Mormon Options on "Church" and "State" -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
What is the appropriate relationship between church and state? Put another way is there a place for religion within the public square? Some argue that there is an impenetrable wall between the two. Others argue that ours is a Christian nation and that religion has a privileged place. Others of us see things being a bit more fluid. Martin Marty brings to our attention a most interesting presentation by one of the most senior leaders of the Mormon Church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). On issues like same-sex marriage, Mormons are conservative in their thinking, but Dallin Oaks, a former professor of law at the University of Chicago and a Mormon Apostle, suggests that officials need to abide by the laws they are sworn to uphold. They can seek ways of accommodation of beliefs (delegating authority to others), but not overrule the law. He calls for mutual respect on the part of all, as a way of defusing and avoiding culture wars. It's a most interesting presentation. Take a read and watch the video of the presentation (or read the transcript). It is a thoughtful response, and perhaps a path forward for us.