Can religion and politics be kept separate?

Came across a few interesting quotes as I prepared to preach on 1 Kings 21 a week after the General Election:

“Americans, if they believe in idolatry at all, believe it is a victimless sin…According to contemporary interpretations of the First Amendment, it makes no social and political difference what people believe. They can worship a thousand gods or none; they can worship Yahweh or Allah or Jesus; and it has absolutely no public consequences…This is what O’Donovan had in mind when he suggests, shockingly to many American Christians, that the First Amendment ‘can usefully be taken as the symbolic end of Christendom,’ since, whatever the intentions of the framers, it ‘ended up promoting a concept of the state’s role from which Christology was excluded, that of a state freed from all responsibility to recognize God’s self-disclosure in history'”.

“…Besides, all efforts to establish social harmony on the foundation of theologically neutral concepts of nature and human nature are doomed to failure. To found a constitution on the premise that human beings are something other than the image of God is not to found a constitution on neutrality. It is, so Christians must testify, to found a constitution on falsehood.”

“Scripture does not treat idolatry as morally or politically indifferent. What and how we worship shapes the kind of persons we become.”

“Ahab’s career follows this trajectory. Ahab is introduced as the most overtly idolatrous king that Israel suffered, but Ahab’s resistance to God does not stay in a safe “religious” arena.”

– Peter J. Leithart, 1 & 2 Kings (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006)

“There is a close link between the command to have no other gods, and the commands to respect human life and property; love for God and love for neighbour are inseparable. It is because this world and all that it contains belong to God that morality has any basis.”

– John A. Davies, A Study Commentary on 1 Kings (Darlington, England: EP Books, 2014)