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Author Topic: Does religion belong in politics  (Read 5795 times)

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Offline WildCat

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2012, 05:09:00 PM »
Admitedly, I'm of two minds about that particular issue... but

It isn't a case of "we're going to take these rights away from people who are tax exampt". The whole point is that the tax exempt status is granted to non-partisan groups. If you need to hire a plumber and insist the plumber you're hiring is actually a plumber it isn't that you're discriminating against non-plumbers it's simply that you need someone to do plumbing.

Offline WildCat

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2012, 05:20:55 PM »
Actually, to clarify... Being a religious leader doesn't mean you don't have political opinions, and probably shouldn't mean you can't express them. I do think it rather disreputable of a religious leader to claim their own political opinion is in any way superior by virtue of their position as religious leader, or that what they feel politically is necessarily how a higher power feels. That's religious ethics.

From a legislative viewpoint... I think it needs to come down to the question of why we allow tax-exempt status and whether given behavior violates or runs counter to those reasons.

Offline eloneTopic starter

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2012, 10:57:01 PM »
Because clergy in the pulpit could make a statement to the effect that "God spoke to me and he wants you to elect Romney" It is the influence that is possible over a congregation that makes me uneasy. Freedom of speech is a given but not in all situations. Federal employees were not allowed to campaign in the workplace as well, not sure if that is still the case.

In some manner it may come down to separation of church and state. If the government cannot make laws with respect to endorsing a religion, should religion be able to get involved politically. Right or wrong, with the free speech, it does not seem like a good idea for churches to be preaching politics.

Perhaps it is time to revisit the tax exemption for many organizations, put a few bucks in the treasury.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 11:05:33 PM by elone »

Offline Serephino

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2012, 11:11:34 PM »
It's because of that person who said their neighbor had to ask her pastor who to vote for.  There are Christians out there who are that stupid.  There are probably Jews and Muslims who are also that stupid.  Wherever there are people following a religious set of rules, there will be those that will do what their leaders tell them to.  It's scary.  Could you imagine if the Catholic church were allowed to pay for political ads?  They'll use the money donated to them by their followers, and they don't pay taxes.  They aren't responsible to anyone but the Pope, who I'm sure would love to have a few politicians in his pocket.  He could work through them to bring about God's will and make sin illegal. 

Forgive my cynicism, but I don't have much faith in the Catholic church.  The Pope has already gone to Africa, a place where AIDS is a problem, and preached against condom use because birth control is against God's will.  To let them keep tax exempt status and give them the power Citizens United gave corporations would be a dangerous mistake.

Offline WildCat

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2012, 11:15:18 PM »
Really, to give anyone the power Citizens United gave corporations is a dangerous mistake, but that's another topic.


Offline Silk

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2012, 05:03:54 AM »
Maybe I'm just being insane here, but I look at the Johnson Amendment and I do see free speech being stepped upon.  Free speech means free speech, people, regardless of affiliation, should be allowed to say/endorse whatever they feel like.  Voltaire had something to say about that.

Like I said, maybe I'm just being insane, but revocation of civil rights always starts out small.  Nobody has the stupidity to go and say something idiotic like African-Americans don't get to have free speech.  But, to quote the ever-wise little green man: "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."

Right now it's tax-exempt groups.  Who's next?  The precedent is there.

Pastor's doing it in their own time out of their occupations I have no issue with, however when your on the clock it's not called for, Counsellors don't tell their client's their opinions and don't let their veiws skew their work either, it's part of the job description and it normally comes with positions of power and athority over potentially vulnerable people.

Offline Stattick

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2012, 09:08:51 AM »
I strongly believe in separation of church and state. I don't believe that religion has any place in politics, and that religion should be kept out of politics. The money shouldn't say "In God We Trust". The Pledge of Allegiance shouldn't say "Under God". Congress shouldn't be praying. The National Day of Prayer should be banned. Churches that endorse candidates should loose their tax exempt status, and be prosecuted.

Offline Luna

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2012, 10:07:48 AM »
I strongly believe in separation of church and state. I don't believe that religion has any place in politics, and that religion should be kept out of politics. The money shouldn't say "In God We Trust". The Pledge of Allegiance shouldn't say "Under God". Congress shouldn't be praying. The National Day of Prayer should be banned. Churches that endorse candidates should loose their tax exempt status, and be prosecuted.

