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Religion And American Politics  
User currently offlineSeb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11798 posts, RR: 15
Posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2079 times:

I was raised in the United States with the understanding the government is officialy secular (no religion). So, why then, is religion so important in choosing a presidential candidate? As far as I know, all candidates in both major parties belong to Christian based religions.


Life in the wall is a drag.
79 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2053 times:



Quoting Seb146 (Thread starter):
So, why then, is religion so important in choosing a presidential candidate?

It's all part of the giant hypocritical self-perpetuating fallacy that all Americans are hard-working, God-fearing rubes who MUST have a hard-working, God-fearing President otherwise they'll all turn into Commies. It's all very 1950's and completely ludicrous. It's symptomatic of the social inertia brought on by excessive religious influence not only in politics but in real life as well - where nowadays in every other Western democracy most voters would run a mile if confronted by a politician who not only proclaimed his religious affiliation but announced he intended to govern according to his religious beliefs ("God spoke to me..."), American still embrace them. Not to worry, they'll learn...


User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2046 times:



Quoting Seb146 (Thread starter):
As far as I know, all candidates in both major parties belong to Christian based



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
where nowadays in every other Western democracy most voters would run a mile if confronted by a politician who not only proclaimed his religious affiliation

So are you two saying that it is wrong for religious people to run for office?



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2045 times:



Quoting TheCol (Reply 2):
So are you two saying that it is wrong for religious people to run for office?

No, it's wrong for people to vote for people who state openly that they will govern according to their bizarre religious tenets. Religion is fine as a personal thing, like stamp collecting or Star Trek. When it starts to intrude upon reality, it's time to get worried.


User currently offlineN74jw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2041 times:



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
It's all part of the giant hypocritical self-perpetuating fallacy that all Americans are hard-working, God-fearing rubes who MUST have a hard-working, God-fearing President otherwise they'll all turn into Commies. It's all very 1950's and completely ludicrous. It's symptomatic of the social inertia brought on by excessive religious influence not only in politics but in real life as well - where nowadays in every other Western democracy most voters would run a mile if confronted by a politician who not only proclaimed his religious affiliation but announced he intended to govern according to his religious beliefs ("God spoke to me..."), American still embrace them. Not to worry, they'll learn...

What planet are you from? That statement is the most generalized pile of bovine digested solid I have heard in a long time...


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2042 times:



Quoting TheCol (Reply 2):
So are you two saying that it is wrong for religious people to run for office?

It is a bit weird that someone has to profess being religious in order to be taken seriously. At the last count, only Congressman Pete Stark out of the whole of Congress came out publicly saying he was an atheist.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2033 times:



Quoting N74jw (Reply 4):
What planet are you from? That statement is the most generalized pile of bovine digested solid I have heard in a long time...

Go ahead, prove me wrong. I'm all ears.


User currently offlineN74JW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2029 times:

Religious affiliation can bring in more votes... The whole 'birds of a feather flock together' affect...

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2030 times:



Quoting N74jw (Reply 4):
What planet are you from? That statement is the most generalized pile of bovine digested solid I have heard in a long time...

And realistic, too.

Religious professions of a politician and the indication that he would let religion determine his political decisions generally cast severe doubts on his electability over here. We've tried religiously motivated politics for millenia and found them to be a particularly bad idea. Recent events have only confirmed that judgment.

And GWB stating that god told him to invade Iraq is just a case in point.


User currently offlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2017 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2021 times:
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Unfortunately, wearing one's religion on their sleeve is very much a part of modern American politics. Our country was first colonized by people who felt the Church of England wasn't "religious" enough for them. They were very much a dour bunch who couldn't stand the cheerfulness of England's Golden Age.


It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2022 times:



Quoting N74JW (Reply 7):
Religious affiliation can bring in more votes...

