Religion and Politics - Who Wins?
Politics is also serious stuff.
Faith is the belief in something without having proof. Once you believe in what you can not see or hear or even imagine everything else becomes so much easier to ignore, deny or denounce.
Politics is using what you have to do what you can to make things the way you want them to be. It seems to me that religion could really mess that up or it could help you get that done.
As a very skeptical Roman Catholic deist I am offended by the remarks of James Dobson, the famous preacher and leader of Focus on the Family. In referring to a speech the Barack Obama made two years ago he claims that the Senator was making stuff up when it came to his thoughts on religion. Actually when it comes to religion everyone is making stuff up and trying to imply that God gave them the very answer that they are seeking. But, by looking at the many different religions and all of their various answers it is clear that none of these religions has the total truth to themselves. Barack Obama was making this very valid point with respect to the relationship between religion and politics. And, James Dobson, fearful of the truth in Barack’s point began doing what conservatives of little substance seem to do lately. They begin name calling.
The question seems to be - If you represent a group of people with various religious beliefs, do you impose your own beliefs on them or do you respect the broad variety of beliefs in your constituency when you make your decisions?
Be careful in your thinking here, because this is a fundamental point of contention between the political parties and politics in America at the present time.
Many issues might hinge on how you should make your decisions here if you were elected to public office. Lets look at the Death Penalty. If you are a Roman Catholic from a largely protestant district you would likely find yourself in conflict with you constituency on this issue. Roman Catholics are taught to respect life, all life and they are taught that man should not take that life away. They are opposed to the Death Penalty, without any exceptions. But, a district composed mainly of American Protestants are more likely to believe that death is the right punishment for some crimes. So, how does a man vote on this issue with this conflict in mind?
This is not an unusual situation in our day and age. For example, most governors will be asked to intervene in the carrying out of a death penalty sentence. The governor is generally the final appeal. If that governor happens to be a religious Catholic he would be caught between his religion and the duty of his office. And, most governors do not prevent the execution of any prisoner in their state even the Roman Catholic ones.
So, when James Dobson criticizes Barack Obama for standing up for the many different opinions on the subject of abortion he is going against the same ethics that supports a politician’s decision to work for the common good of the people. Barack Obama isn’t saying anything different than what the various Catholic governors of the various states have said and done regarding the death penalty. Barack Obama is telling us that most Christians do not follow every facet of the Bible in the same way. Some may shun eating shellfish and pork, grow their locks long and shave their bride’s head, but most of us don’t. Some Christian sects emphasize Baptism and others emphasize Pentecost. As a society we do not need to debate which of these is the most important. Although, within our particular religious environments we may feel obligated to do just that. And, Barack Obama was clearly pointing this out in his speech of two years ago.
On the other hand, James Dobson doesn’t really care what the majority of people feel about these issues. Instead he would like to impose his will (even though he likes to call it God’s Will) on the majority of Americans. In James Dobson’s world a ruling elite would determine which religious values should dictate to the rest of the world. That’s funny, but this sounds a lot like the Islamic Fascism that the conservatives have been warning us about. But, instead of Islamic Fascism this would be Christian Fascism. And, I believe that as long as the rules of Christian Fascism agree with James Dobson then he would be OK with it.
This setup gives religion a direct line of control to the governing of the people. The religion tells the leaders what to do. Since they are religious they must follow their religion and not the will of the larger group of people. Therefore the religion dictates what laws are made based on the religion of the majority in government. So, the goal is to elect these non-thinking religious zealots into power and the religion in power makes the laws.
So, it comes down to this. Do we want leaders who rule by looking and the facts and making the best decisions based on these facts? Or, do we want leaders who are religious automatons that merely do what their religion teaches them to do regardless of the facts? Obviously this is your call - vote!
Don't forget what Stephen Colbert said, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit