Do you agree that American diplomacy should focus more on the religious dimension in international relations? And do you think that the U.S. government could do a better job of engaging with religions abroad? Or should a similar effort be made at home?
The idea that there could be any advantage to diplomatic relations by including religious discussions is totally absurd. All the various religions are so adamant that their particular Gods, dogmas, opinions and requirements are so important and so specific that any such discussions would only bring out their disagreements rather than allow and promote diplomatic compromises and agreements. It would be a diversion from the basic points of discussion and become a pure waste of time.
The founders of our country formed a secular government to avoid getting involved in religions. Every time our government gets involved with religious ideas it only makes things more difficult and promotes pretense as opposed to honesty. Obama has many good qualities, but his support of fanatic religious figures like Rick Warren, while ignoring common sense, is not one of them. Washington, Adams, and many other important founders all indicated that the government should be free from religion. They were right, and Obama is wrong.
Member, Humanist Assn. of Orange County
We are a nation of religious illiterates. Including study of world religions in public elementary and secondary schools should be a priority. Concerns about proselytizing and indoctrination are justified, but they should not prevent the study of religious traditions as an academic subject.