In­vo­ca­tions by be­liev­ers evoke moral law

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE -

I try to be a reli­gious per­son, and I try to live ac­cord­ing to my reli­gious be­liefs. I be­lieve in the moral law that stresses the sanc­tity of hu­man life, and that a supreme be­ing or cre­ator — God — is the au­thor of that law.

All so­ci­eties ac­knowl­edge the moral law but not all fol­low it. Some so­ci­eties clas­si­fied peo­ple into sub­hu­man cat­e­gories, as the Nazis and slave own­ers did, in or­der to sus­pend the pro­tec­tions of the moral law over “sub­hu­mans.”

I also sup­port sep­a­ra­tion be­tween church and state, so that there is no of­fi­cial state-sup­ported reli­gion, and peo­ple can wor­ship as they wish, or not at all.

I am pleased that the Pennsylvan­ia House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives opens its ses­sions with an in­vo­ca­tion by a per­son who sees God as the au­thor of the moral law, and en­treats our leg­is­la­tors to re­mem­ber that law and all of its ram­i­fi­ca­tions in their work.

The prob­lem I see is not the in­vo­ca­tion, but rather that our law­mak­ers do not al­ways sub­scribe to or fol­low its mes­sages. More­over, athe­ists or other well-mean­ing peo­ple not bound by the au­thor of the moral law, who might of­fer an in­vo­ca­tion in the name of the moral law, lack cred­i­bil­ity and may stray out­side its bound­aries.

When Thomas Jef­fer­son re­ferred to cer­tain un­alien­able rights with which we are en­dowed by our Cre­ator — life, lib­erty and the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness — as be­ing self-ev­i­dent, he un­know­ingly set out the essence of most in­vo­ca­tions. Let’s keep it that way.

James Lar­gay Up­per Sau­con Town­ship

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