No doubt. But the question remains, SHOULD it ? Do we want politicians imposing their arbitrary religious views on the whole of society ? Law and government should be about the good of everyone, not the few imposing on the many the strange and other-worldly nonsense the voices in their heads told them to. Deep religious faith, to me anyway, implies a certain lack of intellectual robustness, shall we say. Doing what the Bible/Minister/Holy Spirit/Pope/Fairy at the bottom of the garden says means you don't have to actually think for yourself - you divorce yourself from all moral responsibility (It was God's Will !). I'm not comfortable with politicians like that, I'm sorry.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2016 times:



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 10):
I'm not comfortable with politicians like that, I'm sorry.

Nothing to be sorry about at all. We've seen enough madness in politics for ages to come.


User currently offlineN74JW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2004 times:



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 10):
No doubt. But the question remains, SHOULD it ? Do we want politicians imposing their arbitrary religious views on the whole of society ? Law and government should be about the good of everyone, not the few imposing on the many the strange and other-worldly nonsense the voices in their heads told them to. Deep religious faith, to me anyway, implies a certain lack of intellectual robustness, shall we say. Doing what the Bible/Minister/Holy Spirit/Pope/Fairy at the bottom of the garden says means you don't have to actually think for yourself - you divorce yourself from all moral responsibility (It was God's Will !). I'm not comfortable with politicians like that, I'm sorry.

I agree with you 100%. It was the slam on what type of people Americans are like. Americans are not all like that, but a vocal majority are. If they want to believe that, it is their right. John Kerry lost the last election by not appealing to and even insulting the Christian right majority of voters. The candidates now are keeping issues of faith visible to attract the same element to get them elected. All the while focusing on the one thing that gets folks elected in the US, money...

The last time religion ruled the world, it was known as the dark ages...


User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1380 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

I've always found it strange that a president constantly has to say "and may God bless America"... no politician overhere, not even from the christian democrats, would dare to say such a thing anymore. And which God should bless the US... just the Christian one, or some omni-god, one that embodies all religions. If it's just the Christian god, I wonder how members of the other religions in the US feel like?


I suppose for me god belongs in church, or at home, where you can worship whatever you want. I don't really think he belongs in the white house... or any other government residence...



I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1998 times:



Quoting N74JW (Reply 13):
Americans are not all like that, but a vocal majority are.

I know that - that's why I called it a "hypocritical and self-perpetuating fallacy". This is a myth that the political machine like to cash in on, that religion is as American as motherhood and apple pie, and that Joe Sixpack and the missus can feel safe in the knowledge that their Commander-in-Chief says his prayers every night before bedtime. It's a total crock, and yet it persists, and it does Americans no favours at all.

Personally I don't believe it's even a vocal majority any more - I think it's a stubborn but ingrained minority who just won't let go of the idea that religion can somehow save the world, make everyone white, middle-class and well-behaved, and kill all the Commies with a plague of boils.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1976 times:



Quoting Seb146 (Thread starter):
I was raised in the United States with the understanding the government is officialy secular (no religion). So, why then, is religion so important in choosing a presidential candidate? As far as I know, all candidates in both major parties belong to Christian based religions.



Quoting PA110 (Reply 9):
Unfortunately, wearing one's religion on their sleeve is very much a part of modern American politics.

It is indeed a peculiarity of American Politics, and one that I generally find distasteful simply because 90% of such religious profession is probably BS. The only reason most politicians see the inside of a church is so they can be seen doing so.

But at the same time, there is a great value to having someone who is genuinely religious in his personal life, even if NONE of his official policies or positions coincide with any religious agenda. Such a person would be less likely to be corrupt, for example (I know atheists will jump up and down at this - let'em).

But I ask that people here who hate religion recognize that being religious and being in full compliance with the separation of church and state are not mutually exclusive, especially in regards to Christianity, where such a separation was encouraged by Jesus himself. Islam is another matter, as Islam claims not only to be a religion, but a the basis of government and economics as well.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1962 times:



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
Quoting Seb146 (Thread starter):
So, why then, is religion so important in choosing a presidential candidate?