+1000 to this

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2012, 10:48:09 AM »
Actually, a lot of laws (moral and otherwise) are based on 'I don't want people to do that to me.' 

It's wrong to steal because I don't want people to steal from me.
It's wrong to lie because I don't want people to lie to me.
It's wrong to have sex with other people's spouses because I don't want anyone else having sex with my spouse.
It's wrong to kill because I don't want anyone to kill me.

They are codified mostly through religion, but they are not dependent on it.

Maybe not those, although I believe adultery isn't illegal in most places, but the religious types want it to be.

The laws i was referring to are laws like:

Homosexuals aren't allowed to be married
Women are not allowed to walk around topless in public.
A mariage between more than two people is illegal.

And then there's the whole bunch of places where they have laws banning blasphemy, or where it's illegal to teach evolution in high school.

I'm not critiquing Beguiled's opinion, merely asking where she stood on laws designed to stop criminal activity, when those laws infringe on those rights she holds dear.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2012, 11:05:24 AM »
I'd still say that even those laws are based on 'I wouldn't want someone to do that to/in front of me.'  (I was going back to the earliest legal systems I could recall in an effort to see where laws 'come from'.)

Mind you, I think you're right that the ones you mentioned should be on their way out as cultural norms shift, but I can see them arising completely independently of religion, except for the cases where religion is the primary subject of the law (e.g., Commandments one through three, creationism v. evolution, and blasphemy laws) - which I don't think should be part of the secular law at all.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2012, 11:15:54 AM »
I'd still say that even those laws are based on 'I wouldn't want someone to do that to/in front of me.'  (I was going back to the earliest legal systems I could recall in an effort to see where laws 'come from'.)

Mind you, I think you're right that the ones you mentioned should be on their way out as cultural norms shift, but I can see them arising completely independently of religion, except for the cases where religion is the primary subject of the law (e.g., Commandments one through three, creationism v. evolution, and blasphemy laws) - which I don't think should be part of the secular law at all.

the earliest legal system I could find were the laws of sumeria, Akkadia and Babylon. (The fertile crescent) Those laws were laid down by religious leaders.

But that wasn't what I was asking. Beguile said the following"
Quote
I also don't believe government should involve itself in the private lives of the citizens it represents other than providing law enforcement and protection from criminal activity. 

My question to her was, not as a critique, but as a way to better understand her position and arguments, what about criminal activities that harm no one, but are laid down because of (religious) norms, would they go in the 'not involve in personal life" or in the "protection from criminal activity"



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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2012, 12:17:58 PM »
I'm not critiquing Beguiled's opinion, merely asking where she stood on laws designed to stop criminal activity, when those laws infringe on those rights she holds dear.
the earliest legal system I could find were the laws of sumeria, Akkadia and Babylon. (The fertile crescent) Those laws were laid down by religious leaders.

But that wasn't what I was asking. Beguile said the following"
My question to her was, not as a critique, but as a way to better understand her position and arguments, what about criminal activities that harm no one, but are laid down because of (religious) norms, would they go in the 'not involve in personal life" or in the "protection from criminal activity"

First let me say in answer to both of those questions that criminal activity infringes on all of our rights and is harmful in some way to everyone.  I would need more specific examples to answer these remarks intelligently.

Based on the fact that I don't believe government should be allowed to legislate my personal life I don't want laws that would do that.  I don't want laws that would govern the personal lives of anyone.  However, people are not always the reasonable, considerate and respectful individuals needed for us all to live in peace.  Countries attack countries and need defense against invasion.  People steal, murder, exploit their fellow human beings sexually and sell drugs to minors among other things.  There are also people who believe that because they want something it should be theirs or because they want to do something it should be allowed.  Laws are needed to keep the peace and safety of the community.  Laws are needed because people are not the altruistic individuals they need to be for us to live without laws.

Because of the kind of person I am I care about people and their happiness and have a difficult time when one person pursues their happiness at the expense of another.  I get angry when the wants of some endanger the needs of others.  I hurt when my life, my choices, my faith and beliefs and my desires are laughed at, ridiculed and demeaned in some of the most disrespectful ways possible so I know how others feel when remarks like that are directed at them.

