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View Full Version : Should a devout religious person hold political office?


MrsMoe
06-19-2005, 04:18 PM
Yes, no, why or why not - discuss


:cool:

Evil_Mage_Ra
06-19-2005, 04:41 PM
I have no problem with it so long as religion doesn't interfere with public policies.

alaspooryorick
06-19-2005, 04:50 PM
I said something similar on the thread in "Open Mic."

I don't like religion and politics mixed, quite frankly, but personal beliefs are personal. For instance, Kerry took a lot of heat for being Catholic and also being pro-choice, which really shouldn't happen. Of course, Kerry doesn't strike me as a "devout religious person," but it's a scenario. I don't mean this as a blanket statement, but as a large number of religious folks identify with the conservative right--I think there are a lot of social issues (abortion, gay rights, death penalty, etc.) that people need to evaluate on a strictly political level, not that I believe there is one absolute answer for what is right or wrong--just wrong reasons for pushing platforms. People were worried in 1960 that Kennedy would defer to the Pope, after all.

But it's not right for society to deny people equal rights based upon sexual preference or whatever based upon religious doctrine, as another example. Of course, we love to point fingers at Afghanistan for denying a woman rights based on her gender alone. And yet the Vatican doesn't support birth control or condoms, when every day people die worldwide from the spread of AIDS. These are the decisions based in religion that I think are harmful and dangerous.

If a religious person is willing to think in terms of what is helpful for the people they are leading, fine. I couldn't care less about what they personally believe, as afterall, the first amendment offers them freedom of religion. If this "devout religious person" in question wants to run their office based on a religious agenda, I have a problem with that. Unfortunately, a lot of voters don't.

MrsMoe
06-19-2005, 06:35 PM
I have no problem with it so long as religion doesn't interfere with public policies.
Like George bush? :P


I said something similar on the thread in "Open Mic."

I don't like religion and politics mixed, quite frankly, but personal beliefs are personal. For instance, Kerry took a lot of heat for being Catholic and also being pro-choice, which really shouldn't happen. Of course, Kerry doesn't strike me as a "devout religious person," but it's a scenario. I don't mean this as a blanket statement, but as a large number of religious folks identify with the conservative right--I think there are a lot of social issues (abortion, gay rights, death penalty, etc.) that people need to evaluate on a strictly political level, not that I believe there is one absolute answer for what is right or wrong--just wrong reasons for pushing platforms. People were worried in 1960 that Kennedy would defer to the Pope, after all.

But it's not right for society to deny people equal rights based upon sexual preference or whatever based upon religious doctrine, as another example. Of course, we love to point fingers at Afghanistan for denying a woman rights based on her gender alone. And yet the Vatican doesn't support birth control or condoms, when every day people die worldwide from the spread of AIDS. These are the decisions based in religion that I think are harmful and dangerous.

If a religious person is willing to think in terms of what is helpful for the people they are leading, fine. I couldn't care less about what they personally believe, as afterall, the first amendment offers them freedom of religion. If this "devout religious person" in question wants to run their office based on a religious agenda, I have a problem with that. Unfortunately, a lot of voters don't.
Very well said.

Bighead
06-19-2005, 06:44 PM
I personally would like to see religion banned world-wide. That would probably start some sort of big religious war with everyone coming out to play. That'd be interesting.

MrsMoe
06-19-2005, 06:53 PM
I personally would like to see religion banned world-wide. That would probably start some sort of big religious war with everyone coming out to play. That'd be interesting.
Then you would have Communisim. Stalin banned religion also. :D

Bighead
06-19-2005, 06:59 PM
Then you would have Communisim. Stalin banned religion also. :D
I disagree. It's true, he banned religion, but the banning of religion was a result of communism, not a cause.

MrsMoe
06-19-2005, 07:10 PM
I disagree. It's true, he banned religion, but the banning of religion was a result of communism, not a cause.
Why eliminate people's freedom of choice? Why mimic general guidelines of communisim? Obviously, in order to make communisim work, a communist government must eliminate cultural, ethnic and religious differences. Why follow in these footsteps?

Bighead
06-19-2005, 07:13 PM
Don't get me wrong, I don't think that government should get rid of all cultural differences...just religious. I personally feel that the good things that religion can do for society have been far outweighed now by all the rotten shit that it brings to the table. But, who knows??? Maybe I'm wrong...
Even if I am, I definitely wouldn't be against it. (banning religion)

Bighead
06-19-2005, 07:16 PM
Of course, I understand that if religion were to be banned successfully, it would make it much easier for government to control even more than it does now...on second thought....maybe it doesn't sound so good.....I'll have to think of some other way that religion can finally disappear.:/

Evil_Mage_Ra
06-19-2005, 07:58 PM
Personally, I'd like to see education in science, history, and critical thinking improved to the point where most people would naturally abandon religion. I'd be against a government ban on religion, as it would restrict freedom of choice.

Kamikaze189
06-19-2005, 09:23 PM
Most people should already abandon religion, there's enough information out there that makes it obvious it's just a system of control.

I don't care about a politician's religion as long as it doesn't effect their political choices in office. Bush is good example of someone with too much religious connection.

I recall him saying that he was not listening to his father but "His Father" or some crazy stuff. Our presidents should at least live in reality, and listen to real people, not fictitious ones.

Another thought that bothers me is that anyone could play up the extremely religious person. This appeals to the religious because they will appear to be perfect, but only in their eyes.

MrsMoe
06-19-2005, 11:16 PM
Personally, I'd like to see education in science, history, and critical thinking improved to the point where most people would naturally abandon religion. I'd be against a government ban on religion, as it would restrict freedom of choice.
Well spoken.

