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Author Topic: Does religion belong in politics  (Read 5805 times)

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Offline Stattick

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #50 on: October 30, 2012, 12:06:03 AM »
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.

Both the old and new testament condemns homosexuality, in numerous places:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gay/long.htm

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #51 on: October 30, 2012, 09:27:48 AM »
Both the old and new testament condemns homosexuality, in numerous places:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gay/long.htm

Yeah; it's simply common enough for people to read what they want from the Bible. While I agree that it isn't the Bible -alone- which caused such discrimination and demonization of homosexuality, it certainly is one of the most popular 'arguements' against it. If it's not 'Well, God said homosexuals are wrong!', it's 'Marriage is between one man and one woman!' or the far more veiled conservative religious groups such as 'family values' groups.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2012, 09:47:34 AM »
Both the old and new testament condemns homosexuality, in numerous places:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gay/long.htm
Both the old and new testament condemns homosexuality, in numerous places:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gay/long.htm
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.


leviticus 18:22 = "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

So basically if I'm reading that as the bible propagating homophobia, that's because I'm reading it wrong.


I think on the original subject though Religion and politics are a match made in "well heaven I guess" Both consist of those in power telling lies and fairy tales to subjugate the people and remain in power.

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2012, 10:03:23 AM »
A huge number of the laws in Leviticus are directly involved in maintaining a small, nomadic population with inadequate methods of food preservation.  None of which are issues that we have in 21st century America.  Spilling your seed on the floor instead of in a woman's body is a sin - but you don't see the protestors carrying signs about masturbation.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2012, 10:06:54 AM »
A huge number of the laws in Leviticus are directly involved in maintaining a small, nomadic population with inadequate methods of food preservation.  None of which are issues that we have in 21st century America.  Spilling your seed on the floor instead of in a woman's body is a sin - but you don't see the protestors carrying signs about masturbation.

Precisely! This is why politics shouldn't be mingled with religion, because all religion provides is an excuse to pass rulings. "Well, there's no proof that homosexuals shouldn't be married. But my book right here says it shouldn't happen, and because I believe that's true, I'm going to use that to stop others getting married! Also, my new law is 'all inside, all the time'."

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2012, 10:14:16 AM »
A huge number of the laws in Leviticus are directly involved in maintaining a small, nomadic population with inadequate methods of food preservation.  None of which are issues that we have in 21st century America.  Spilling your seed on the floor instead of in a woman's body is a sin - but you don't see the protestors carrying signs about masturbation.


Ehm Oniya. You might want to read this http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/02/08/thou-shalt-not-spill-thy-seed-anti-masturbation-amendment-added-to-anti-abortion-bill/

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2012, 10:15:04 AM »

Ehm Oniya. You might want to read this http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/02/08/thou-shalt-not-spill-thy-seed-anti-masturbation-amendment-added-to-anti-abortion-bill/

*facepalm*

Quote
She later removed the measure stating that she wanted to emphasize the absurdity of the bill and its sexist undertones that is inherent in Personhood movement.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2012, 11:46:21 AM »
*facepalm*

weird though as I know she defended it at first.

well anyway I guess : Every Sperm is Sacred
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 11:49:00 AM by Katataban »

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2012, 11:49:33 AM »
I'm sure there's a fancy debate term for it, but it's not too different from what Jonathan Swift did in 'A Modest Proposal'.  You take an idea that's absolutely ludicrous and do your best to make it sound perfectly logical.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #59 on: October 30, 2012, 12:32:30 PM »
Reductio ad absurdum.

Offline Grakor

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #60 on: October 30, 2012, 12:40:28 PM »
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.

While this is true to a certain extent, the issue is much more complicated than that. This argument depends on the notion that people are going to get grossed out by homosexuality in general even if Christian dogma didn't reinforce this notion, but the cultures of the past suggest that this isn't a safe assumption. Homosexual acts were commonplace in Ancient Greece, for example, and were considered perfectly natural. During the Roman Empire it was also common, and though there was some grumbling about it being a corruption due to Greek influence, Romans did little to really try to stop such actions.

From a historical perspective, widespread persecution of homosexuality didn't really begin until the rise of Christianity, when Christian dogma regarding sexual sin started spreading due to the religion's own spread. Sure, Christianity may not be the only factor to consider, but it certainly is a large one.

Quote from: Katataban
leviticus 18:22 = "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

So basically if I'm reading that as the bible propagating homophobia, that's because I'm reading it wrong.