There are a lot of things I hold dear but I'm not the only one who does.  We are all equally deserving as long as we don't take away from someone else to get what we need and are willing to work for what we want.  I'm no better than anyone else but I am just as good.

On the subject of government I've always believed in the words of Thomas Jefferson:  “The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”

Offline Silk

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2012, 12:24:12 PM »
There's two kind of laws that religion really has any say in modern and past.

Criminal laws, which hardly need religious foundations to understand the purpose.

and culteral laws, which are only relevant to the society in question, and rarely/never affect's societies in such a way that it cannot function without them. In a lot of cases these laws are actually detrimental to the society their enforced in.

So no, Religion may of inserted itself into politics and law's but it is hardly required for it's function.

Offline WildCat

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2012, 12:37:49 PM »
Pastor's doing it in their own time out of their occupations I have no issue with, however when your on the clock it's not called for, Counsellors don't tell their client's their opinions and don't let their veiws skew their work either, it's part of the job description and it normally comes with positions of power and athority over potentially vulnerable people.
And I would argue that it matters who is dicatating what is "not called for". I would be very much open to the argument that a pastor should, out of personal ethics, refrain from expressing political views in their capacity as a pastor. I would also be open to the possibility of a church hierarchy insisting that pastors of their faith refrain from doing so. And I am open to the government declaring that _if_ a pastor choses to do so then they are willfully chosing to sacrifice their tax-exempt status. But what I'm not comfortable with is a ban on pastors expressing their views coming from the secular government.

I'm also, incidentally, very much open to the freedom of congregants to decide that if their pastor insists on bringing politics to the pulpit then they'll move their attendance, and tithing, to a different church.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2012, 01:30:48 PM »
First let me say in answer to both of those questions that criminal activity infringes on all of our rights and is harmful in some way to everyone.  I would need more specific examples to answer these remarks intelligently.

Based on the fact that I don't believe government should be allowed to legislate my personal life I don't want laws that would do that.  I don't want laws that would govern the personal lives of anyone.  However, people are not always the reasonable, considerate and respectful individuals needed for us all to live in peace.  Countries attack countries and need defense against invasion.  People steal, murder, exploit their fellow human beings sexually and sell drugs to minors among other things.  There are also people who believe that because they want something it should be theirs or because they want to do something it should be allowed.  Laws are needed to keep the peace and safety of the community.  Laws are needed because people are not the altruistic individuals they need to be for us to live without laws.

Because of the kind of person I am I care about people and their happiness and have a difficult time when one person pursues their happiness at the expense of another.  I get angry when the wants of some endanger the needs of others.  I hurt when my life, my choices, my faith and beliefs and my desires are laughed at, ridiculed and demeaned in some of the most disrespectful ways possible so I know how others feel when remarks like that are directed at them.

There are a lot of things I hold dear but I'm not the only one who does.  We are all equally deserving as long as we don't take away from someone else to get what we need and are willing to work for what we want.  I'm no better than anyone else but I am just as good.

On the subject of government I've always believed in the words of Thomas Jefferson:  “The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”

Thank you. Your answer of my question has made your standpoint much clearer for me, and I think I can agree with it. But it's just like in the examples I mentioned above law can be used to infringe on people doing no harm to others while sometimes not interfering where people or animals are getting hurt. After all there are 44 states in the US where a man is a criminal for having sex with another consenting male, but only 27 states where it is illegal for a man to have sex with a horse.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2012, 06:15:54 PM »
After all there are 44 states in the US where a man is a criminal for having sex with another consenting male, but only 27 states where it is illegal for a man to have sex with a horse.

To be fair how often does horse fucking that come up in court? much of the american system is based on precident and past judgements, and if that never came up how likely are lawmakers to craft a law and punishment for that.
I'm pretty sure 70% of cases of moments like "that kid... he... he... he fucked mah prize horse Nelly" wind up in mental treatment centers, not the courts.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2012, 06:52:37 PM »
Ugh...*is disturbed*...

