The influence of faith

Rev. Tommy Williams with one of his professors, Mike McCurry

Rev. Tommy Williams with one of his professors, Mike McCurry

Our class this week on Public Engagement is being co-taught by Mike McCurry, former White House Press Secretary. He left the White House and soon entered Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. He earned a Master of Arts in Theology and later became Professor of Public Theology there. Mike is lay leader in his home church of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church just outside the Washington DC metro area.

Topics and questions from class with him this week: We discussed questions around separation of church and state, how that makes America unique, what it means and what it doesn’t. We also discussed our general reluctance to talk about religion and our politics and how that intersection takes people to very difference choices.

The question isn’t whether or not our faith influences our thoughts and actions in public life but how? Like every other influence, it shapes our perspectives, impressions and ultimately our decisions in civic life. Whether explicit or not, if someone has a faith, it influences who they are. There is liberating power in acknowledging that truth.

Have you thought about how your faith influences your life, your work, your political decisions, your family relationships, your understanding of the community around you?