It's all part of the giant hypocritical self-perpetuating fallacy that all Americans are hard-working, God-fearing rubes who MUST have a hard-working, God-fearing President otherwise they'll all turn into Commies. It's all very 1950's and completely ludicrous. It's symptomatic of the social inertia brought on by excessive religious influence not only in politics but in real life as well - where nowadays in every other Western democracy most voters would run a mile if confronted by a politician who not only proclaimed his religious affiliation but announced he intended to govern according to his religious beliefs ("God spoke to me..."), American still embrace them. Not to worry, they'll learn...



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 10):
Doing what the Bible/Minister/Holy Spirit/Pope/Fairy at the bottom of the garden says means you don't have to actually think for yourself - you divorce yourself from all moral responsibility (It was God's Will !). I'm not comfortable with politicians like that, I'm sorry.

So tell me, sir. When and in what state of the union are you intending to cast your vote in a presidential primary or in the general election?


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1960 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
When and in what state of the union are you intending to cast your vote in a presidential primary or in the general election?

What, no vote, no opinion ? How is that "freedom of speech" ? I comment as an interested external observer. Feel free to contradict.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1951 times:



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 16):
Such a person would be less likely to be corrupt, for example (I know atheists will jump up and down at this - let'em).

Atheists might complain because that simply has been found to be false - religious people apparently aren't any more morally upstanding than atheists are, they just use different conceits to cover up their own immoralities.

The outrageous corruption in all kinds of religious groups should be an immediate reminder of the vast gulf between claimed superiority in any regard and the usually much more sobering reality.

Atheists have no imaginary deity whispering commands or exculpations into their ears - their last resort is reason, which is most definitely disputable and open to examination and verification.

Which is why I'll generally prefer atheists over religious people in power positions, given otherwise similar impressions overall.

Tony Blair was another recent example of a devoutly religious leader screwing up, big time, while being led by his faith.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1945 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Tony Blair was another recent example of a devoutly religious leader screwing up, big time, while being led by his faith.

Not sure you can assert that he was led by his faith - there's no evidence for that at all, but it is true that Blair was and is religious. Interestingly, all his advisors were anything but, and when Blair once wanted to end a speech with "God bless", they reacted with horror at how appallingly badly that would play with the public.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1945 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
So tell me, sir. When and in what state of the union are you intending to cast your vote in a presidential primary or in the general election?

Since the US government puts itself above all citizens of this planet (most evident with the current one), making wide-ranging decisions affecting nearly everybody, without most of us having a vote about it, taking a keen interest in american matters is simply a necessity for anybody who's intersted in more than just his own front yard.

And discussing relevant matters with the people who do have a vote is another necessity - your decision has consequences, and not just for you alone as the past seven years have made abundantly clear. Power always comes with responsibility. No way around it.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1937 times:



Quoting Banco (Reply 20):
Not sure you can assert that he was led by his faith - there's no evidence for that at all

What's known about his religious feelings would suggest a link...

Quoting Banco (Reply 20):
but it is true that Blair was and is religious.

He even bizarrely converted to catholicism after his demission, did he not?


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1933 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
What's known about his religious feelings would suggest a link...

Not necessarily. That's why I say "no evidence".

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
He even bizarrely converted to catholicism after his demission, did he not?

No, he hasn't. At least not yet. Though I doubt it would surprise anyone if he did.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1902 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
Atheists might complain because that simply has been found to be false - religious people apparently aren't any more morally upstanding than atheists are, they just use different conceits to cover up their own immoralities.

You are confusing people who claim to be religious with those who actually are. The truely devout will not advertise. He will not proclaim his faith. He will not have religious bumper stickers on his car. He will not send money to TV evangelists. He will not talk to you about religion, and even if you ask him, he will not feel comfortable talking to you about it in any detail. He will simply live his life as best he can, according to the tennents to which he holds dear, and he would be as likely to willingly break them as killing his own children.

Naturally, these kinds of religious people are virtually invisible, and I am not surprised you have not noticed them.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1889 times:



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 23):
You are confusing people who claim to be religious with those who actually are.

