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What it means to practice religion while holding government office

LA Johnson/NPR

Former Lieutenant Gov. of Maryland Michael Steele will speak at Syracuse University this Monday. Steele, known as the first African American chair of the Republican National Committee, will speak on the topic of being a public servant coupled with being a person of faith, and how the two are interwoven.

Steele said that his faith has been a morally guiding principle in his career of service, and while he fully supports the separation of church and state when deciding on laws, he believes that faith serves as a guide for all lawmakers when making decisions.

“That means that the minute woman who engage in governmental activity who are themselves, government officials, check their faith or morals at the door. The minute they walk into the federal bureau of investigation, or the white house, or the state capitol, you don’t leave that part of yourself at the door. So, you bring that into the room, and it should aid you in how you’re making decisions.”

He believes that when making policy decisions, simply seeing a dollar amount is not enough, and that the human and spiritual connection must be considered.

“We are spiritual beings rather we like to admit it or not, we are connected to something. And how you define that is important to how you serve.”

And in a polarized United States, Steele thinks that having conversations about faith and free will is more important now than ever, and that a strong moral code is what gives people strength to behave and function in a society.

“We can’t even do the ten things that God ask us to do. How are we expected to behave in the married of man-made laws that are imposed on us?”

The annual Borgognoni lecture is being held at the National Veterans Resource Center on Monday, April 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and is free and open to the public.