This is a more general reflection on how I see my role as a priest and pastor. For more detail, you can find my sermon on the subject, from a month or so ago, at http://www.stmatthewsvt.org/sermons.
It seems to me that it is my duty to preach the Gospel as I understand it within the community of the church. That relates to how we live out Gospel values and precepts in our individual lives AND as members of the community of the baptized.
What we believe as Christians certainly affects how we view the laws and actions of the state. But our role as citizens is different from our role as church (synagogue, mosque) members, in this way: In those latter roles we are called to act for the good of the community of faith. In our role as citizens we are called to act for the good of the polis, the community of all citizens. So I can urge my congregation to behave in a certain way as church members and Christians (which might mean I'd urge them not to have abortions, and also, positively, to do all in their power to prevent them through positive means such as aid and support to pregnant women). But I must not demand that they vote for Politician X or Law Y as a way of enforcing Christian principles through state coercion, unless they discern that such a law would be for the good of the state/polis/body of citizens. I personally, as a citizen, do not believe that a law forbidding abortions would make for the peace and good of the body politic, and therefore I, as a citizen, am opposed to such laws.
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