Not in the slightest, but your retreat is duly noted.  mischievous 

There are raving bigots both among theists and atheists, as are spiritually enlightened role models in either camp.

Being a morally upstanding person is not clearly correlated with religion, if at all. Even while the proponents of religion dearly wish that to be the case.

One particularly troubling aspect of religion is that the ultimate responsibility can be and often is transferred to an imaginary being and its imaginary intentions, shunning any personal accountability (Bush being a prime example again.).

Atheists have no such escape hatch. If they screw up, they are accountable themselves. No backup, no way out. Better think your stuff through yourself before you commit to any significant action.

Politicians need to hold themselves accountable and be ready to stand accountable to their constituency. And in such a position I definitely don't want anybody who'd try to wiggle out of their responsibility with religious pretenses anytime they've screwed up on the job.


25 Cfalk : You again show a deep misunderstanding of religion. Granted, some faiths do talk about fate, or that God is in control, not you. But Christianity (I
26 RFields5421 : If a person is religious and truly a believer, then he is guided though his personal life by his faith. That includes the framework in which he views
27 Mariner : No, sir. I'm an atheist, and I certainly fear "punishment" if I do something unethical - my own conscience. mariner
28 Zak : really? so how about all the concept of predestination and such? apart from the theological case, it appears very common that people justify things b
29 Post contains images Zak : this is a very typical christian or evangelical argument, i must say if the only thing that is stopping you from commiting something wrong is some so
30 Dougloid : Well, you start out with a super sized rant about how ...well, it IS sort of confused, but here it is: who cares? Why are you so invested in ranting
31 Dougloid : Klaus, this hardly passes for discussion of important matters. Nothing's going to get resolved here, except that JGPH1A is going to feel vindicated f
32 Cfalk : My example used Christianity, and Christianity does not assume anyone is predestined. Your own choices dictate your fate - that is a frequent moral f
33 Emirates773ER : This has to be the biggest set of horse dung I have ever read on airliners. If this golden rule was not adopted in Islam, I wonder how the Jews and c
34 Dougloid : An avowed atheist in such a society would likely suffer a severe beatdown and ass whuppin' par excellenxe.
35 Post contains links Cfalk : They hardly flourished. They were and still are second-class citizens. If tolerance simply means discouraging the mass slaughter of those of a differ
36 Emirates773ER : And in most muslim countries this starting to be the case. UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Malaysia, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and countless other m
37 Emirates773ER : Thanks for the whole set of links but frankly it is not difficult finding a anti islamic news piece in todays media.
38 Kalakaua : As Alton Brown puts it, "Know what you're trying to do, stick to it, and do it well - 'don't betray your DNA.'" Many "Americans" nowadays are just wan
39 Post contains links TACAA320 : Really difficult to conceive. " The separation of church and state argument for removing all traces of Biblical teaching from public life and public
40 Cfalk : The dark ages were centuries ago. We are more civilized now. It is, after all, the 21st century, not the 7th. Unfortunately, not everyone has recieve
41 Mariner : Um - I haven't said where I grew up. mariner
42 JGPH1A : As Klaus said, what happens in America is of interest to everyone in the world - the US is the only superpower left, it matters who has his/her finge
43 Aaron747 : Aside from all the other back and forth in this thread, here's what should be the answer: It isn't. The only times when it is are 1) when the voter t
44 GDB : Blair might not have hidden his faith, (though his press secretary famously said 'we don't do god'), but there is no evidence this influenced policy.
45 Doona : Those countries are religious by their very nature. Can't really compare them to a country that supposedly has a separation of church and state. Oh,
46 Cfalk : You have a flag next to your name, so I made an assumption. I may of course be wrong.
47 Post contains images Toast : Sure. France is one of the least religious nations on earth, and Spain went 180 degrees on Catholicism in the last couple of decades. Sarkozy is a lu
