Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy


Marshaling Political Authority: Why Politicians Cite the Bible

Gilmore Hall, 3rd floor
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Frances Flannery and Robert A. Werline with an American flag in the background.

University of Iowa Religious Studies alumni Frances Flannery and Rodney A. Werline presented, "Marshaling Political Authority: Why Politicians Cite the Bible" from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Gilmore Hall 3rd floor. The lecture was part of the Public Policy Center's Run Up to the 2016 Election series.

The general public has become accustomed to politicians citing the Bible to justify their policy positions. It happens on the local, state and federal levels of government alike, despite the separation of church and state that the U.S. Constitution establishes. Oftentimes the passages cited are cherry-picked and out of context. As biblical scholars, Flannery and Werline will take a look at the passages that have been featured in the debates on immigration and climate change to see what the Bible says, if anything, on these issues. They will then explore the reasons why politicians use the Bible in this way, and whether this is a responsible approach to determining public policy. 

Flannery and Werline are editors of The Bible In Political Debate: What Does the Bible Really Say? (Bloomsbury, T&T Clark, 2016).

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