Does faith play a part in politics?

“Politics matters a lot more than many Catholics are willing to admit. We have a role in the culture, we have a role in politics and government. We can’t merely wait around for the next world; we have things to do in this world,” says political commentator and author Michael Knowles.

In this increasingly divisive and political climate, how can we prioritize faith over politics? Should our Catholic faith play a part in the process? These are the questions that Timmerie Geagea posed to her guest, Michael Knowles, on a recent episode of Trending with Timmerie.

Preaching the Gospel, sharing our religious and political views begins with slowly and lovingly changing hearts, rather than tearing people apart.

“We are called to charity. So if you’re in a political debate and all you’re interested in doing is absolutely tearing down your fellow American, that’s going to be a Pyrrhic victory because if you tear down half the country rather than merely tearing down their ideas, well then, half your country’s gone!” explained Knowles.

There’s a common misconception that faith and politics should not mix, that politicians should leave their religious beliefs out of the government. Knowles says that simply is not true: “John Adams pointed out that unless society were moral and religious, the Constitution would fall apart. The founders of our country supported religious institutions.”

Politics shouldn’t just be about economics and numbers, but the eternal questions that shape our view of the world. Morality is essential to our government and our laws—even laws about taxation are derived from the moral law.

He called separation of church and state “one of the most misunderstood and abused phrases in our entire culture.” But how can we, as Catholics, prioritize our faith in this politically charged climate?

“For me, I supposed, it’s all of a piece—the politics, the culture, the religion—it’s all of a piece. And I think one of the great errors of modern politics is that we try to compartmentalize and divvy society up and … pretend that these things don’t have to do with one another,” said Knowles.

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.