Anyway, Religion, in itself(also, in my opinion, and I am very probably wrong) has absolutely no place in politics... prayer, while it should not be illegal, should not be a requirement, and for people that are so obviously not Christians, from their actions more than anything else, offend the common Christian(such as myself) by pretending, by saying things like 'God Bless America'... useless mouthings, that, if they don't believe in it, they shouldn't say it. If they say they are open-minded, it means that they are anything but, because it is an excuse to believe what they do... would they believe in God should an obvious miracle happen in their face? No, they would try to explain it, and probably come up with a pretty reasonable explanation... hence, they shouldn't even pretend something that they don't... Like faking an orgasm: you are just offending the other person's intelligence...

I personally have no immense pleasure in having my intelligence offended, so I would rather these guys just keep things straight, and get elected for honesty...

Of course, this is all a moot point: No politician in the world is going to say what he/she means, or even mean what he/she says.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2012, 10:26:45 PM »
Actually many politicans are comptant and honest, but they don't wind up in the spotlight. Politicans lead very public lives, as well they should, so when they screw up or are corrupt their face is up on every slam ad, and newscast. People love a scandal, so that's what gets covered.

Not many stations are going to cover Senator Mulberry's visit to talk with the workers of a local powerplant to see what can be done to improve effecency, or cover him working till 3:00 am to network with others and re-draft a bill that will improve the lives of people in his state.

But the reporters will be there when the guy he has to work with goes on a drunken bender and runs over a hooker.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2012, 11:50:02 PM »
No. Religion has no place within politics. This is the sort of thing which leads to such great lines of thinking and logic such as 'homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry, 'cause.'

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2012, 01:13:18 PM »
I remember an ethics teacher of mine who was amazing.  He refused to give his stand point on any discussion, merely arguing from the point of view of the philosopher that session.  An amazing debater with a great understanding of the concepts, no matter how different those concepts were from the previous.   One day he got into an argument with a woman who was a Christian and the Bible came up.  I remember she referenced the book and his response was, “Do you think your personal view points should be law?” 

That seems to be the best litmus test I can imagine for politics and religion. 

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2012, 02:19:35 PM »
It should have a say, but never a place at the table I believe.

Also yes, if a church gets political and crosses the line between privately supporting, and publically endorsing someone. tax exemption should be revoked, as they are a religious political group now, not a normal church or temple.

also
“Do you think your personal view points should be law?” 
awesome

Offline Grakor

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2012, 06:37:41 PM »
It shouldn't, but at least here in the US, we all know that "separation of church and state" is a bit of a farce anyway. People are unable, or unwilling, to look at political issues objectively and instead continually bring their religious beliefs into things. No one can really convince me that if we didn't have to worry about Christian dogma, we wouldn't have gay marriage legalized over here by now, as the most obvious and pressing example.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2012, 07:01:27 PM »
It shouldn't, but at least here in the US, we all know that "separation of church and state" is a bit of a farce anyway. People are unable, or unwilling, to look at political issues objectively and instead continually bring their religious beliefs into things. No one can really convince me that if we didn't have to worry about Christian dogma, we wouldn't have gay marriage legalized over here by now, as the most obvious and pressing example.

Well, there is no secular arguement for why gay marriage shouldn't be legal. Only theological arguements, or the nicely renamed 'family values' groups. It's a shame, really.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2012, 07:25:14 PM »
Since I do, I think believe that everybody else feels the same way... And therefore, no I don't lol

Uh... yeah... let's not get into politically correct name calling... or else liberals will find that they have done it a bit too much...

Offline WildCat

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2012, 09:13:06 PM »
It shouldn't, but at least here in the US, we all know that "separation of church and state" is a bit of a farce anyway. People are unable, or unwilling, to look at political issues objectively and instead continually bring their religious beliefs into things. No one can really convince me that if we didn't have to worry about Christian dogma, we wouldn't have gay marriage legalized over here by now, as the most obvious and pressing example.
I understand that most people believe that the bible is blatantly anti gay-marriage. This is not nearly such a safe assumption as it seems. Ultimately, churches reflect what exists in society. The bible doesn't create homophobia. The bible is used (falsely in my opinion) to justify homophobia.

If people with the gut instinct to be grossed out by homosexuality didn't have the bible to point to, they'd point to something else. There's no such thing as complete objectivity. How we approach issues will always be colored by subjective factors. And you can call them 'values' or 'religeon' or 'instinct'. You can cite all the authority or logical constructs or justifications in the world. But the subjective factors will always be there.