[ by Charles Cameron — responding properly to Tim Furnish ]
Political candidates and religion is not quite the same as church and state — an issue on which, as a Brit living in the States, I am profoundly impressed both ways. However, religion in politics very much interests me, and in my news scan early this morning I noted this tweet:
— Julie Bykowicz (@bykowicz) January 31, 2016
To which I responded:
Quoted in same article, Cruz suggested politicians should "avoid ostentatiously wrapping yourself in your faith" https://t.co/NOl7iqpibA
— hipbonegamer (@hipbonegamer) January 31, 2016
Tim Furnish picked up on this, and tweeted:
@hipbonegamer OK. But Hillary just said she is Christian and a devotee of the Sermon on the Mount. Where's AP story on how much she gives?
— Timothy Furnish, PhD (@Occidentaljihad) January 31, 2016
From my point of view, I think that’s both a fair question and a great DoubleQuotes opportunity, so I followed Tim’s lead to the NYT piece he was refering to, and the result, phrased in headlines, is as follows:
AP, Now deeply Christian, Cruz’s religion once wasn’t so obvious NYT, Hillary Clinton Gets Personal on Christ and Her Faith
For myself, I’m glad that Hillary Clinton “rarely talks about faith on the campaign trail” and that Ted Cruz‘s religion “once wasn’t so obvious”. Tithing as an obligation isn’t anything I worry about — the widow’s mite story gets to the heart of things, I think — and I’m a fan of reticence in matters of faith in any case:
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee
pretty much puts the kybosh on publicity, methinks, as does:
when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret..
Similary, the second of Maimonides‘ Eight levels of charity is this:
to give to the poor without knowing to whom one gives, and without the recipient knowing from who he received. For this is performing a mitzvah solely for the sake of Heaven.
And the Qur’an, Sura 76. 8-9, suggests:
They give food, for the love of Him, to the needy, the orphan, the captive: “’We feed you only for the Face of God; we desire no recompense from you, no thankfulness..”
I’m not dogmatically tied to these views, Tim, but I admire them greatly — IMO, there’s simply so much beauty in such advice!