Religion isn't a just a set of rules or ideas. It's a relationship to God, Francis Cardinal George said Thursday.
He made the point while discussing his new book, God in Action: How faith in God Can Address the Challenges of the World.
In the book, the cardinal touches on some of the controversial issues in American politics, including immigration.
"What’s He saying to us with this vast influx of immigrants... some of whom are here legally and some of whom are not here legally? That’s an important distinction, but in the end, behind it there are people whom God loves as he loves us, and so can we go at it from that perspective," he said Thursday during a sit-down interview with NBC Chicago.
George said he wanted to make the point that religion does have a place in modern day political discussions, including foreign policy debates.
"If we raise the God question, we have a better chance of understanding other cultures, because cultures are religiously based. Ninety-five percent of the world is religious,” he said.
He wrote the book before the capture of Osama Bin Laden, but he does write about his thoughts on how to deal with conflicting emotions during times of war.
"How do you forgive a Stalin? How do you forgive a Hitler? How do you forgive an Osama Bin Laden? ... These are people who have done monstrous things. We don’t know what their relationship is to God. And we are not called to judge," he said. "Without forgiveness, there’s no freedom. If we’re not forgiven, we’re not free. And if we can’t forgive somebody else we’re not free. There’s no possibility of relationship without forgiveness.”