Religion in politics

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I'm curious as to what everyone's opinion on religion in politics is. I personally don't believe it should have any place in politics at all, yet some of the presidential hopefuls for the election of '08 see it as core to their campaign. Take MittRomney's speech yesterday at the presidential library for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-UXTNfLGAI

215: "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom... Freedom and religion endure together or perish alone."

Opinions?

[btw, this thread was approved by majin_you]
 
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Religion belongs only in a church and no where else in my opinion. Though I don't believe in any religion so I just think its all a bunch of nonsense to begin with.
 
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Without religions (stable ones anyway) humans would have no core belief systems. Most people make their votes based on their own values anyway, so you can't take religion out of politics. I don't think a politician should be ashamed to say they are (insert religion here) and proud of it!

Besides, without religious conservativism, the government might take courses of action that are utterly repugnant (ie: human cloning, embrionic stem cell research, genetic tampering, *** marriage, abortion).

Some people (aetheists) have no value for our old belief systems, and instead of asking "SHOULD we do this?", they only ask "CAN we do this?". And certain taboos prompted by religious beliefs have true merit.
 

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J-Dude, in your opinion, do you think a politician should be ashamed to say if their an atheist?

I'm genuinely curious.
 
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J-Dude, without flaming anyone or anything, do you think a politician should be ashamed to say if their an atheist?
If someone truly believes something (even if that something is nothing) then likely they're not ashamed whatsoever. I understand how some people lose faith, but at the same time for those same reasons I don't think putting those people in power is smart. I don't think they should be ashamed, but I think they'd be a bit stupid to blurt that out. Being so dangerously outnumbered by the religious voters, aetheists are smarter to keep such things quiet, because I don't see the United States voting in very many aetheists.
 
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at least not until they start to overtake the population.

in general i would prefer religion in politics rather than having those self-indulged **** heads thinking for themselves. i hate religion, no secret. but it does imply quite a few qualities that im glad some politicians follow (even if it is just to get those few extra votes). only thing i dont like is they sometimes take it to the extreme. such as the *** marriage "agenda".

it appeals to 2 parties, the religious and the close-minded which are dominating the country at the moment. you dont think politicians think for themselves, do you?
 
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Besides, without religious conservativism, the government might take courses of action that are utterly repugnant (ie: human cloning, embrionic stem cell research, genetic tampering, *** marriage, abortion).
I'd like to point this paragraph out as to my reasoning for keeping religion out of government. When people in power actively prevent human beings from learning more about themselves and, in the case of homosexual relationships, keep them from expressing their own personal feelings and desires.. You aren't living within a free society. You're living in a cage.

Don't get me wrong, I respect religions in theory. Generally most religions tend towards the 'Treat others well, don't be a bastard' philosophy. But in reality they tend to be twisted and tainted into whatever crusade one man or woman feels like they should be fighting at the time.

Would we be experiencing these same Terrorist attacks if religion didn't exist? I'm not suggesting people wouldn't war in a world without religion - but without a guarantee of paradise on the other end how many men and women would be willing to kill themselves?

I just wish people could live their lives in the Now rather than preparing for something possible Then that follows the big sleep. Isn't Now important enough for you?

And finally, I'd just like to paraphrase good ol' Chris Rock being a mouth-piece for Kevin Smith: "You can change an idea; changing a belief is harder."

Let's stick with ideas and philosophies. At least those change with time.
 

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I agree with you, how Atheists would most likely not make it very far simply for not believing the same thing as the majority of the country believes in.

I'm an Atheist and think that one of the key reasons why Religion is such a big thing is because of how parents preach to their religion and beliefs to their children and of course, the children share the same beliefs as they get older simply because their parents had them.(The beliefs)

Our childhood determines who we are or what we will become as we get older.
If a couple has five kids and they're Christians, there are five new Christians in the world.
One or two may become agnostic but other than that Religion and the 'word' of 'God' is multiplied.

Your beliefs should be private, because they are 'your' beliefs regardless if others think alike.

