are diminished.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.