Today's sermon: Faith and politics | Arkansas Blog

Today's sermon: Faith and politics

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If you believe the polls, Barack Obama will win the presidency despite overwhelming support for John McCain among regular white churchgoers.

If you believe the polls, Arkansas will approve a state lottery and VOTE AGAINST INITIATED ACT 1, which would make it harder to adopt children. Act 1, however, is actually meant mostly to marginalize gay people.

If these events come to pass, some conclusions may be drawn. 1) The U.S. is more secular than the zealous Bible-beaters who intimidate lawmakers would have you suppose. 2) People of faith do not come in one narrow-minded flavor, more obsessed by their sect's arguable interpretation of a few scraps of the New Testament than by overarching themes of duty to the poor, lame, downtrodden and despised.

If lawmakers are well-informed, they'll remember these lessons before parroting the religionist lobby's presumed "conventional wisdom" about the next round of hot-button moral and social issues. The conventional wisdom is often unwise. And empirical evidence often demonstrates it is not even conventional.

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