I don't have a link handy, but there is actually some contention on the translation of this passage. From what I understand this is caused by differences in the languages involved, as the word "abomination" is supposed to have a more "ritualistic" meaning, as in the act is ritualistically unclean. So, this could be merely referring to the now defunct act of temple prostitution, but who knows?

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #61 on: October 30, 2012, 12:59:53 PM »
People will grow and change if educated and encouraged to do so.

People become stubborn and intractable when pushed and preached at.

Ranting and ridicule are not education and encouragement and never have been.  They usually come from the bigoted and prejudiced.

It doesn't matter which point of view is being presented; a bigot is still a bigot and allowing bigotry and prejudice to become part of a discussion is irrational and dooms the endeavor to failure.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2012, 02:49:36 AM »
I don't have a link handy, but there is actually some contention on the translation of this passage. From what I understand this is caused by differences in the languages involved, as the word "abomination" is supposed to have a more "ritualistic" meaning, as in the act is ritualistically unclean. So, this could be merely referring to the now defunct act of temple prostitution, but who knows?

Yes there is contention about the word Abomination, but there is very little contention about the rest of the translation. Having studied the torah texts in hebrew though the texts seem very clear. Now I understand why the people writing that text would oppose homosexuality. It would take good healthy men out of the cycle of reproduction, and with the amount of infant and child death at the time every single grown male and female were needed to produce offspring. The problem is the world has changed, the bible text has not.

Another example of this is the ritual slaughtering practiced by orthodox Muslims and Jews. When those rules were written, they were the most hygienic and animal friendly method of slaughter. And that is what the writers intended in my opinion. However, the science of killing animals has evolved, and if the same people writing those texts would have lived today, they'd no doubt choose a different method to write down as sacred.


Now if people want to take guidance from a centuries or even millenia old fairy tale book with good moral guidelines they should. Mind you I like a lot of the moral guidelines layed out in the bible, the talmud and the Quran, but then I also like some of the moral guidelines in the original grimm stories or the book of sheherazade and the 1001 nights.

The real danger is when people forget the context in which these stories were written, the period in time, the state of the societies. Society evolved, those books did not evolve with it. Therefor there will be some parts that are outdated.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2012, 04:36:45 AM »

I don't like this a bit and I strongly feel that most religions and religious leaders suck hairy monkey balls, but I do feel that they have a place in politics.  Their religious experience, as f-ed up as it may be, is part of who and what they are.

Regarding this letter in the OP, that sort of manipulation is one of the reasons why I hate religions so much.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2012, 12:29:09 PM »
I am a devout Christian, and I have said so before... and while the Bible does, in fact condemn Homosexuality in various places, I recall a very clear statement in the Bible that also says," All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Which means, in general, so long as you aren't hurting anyone, and not actively doing anything that you know is wrong, and what you are doing is in love, then there is nothing wrong with it. While I am not a homosexual myself, I tend to believe that so long as you don't hurt anyone, you're okay, in my book.

As for how you interpret the Bible you can do whatever the fuck you want, so long as you make sure to keep that one commandment... Dislike whatever you want, but treat them with respect, and dignity, and respect their point of views... we are not all made in the same mold, and what might be right for one, may be wrong for the other. Civilization is all about us putting aside those differences, and agreeing to live in peace...
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 12:30:33 PM by Deamonbane »

Offline Stattick

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2012, 02:58:41 PM »
Yeah, there are a lot of Christian churches that have a sane policy about homosexuals. Unfortunately, there are plenty of churches that don't have a sane policy about it, and that includes most forms of fundamentalist churches as well (I say most although I've never heard of a fundamentalist church that's okay with homosexuality... but maybe they do exist, and I don't want to toss them in with the bad churches if they do). I was just pointing out that both the old and new testament does speak out against homosexuality.

On the other hand, the Bible also says that bacon is an abomination. Bacon.

Damnit, now I've gone and compared gay sex with bacon. And it makes me wonder what I'm missing, because if gay sex is as good as bacon... >.>

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2012, 03:40:26 PM »
There is some dispute over the rest of the text besides the word abomination.  For one Leviticus is a series of laws made by the priests of ancient Jewish tradition, not part of the commandments handed down by God.  So there does need to be some separation between the word of God and the efforts of the priests to pass laws on their people.  A second contention is in how the line is phrased because the wording is “if a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman.”  One interpretation is that the wording makes reference to the station of women as property.  So by laying with a man as woman is to mean that one is treating the other like property, reducing them to the station of a woman.  This makes me think of rape essentially.

