After all of this discussion about the public square and how important it is for Christians to engage in the public square, you might be wondering why I am continually pushing for the public square to be free. After all, as a Christian, I do indeed believe that the Christian worldview is the one true worldview that corresponds most accurately with reality.
Therefore, some people might want to argue that maybe we should mandate Christianity. By forcing everyone to profess a Christian worldview, some might argue we would finally have heaven on earth.
To be honest, I can’t get on board with a state religion (this side of eternity). Over the next few posts, we will look at three different reasons why I support the freedom of religion in the public square.
First of all, think about the necessary legislation that would need to be put in place in order to establish a state religion. Any time that the religion of the leadership changed, any religion could become illegal at any time. The same laws that could in theory make Christianity the state religion could become laws that persecute Christians under a different leader. Guaranteeing the freedom of religion as opposed to a state-mandated religion protects people from the government now and in the potential future.
This type of approach has been tried and found wanting. All you really need to do is look at the modern-day Middle East where there is a state religion. Obviously, the Islamic power in those countries is secure, but imagine if the tables were turned and all of a sudden the Muslim citizens of these states were treated in the way that they treat Christians and even other branches of Islam.
All of the laws in place would potentially be able to be used in a way that the original founders of the government never intended. They think that they are protecting Islam, but if the current powers were to fall, those who support these laws would be in trouble if the new government did not approve of Islamic teaching.
It is much more effective to have a governmental system that allows for freedom of religion.
I think that’s a good trade-off.