But there goes the entire marriage system and such.. We're effected by Religion so much that people curse things like "God Damn it!" or "For God sakes" even if they believe that figure exists.. Anyways, somewhat off topic.

No, I do not believe Freedom does -require- religion, or vice versa.
If that were true, Atheists would be in jail(Or dead, definitely not leaving that option out.) and vice versa depending on which religion reigned over said Country.
 
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@Engar: As to homosexual relationships, the ***s can do whatever they want, I really don't care as long as they're doing it far away from me. That's our own silent agreement. I just refuse to recognize their bond as a bond of marriage. They can call themselves life partners, live in the same roof and sodomize each other from dawn till dusk for all I care otherwise. Believe me, I don't hate them. One of my two best friends is a black homosexual.

As to "learning about themselves", I'm fine with them figuring out how the human body works, but we're not meant to **** with something as ancient, complex and well-oiled as DNA. Study it, whatever, fix genetic diseases bu supplementing broken code with code that will work, but for Christ sake DNA is like the Bible: we're forbidden from adding to it, or taking away from it.

And frankly I'm a bit tired of hearing the old terrorist card being played. You don't see too many Christian or Jewish terrorists do you? I try and respect the Islamic religion, but at the same time they don't suport their cases very well against their reputation when they riot openly in the streets when someone insults Mahummad the Prophet...

The Middle East is an example of why no nation should be governed 100% by religion OR 100% by non-believers. I certainly wouldn't want America to become like the old Puritan settlements. The "Crucible" kinda' disturbed me you see...

So I can agree with you that allowing any one religion to rule any society completely is a bad idea, but all at once we need that meshing of common ideas between different belief systems in order to establish multi-faceted government systems like that which exists in the U.S. Such systems have everyone with their beliefs vying for their own beliefs to be acknowledged by the nation as a whole. In turn, there is stability and fairness.

As to "living in the present", you have to think that if everyone believed nothing awaited them at the end, that we all just fell unconscious and simply never woke up, that people would be a lot less hesitant to commit crimes. I'll tell you right now that I certainly don't think that following the rules of the Bible hinder my ability to live and enjoy life in the present. I don't spend half of today thinking of 30 years from now. I'm not sure I see where you're coming from here...
 
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One of my two best friends is a black homosexual.
Personally, I distrust people who.. question the lifestyle of others - "they can call themselves life partners", "I just refuse to recognize their bond as a bond of marriage" - and then claim their friendship. To my mind friendship involves respecting someone, not simply tolerating them. Surely you would accept the life-style of your friend.

Marriage is, after all, an expression of two people's love for one and other. I don't see why that should be exclusive to heterosexual couples..

As to "learning about themselves", I'm fine with them figuring out how the human body works, but we're not meant to **** with something as ancient, complex and well-oiled as DNA. Study it, whatever, fix genetic diseases bu supplementing broken code with code that will work, but for Christ sake DNA is like the Bible: we're forbidden from adding to it, or taking away from it.
To take the Atheist stand-point, forbidden by who? The human genome is not sacrosanct. We don't owe it anything. I admit that willy-nilly playing around with our make-up is foolish but I wouldn't close it off. Maybe we can be better? Maybe we don't have to die or grow sick? Our DNA is nothing more than a fairly successful accident - only fairly, as we still grow ill, suffer from cancers, etc - and nothing to be terribly excited about.

And frankly I'm a bit tired of hearing the old terrorist card being played. You don't see too many Christian or Jewish terrorists do you? I try and respect the Islamic religion, but at the same time they don't suport their cases very well against their reputation when they riot openly in the streets when someone insults Mahummad the Prophet...
The Crusades, to take the traditional response. Northern Ireland is a more modern example but, in this case, that's stereotyped as religion while really its a dispute over whom the people consider themselves to be; Irish or British. Still, Christian men committed terrorist acts.