The Jewish tradition wouldn't be the only one to hold such a view since some sects of Buddhism and Hindu also believe women are more unclean and/or further removed from enlightenment than men.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #67 on: November 01, 2012, 03:52:50 PM »
There is some dispute over the rest of the text besides the word abomination.  For one Leviticus is a series of laws made by the priests of ancient Jewish tradition, not part of the commandments handed down by God.  So there does need to be some separation between the word of God and the efforts of the priests to pass laws on their people.  A second contention is in how the line is phrased because the wording is “if a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman.”  One interpretation is that the wording makes reference to the station of women as property.  So by laying with a man as woman is to mean that one is treating the other like property, reducing them to the station of a woman.  This makes me think of rape essentially.

The Jewish tradition wouldn't be the only one to hold such a view since some sects of Buddhism and Hindu also believe women are more unclean and/or further removed from enlightenment than men.

So, it's not just homophobic. It's also sexist. So, that's good to know.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2012, 03:56:41 PM »
Hebrew law that is over 2000 years old is certainly sexist.  Most cultures either were or are sexist, including the culture of the United States and many first world countries.  Do remember that women only had the right to vote recognized a few decades ago, not centuries.  Also, Jesus was the one to break such tradition by allowing women to become his followers.  For a time Peter did not recognize a difference between man and woman when joining the fledging followers of Christ.  That would be among one of the most radical times for woman in that time period and for some time after.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2012, 05:01:49 PM »
The fact remains that most, if not all civilized notions such as abolishment of slavery, women's rights, fair trials, etc... were started by Christianity... note, please, that not all professing Christians have taken such notions to heart, as can be clearly seen throughout history... I am just saying that they started with Christianity, and Judaism before that...

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2012, 05:08:31 PM »
Hebrew law that is over 2000 years old is certainly sexist.  Most cultures either were or are sexist, including the culture of the United States and many first world countries.  Do remember that women only had the right to vote recognized a few decades ago, not centuries.  Also, Jesus was the one to break such tradition by allowing women to become his followers.  For a time Peter did not recognize a difference between man and woman when joining the fledging followers of Christ.  That would be among one of the most radical times for woman in that time period and for some time after.

Which is pretty cool. You know, if Jesus existed. Which we're not sure.

Point being, yeah, if the only thing that can be said for the Bible denying homosexuals their rights to marriage (in the case of religion becoming part of politics) is that 'No, it's not insulting to homosexuals. It's insulting to women, too!', then yeah, not exactly a point towards religion being part of politics.

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2012, 05:29:16 PM »
Which is pretty cool. You know, if Jesus existed. Which we're not sure.

Even if Jesus didn't exist, the fact that stories were passed down about some guy by the name of Jesus, or some guy by the name of Paul treating women as equal to men means that someone thought of gender-equality.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2012, 05:42:52 PM »
Even if Jesus didn't exist, the fact that stories were passed down about some guy by the name of Jesus, or some guy by the name of Paul treating women as equal to men means that someone thought of gender-equality.

True enough.

Offline Stattick

Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2012, 07:35:49 PM »
The fact remains that most, if not all civilized notions such as abolishment of slavery, women's rights, fair trials, etc... were started by Christianity... note, please, that not all professing Christians have taken such notions to heart, as can be clearly seen throughout history... I am just saying that they started with Christianity, and Judaism before that...

That would be a hilarious joke but for the fact that you obviously believe it. There have been plenty of cultures that were egalitarian that we've studied, that had nothing to do whatsoever with Christianity. This concept that it takes Christianity to bring equality to people is hogwash.

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Re: Does religion belong in politics
« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2012, 08:23:31 PM »
Which is pretty cool. You know, if Jesus existed. Which we're not sure.

I think there are records of his existence from the roman empire, the Vatican has them in the archives it's been authenticated, it makes no detailed mention in the bureaucratic papers, no more than an execution report of a provincial rebel.
Basicly it's something like "Jesus of Nazareth, carpenter, Son of Joesph of Nazareth, Carpenter, executed for treason and sedition against the empire. Executed on orders of Pontus Pilate, governor of Judea. At request of Judean Priests."
Some monk saved it during a 6th century fire.


also addressing the question, religion belongs as a moral adviser, but should not have a seat at the political table.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 08:45:36 PM by Ironwolf85 »