Is Faith the ‘Most Important American Value’?

Is Faith the ‘Most Important American Value’? September 5, 2012

Marco Rubio did his star turn at the Republican National Convention and hit all the emotional buttons that he knew his audience would respond to, including declaring that faith in God is what makes America unique and successful. From the transcript:

We are special because we’ve been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We’re bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.

Special, because we’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government.

Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.

And special because we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition that “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.”

That last scriptural reference is particular ironic coming from someone who has worked relentlessly to make sure less and less is required of the nation’s wealthiest citizens. But the rest of this is quite absurd as well. We do not have a “common value” of believing in God; the mere fact that a sizable percentage of the population doesn’t believe in God should make that obvious. Our common values are — or should be, at least — a commitment to liberty, justice and equality.

And yes, it is ironic that the primary impediments to making those values real in this country is, and has always been, those who most loudly proclaim their fealty to God — especially those who use public declarations of religious piety as cover for their desire to control the sex lives of other people and to crusade for the imposition of their own twisted, narrow notions of morality.

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