48 Emirates773ER : No sir, you are no more civilized than a bedouin in the deserts of Arabia. The conservatives in america have the technology but not the mind set to l
49 TACAA320 : As Dougloid said
50 Wingnut767 : Because it was a money maker with the Dhimmi [non-Muslim] tax See Dhimmi [non-Muslim] tax, They tolerated them for money. Many Jews and Christians co
51 Post contains images Klaus : No. I just don't share its unsubstantiated claims. The issue you're carefully skirting here is that christianity (as most other religions) reroutes a
52 MD11Engineer : It helped definitely in resolving the Irish conflict that his wife is Catholic, with Irish roots. Jan
53 Klaus : Given that the "christian" rulers immediately set progroms and mass murder in motion when they re-conquered Spain, the muslims looked decidedy libera
54 Post contains images Banco : Who's been reading Selsdon's recent Blair biography then?
55 MD11Engineer : Nope, I haven't. But, as you know, I used to live in Ireland for several years right during the peace process period (including the Omagh bombing) an
56 Mariner : Yes. New Zealand is where I have finally arrived. I am a Colonial Brat, maybe the last British child born in the Mandate of Palestine - at that time
57 Dougloid : That's what you SAY now. Here's what you POSTED. That's not exactly emblematic of your need to uplift the poor misunderstood American public. You're
58 Post contains images Dougloid : For the most part that's all we can do. We're overrun with pols right now and will be for the next three weeks, and not a night passes without at lea
59 Post contains images TheCol : That's usually how it works. You must think that all religious people are fundamentalists, am I right?
60 JGPH1A : Bullshit. I said at the beginning that somehow the political machinery in your country has got the electorate snowed about the importance of religion
61 TACAA320 : We presume that. You're the one that must prove precisely the opposite: that the elections were dishonest. Bush [whether you like or not] was elected
62 JGPH1A : I never said the election was dishonest. Yes he was. I didn't like it. But I don't get a vote. I merely raise the question as to why this particular
63 TACAA320 : Then why are you asking to Even more. You said that you My point is that you are the one who has to prove the opposite. Not Dougloid. We presume that
64 Dougloid : Where's the kinder gentler I care about truth and justice you? Was that a facade of reasonableness masking the rantings of an uninformed and angry pe
65 Falcon84 : If they're Satanic, that would be bizarre; if they were Druids, in this society, that would be bizarre. To simply claim because someone has religious
66 Post contains images JGPH1A : They may not be right now, but the religious agenda seems be gaining ground - all the crap about "Intelligent Design" creeping its way onto some stat
67 TACAA320 : Quite interesting to see people initiating threads like this one, promoting hate among a.netters, and running away w/o a single additional post. Now
68 JGPH1A : The question raised is a legitimate one, and I don't see how it is promoting hatred. Reasoned debate is the enemy of extremism of whatever form. I do
69 Post contains images TACAA320 : Can you call that a "reasoned debate"? I can't. But I must admit that the second one was very funny. In addition: Is such language part of a "reasone
70 Post contains images JGPH1A : Possibly not - but it is still not the language of hatred either. Debate gets heated, that's what happens when people feel strongly about things, but
71 TACAA320 : OK skinny! Peace.
72 JGPH1A : That's more like it !
73 Dougloid : It's grossly offensive to me that Romney has been called upon to defend his beliefs in what ought to be a private matter betwen himself and whomever
74 JGPH1A : I didn't walk away - I'm still here, aren't I ? How is it intellectually dishonest to anticipate a rebuttal, given your almost rabidly vehement oppos
75 RFields5421 : Romney INVITED these questions be emphasizing his faith as the basis for his belief system - for how he makes decisions in all parts of his life. He
76 Klaus : No, I don't. And nor is the intensity of belief in an imaginary despot in the sky in any way related to moral integrity, even though religious hierar
77 TACAA320 : Just for he records. That was before Vatican II.
78 Zak : your example of your christianity that you assume to be the true christianity. indeed, your interpretation i dont care whats in the bible, there are
79 TACAA320 : That's the Categorical imperative. Kant's term of morality is a term of reason-based duty as opposed to both arbitrary and heteronomy-based obedience
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