h/t Ian Tuttle in Bernie Sanders, Theocrat:
Between Vought and Farron, one can get a sense of the bizarre position in which many orthodox religious believers find themselves today: that of having their views dictated to them by people who do not believe those things in the first place. The BBC demands that Tim Farron not think abortion is a sin — even though virtually no one among Britain’s political and media elite believes in the idea of “sin.” Bernie Sanders demands that Russell Vought affirm that everyone is going to Heaven — even though there is no evidence that Sanders believes in any Heaven. A person of faith might justifiably ask: Why does Bernie Sanders get to decide the appropriate theology of salvation? Why do Sky News anchors get to decide what is and isn’t a sin?
There is a long and stupid tradition of believing that the American Right threatens to impose an Evangelical Christian theocracy on the United States — that every Republican lawmaker is looking to erect an official church and make women cover their ankles. In reality, it is the proudly irreligious Left that has smuggled religious debates back into our politics. It is the unabashedly secular Left that has knocked down the “wall of separation” and made the afterlife an immanent political issue.
These were precisely the sorts of issues that the Founders, recalling the conflagrations of recent centuries in Europe, sought to cabin off from political pressures. It’s not the place of earthly governments to render eternal judgments. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” someone advised. Whether abortion should be legal is a thing for Caesar; whether it is sinful is not.