Amazonis
06-20-2005, 10:33 PM
Well, personally i would never vote for any religous person (let alone a devout religous person). Even if the person left religion out of politics i would still not vote for them. This is because even if they were to try and keap their religion out of their politics, they would most likely fail. They would probably end up making conservative descisions, even if they were not basing them on their religion. Of caurse, i may be wrong, but i would not be willing to take that risk.

One example of a religous person in politics (who claims that politics and religion shouldn't mix) is Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. He is a rather conservative christian, and before becoming Prime Minister he was well known for his conservative views. However, he has since said that he has liberalized his views towards many issues. Despite him saying this, none of Australia's laws on abortion, gay rights, war or the environment have changed one bit. Claiming to leave religion out of politics does not change anything, only the revising of laws does.

So as you can see, i would never have anything to do with voting even a mildly religous person into office. However, i will still accept it if other's do (with great anger, of course). I do not think a ban on religion in politics would be good, even if it were possible (which it is not). It would probably cause a civil war in many countries, and would do more harm than good. As for a public ban on religion, thats just way to good to be true. :(

Con Man
06-24-2005, 07:08 PM
Aren't Ted Kennedy and George Bush great examples of religious people in office?

Religion is office makes pro-religious laws and blurs the seperation of Church and State.

Nicole
06-24-2005, 10:39 PM
You know that guy who lives on the street downtown and talks to imaginary people. I wouldn't vote him into office, why the hell would I vote for the guy who does it in a church.

Seriously, I really think that most voters want to equate religious belief with good morals. We all want our leaders to make the right choices by employing compassion and tolerance. Unfortunately, most religions do not foster compassion and tolerance for people who do not follow their doctrine. I don't think that any leader should belong to a group that says it's members are going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell. It just makes it too easy to disregard those hell-bound citizens while making political choices.

ChiefOfAss
06-24-2005, 10:57 PM
Personally, I'd like to see education in science, history, and critical thinking improved to the point where most people would naturally abandon religion. I'd be against a government ban on religion, as it would restrict freedom of choice.
Well spoken.
In a way you're right. But, maybe not for the reasons you think... previous examples of state banned religion were merely devices of replacement. Kind of like... the "wild child" that gets born again, it's just replacing one bad thing for another.

It shouldn't be a choice anymore, for Christ's sake. Is it a choice to "believe" that the Earth is flat? How about, is it a choice to believe in the superiority of one race over another? Or at least... do we protect anyone's freedom to apply racist beliefs?

I suppose anyone can choose to be stupid or ignorant even when it comes to the very obvious, but it shouldn't be encouraged.

And, just like few openly racist policy makers are elected to offices in which significant impact can be made, few practitioners of ritualistic mythology worship should be elected - if any.

ChiefOfAss
06-24-2005, 11:30 PM
We all want our leaders to make the right choices by employing compassion and tolerance.
No, Nicole... "we" don't (not in the collective sense, anyway). Unfamiliarity breed contempt - it's an animal survival tool and it's instinctual.

No matter what people say, most folks are as serious about compassion towards others as they are about cheering for their rival college football team. What we really want is powerful champions of our own, narrowly defined likeness who will lessen the perceived threat of those who make us uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, most religions do not foster compassion and tolerance for people who do not follow their doctrine. I don't think that any leader should belong to a group that says it's members are going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell. It just makes it too easy to disregard those hell-bound citizens while making political choices.
I'd like to take that a step further. Perhaps when times were simpler, we could afford to have people in office who "believe" in the unbelievable and have "faith" in the intervention of their cause by mystical beings.

But now, I think the world is too complex. Now, cultures who would not have indoor plumbing, but for the exchange of goods, can simply buy powerful machines of war. Which is to say, nations and cultures that are in centuries behind in terms of social maturity have access to the same tools that the first world does. We cannot allow ourselves to be dragged into moral decay by dogma and fear.

Therefore, there is but no argument that our leaders, responsible for so much on our behalf, should be free of any system of belief.

As a scientist in, among other things, logical theory, I have noticed that many of my colleagues are clouded by belief and make very questionable personal and professional decisions based on a fundamental flaw in their critical thinking process. Most of this can be traced back to religious or cultural attachment to the supernatural.

On a good day, officials shackled by the same defect *can* and *have* make mistakes based on lapses in critical thinking and vulnerability to emotional persuasion. Add in religion, and you've got a person who cannot separate logic from emotion.

Nicole
06-25-2005, 01:09 AM
We all want our leaders to make the right choices by employing compassion and tolerance.
No, Nicole... "we" don't (not in the collective sense, anyway). Unfamiliarity breed contempt - it's an animal survival tool and it's instinctual.

No matter what people say, most folks are as serious about compassion towards others as they are about cheering for their rival college football team. What we really want is powerful champions of our own, narrowly defined likeness who will lessen the perceived threat of those who make us uncomfortable.
You might be right. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that some of that attitude might be cultural. These days Americans tend to vote for leaders that they veiw as tough (military service etc.) while other countries may not do the same. For example; Canadians tend to vote for leaders they see as being negotiators due to their position in the world.

If you vote for a leader based on whether he can defeat the 'unfamiliar' then you're looking for the strong champion. But if you want a leader who creates a union with the 'unfamiliar' then you're looking for someone who can use tolerance and compassion as tools to achieve that goal.

Maybe I'm dreaming but I'm going say that I think that the very tools of animal survival are changing. We're not going to survive as a world with those same tools we've used in the past. Evolution in action.

peepnklown
06-25-2005, 02:23 AM
You know that guy who lives on the street downtown and talks to imaginary people. I wouldn't vote him into office, why the hell would I vote for the guy who does it in a church.
I am going to use that! :lol: