Hearing these ideas on the same weekend the debt crisis was being fought, it seemed more pertinent than ever to me that religious groups become more empowered to step into the public space where the government can no longer.
In thinking about religion and society in the 21st century, we should broaden the conversation about faith from doctrinal debates to the larger question of how it might inspire us to construct together a gracious and generous social order.
We speak our world into existence, so we'd better say some good things about it. After the tears, the best that we can do for John, Gabe, Dorothy, Christina, Dorwin and Phyllis is to carry on stronger than before.
I recently signed up with a friend's church to help build houses at a Habitat for Humanity site in Los Angeles. As a civically engaged secular person, was I okay with doing a good deed in the name of the church?
Although we should respect many varying kinds of knowledge, we must insist that all active citizens possess a central set of considered judgments -- based on fact -- about how public institutions should run.
There is little doubt that the Founders and Framers expected men to have a gun at the ready to defend the country. But does that 18th century logic still hold in a country with a standing army, state militias, and local police forces?
The Tea Party has pointed out how absent we've been in building a common narrative about modern American citizenship. But the American people long for a novel, not a sitcom. It's time for the rest of us to step up.