As to "living in the present", you have to think that if everyone believed nothing awaited them at the end, that we all just fell unconscious and simply never woke up, that people would be a lot less hesitant to commit crimes. I'll tell you right now that I certainly don't think that following the rules of the Bible hinder my ability to live and enjoy life in the present. I don't spend half of today thinking of 30 years from now. I'm not sure I see where you're coming from here...
Here I was referring to the After-Life rather than anything else. People acting in such a manner that might guarantee them a place on some other plane rather than really dealing with the stuff that's happening on this one..

I feel I should point out that I'm not directly attacking you, J-Dude. Only meeting your points as they arise. It seems silly to point it out but on the net these sort of conversations demand it..
 
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Without religions (stable ones anyway) humans would have no core belief systems. Most people make their votes based on their own values anyway, so you can't take religion out of politics. I don't think a politician should be ashamed to say they are (insert religion here) and proud of it!

Besides, without religious conservativism, the government might take courses of action that are utterly repugnant (ie: human cloning, embrionic stem cell research, genetic tampering, *** marriage, abortion).

Some people (aetheists) have no value for our old belief systems, and instead of asking "SHOULD we do this?", they only ask "CAN we do this?". And certain taboos prompted by religious beliefs have true merit.
Please don't say those without religion have no values. I sit on the fence between agnostic and atheistic along with most of my friends, yet we seem to have no problem discerning what is wrong and right. It doesn't take a higher power to tell me that to harm another human being is a malevolent action and as such be avoided.

Morals and ethics come from indoctrination in our youth. People fail to realize how important even the first five years of our life are, the experiences that affect us then are often what mold us the most. I was never taught I shouldn't steal because it is one of the 10 commandments, I was taught to instead empathise with the being you are stealing from, to imagine what it would be like for the same to be done to you.

And with that basis in mind, I think it is still impossible to separate religion from politics. Mainly because almost any human being feels dissatisfied with themselves in one way or another, else we would not feel the desire to better ourselves. And since religion of almost all flavors have the same basic tenets,

  1. Man is flawed in one way or another
  2. This flaw causes conflict or dissatisfaction.
  3. A faith system is required to help mankind cope with its flaw and overcome it

we often go to them to seek how to better ourselves.

People will almost always vote for politicians they can relate to, and politicians will use this to their advantage. And since in large most people will get their values from religion, politicians will base their campaign on such even if they don't even necessarily follow the religion as much as they should in their off-camera time.

You get what I'm saying?

Ideally, we should be able to look past things such as religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation to get to matters of a different sort, such as a strong economy or good relations with other worthy nations.

But we're human.
 
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@ Engar: I'll answer by responding to your quote answers:

1: Tolerating is ALL I can do. The city of Sodom was DESTROYED by God because of rampant homosexuality. I can't support it.

2: Fairly succesful accident, according to ATHEISTS, taking the Christian stand-point. You see, that's the one thing I despise about atheists is their arrogance in their perception of the Universe. We all must be stupid because we believe God made the Universe and all it's creation in the span of seven days (however you interprate a "day" according to God). Your whole statement is based on the idea that there cannot be a God and that this is fact. You point out all the good possibilities of tampering with genetics, but the losses out-weigh the benefits if you grasp the full potential of genetic power, the most potent force mankind has ever tapped, and toy around with it like a kid who found his Dad's gun. We're not old enough to handle that gun, and likely we're going to hurt ourselves or others by messing about with it.

3: Yes, but can you agree that with the Catholic Church and all it's pomp quickly losing it's hold over the world that Christians and Jews of TODAY are about as likely to suicide bomb someone as Buddhist Monks? The common day Christian/Jew is a pretty peace-loving and mild-tempered person.

4: I don't know many people who do things to garauntee themselves into heaven. I was never baptized, and I don't attend a church. I follow my beliefs, but only because I feel those beliefs are right to stand up for. Sure, I fear Hell, so I don't plan on committing petty theft or getting away with murder. But can you call that a bad thing? People staying in stability instead of anarchy because they fear a judging force whose eyes cannot be escaped? I'd think law enforcers have to love such aspects of religion because it makes their jobs easier. I really don't understand what aspect of what you're describing is bad.
 
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I'm not happy with religion being used as a guilt trip for people to follow a dictator's plans.

In America we use it to shield as an excuse for our dirty secrets.

In the Middle East they use it as a means to instigate violence.

I'd be fed up if I was a God.
 
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The numbering is a good idea, it makes it easier to tackle..

1. Here's what I don't understand: You like your friend, you obviously think he's a good-guy, but because 'Old Testament God' - someone, bear in mind, who killed people for bringing him the wrong tribute and commanded that the seats that women sit upon while menstruating should be burned - says so? How do you rationalize that God with the God of Jesus, who extended kindness to pretty much everyone save for Tax Collectors and Fig Trees?

2. Yes, according to Atheist beliefs. I'm an Atheist. That's my opinion. I don't quite understand how expressing my opinion - other than it differing from yours - makes what I say an insult and what you say fine and dandy. I don't hate you. I don't even think you're stupid. I do, however, think you're wrong. You're also wrong about the 'Day' thing, which predates the Christian God. And, probably, the Judaic God at that. Seeing as we've always had 'Days'. Days being 'When the Sun comes up to when the Sun comes down.'

I treat what I believe as fact, yes, but you aren't doing anything different. Am I to be held by some different moral standard? Should I apologies for my beliefs every time I mention them?

And, finally, I said 'Let's not play around with genetics' too. I also said 'Let's Learn More'. Let's grow up. Learn to use it.

3. And that excuses past behavior? In that case, why not let this modern form of Muslim Extremism - a very different idea from the 'Love Others' belief of the past - run its course. Come back in two thousand years and I'm sure they'll be very civilized.

4. I believe that people should do something because it is right and not do something because it is wrong. You, as you've said, act in this way. But I'm sure there are others out there who avoid wrong-doings not because of some deeper understanding of what they should do but for fear of what the punishment will be.

And I support this with Crusades and Race Riots that spring up in heavily religious areas, where people twist religion in order to give vent to passions that they ignore and bottle up.

Personally, I think it would be better to teach people Why it is Wrong, rather than simply Tell Them that it's Wrong.
 

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homosexual marriage outlawing is unconstitutional, it prevents the pursuit of happiness in the constution, it is legal discrimination.
religion leads to war, governments go to war enough, putting religion in a government makes it worse.

It needs to stay in home and in the church, just not in law at all, we aren't like our ancestors and run the law on which being is popular at the time.
 
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J-Dude has made a persuasive argument as to why religion has no place in politics. In fact, we should invent a "religious-fanatic-o-meter" so we can prevent people like him from ever entering politics at all. Hell, they shouldn't even be in charge of the PTA.

We should keep religion a private matter, like Magus and several others have said - at home and in any religious place of worship.

Science is in my opinion the only way forwards. Religion is not. Last time religion ruled the world, we had the Spanish Inquisition, burning people on stakes and let's not forget the bloodiest wedding of all time in Paris.

Sure, religion is nice for feeling safe and preaching morals (to some degree, until a person who's never really understood the bible - like J-Dude comes up and starts reading from it), but do we want a 4000 year old book and a bunch of people who've interpreted it to steer the direction our society is heading?

I think not.
 
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No worries, he's a member there too - he's just spreading the "good word" here.
 
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Personally, I find religious involvement something involved in the earlier stages of a developing civilisation, It has its place in bringing a population morals, morale and loyalty at a stage where education is not readily available and there isn't enough police presence. It's much more likely the more a society and technology progresses the less need there is for any kind of religion to be involved in politics.

Sorry J-Dude, but look in history, maybe the eastern faiths aren't going through such a great publicity time at the moment with the over publicised extremism, but Christianity has caused more wars/civil wars and bloodshed than all the other faiths combined. Throughout history it may not have been called terrorism, but a ruling faith was able to commit any act of mass slaughter and receive relevant support from their citizens because they were seen as being on the right side of god. For a good long while being protestant or catholic would be the difference of being able to live or die, in England anyway.

We now live in a multicultural and free society, something which if we want to keep and build upon we need to take religion completely out of politics. I honestly don't believe democracy and religion can coexist in a government.
 

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