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Friday, November 2, 2012

Religion and Politics

I just cringe when someone misinterprets the "establishment clause" of United States constitution to support their religious agenda. That clause precisely means that the government can't establish a church or restrict the free exercise thereof. That doesn't mean that the church doesn't have to abide by the laws established by Congress or else polygamy would still be legal. Churches still have to abide by labor, health and safety laws.

I can keep my politics secular, but I know many don't and I don't really have a problem with that. It's when Christians forget that the constitution belongs to everyone, not just Christians. Some believe that we should be governing, using what they interpret to be Christian principles but that's not my interpretation, of “we the people."

As it is, religion only comes up as a social issue and mostly by one political party. There are some groups that can't simply “agree to disagree" on the issues like abortion and gay marriage. They set up a wall of separation (either you are for me or against me), and their Biblical principles will not be compromised. Their mission, no matter how they try to camouflage it, is to overturn Roe v. Wade and established a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

There are also groups like the Family Leader who have called on the presidential candidates to sign a pledge supporting their interpretation of "family values." According to their guide, a strong Christian leader understands the key elements of "God's law." Those Christian leaders have to be for smaller government, an ethical free-market system, and understand the right to bear and keep arms for defensive purposes. If asked, I'm sure they'll interpret the constitution for the candidates. I'm pretty sure the Republican politicians signed the pledge thinking that it's just the cost of doing business because there's no penalty for not adhering to the pledge.

As I've told a poster several years ago, I will not have anyone defining morality to me. I think everyone having comprehensive health care, a decent wage and benefits, clean air and water and being good stewards of the earth are moral issues. I think the life in -between is just as important as the beginning and the end of life. I can't remember reading a letter where a Christian had a legitimate concern for the poor, the uneducated, the disabled, or the environment. I might add that some must not believe that “bearing false witness" is a moral value because they don't do a lot of research before posting. Yes, there are different opinions but a good researcher knows both sides of the argument.

We all know that we have more than a single issue to worry about, but as I say every four years, the next president will likely pick one or two Supreme Court judges, and that will set the agenda for the future. If you believe that there is not a litmus test for a Supreme Court judge, then you are pretty naive.

In case you are interested,I could vote for a non Christian or a different sexual preference but I know they wouldn't have a chance to be nominated;not in my lifetime anyway. 


Mike said...

The Christian Right talks of their freedoms and liberty being taken away every time a Democrat takes office and remains mum while a GOP president reins. Why is that? I’ll be 67 years old this month and I have never feared for my freedom or liberty.

The country should be breathing a sigh of relief because of the gains in the stock market and the fact we added 171,000 jobs last month and previous forecasts were revised upward.A move int the right direction... Just think what the numbers might have been if the president had his jobs bills passed...No, some want to belittle the president every time we hear good economic news and replace it with false assumptions of lost freedom and liberties.

They are at it again "if it's not favorable..Dismiss it."...The GOP asked the Congressional Research Service to find the correlation between tax cuts and economic growth but when they came back with a report of "NONE WHATSOEVER" the GOP rejected the report.

Mike said...

The right wing has their Obama next term

Here is the counter called Romney's first 100 days

Edith Ann said...

I am an absolute believer that there are no coincidences and that God is in control where our leaders are concerned. Romans 13clearly states: "For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." Now do I think all of those republican presidential candidates who say God told them to run actually got that message? I will assume they did as I would never question someone's conversations with God. However, when the evidence begins to point to personal agendas, I have to wonder.

What really irks me are the folks who think only republicans are Christian and that everyone else is evil. Those who insist that America has lost its Christian roots baffle me! Toss in the old republican geezers who love to discuss rape and women's reproduction and I am convinced that they never made it to a history or a biology class, and really ARE that ignorant!

Let's talk about Mary Ann's guest column in the Advocate. I think her "I can't be a good Catholic if folks are using birth control somewhere in the world" good will tour may be coming to an end. Not one comment on the column. Not even Paul Tasin.

I know in her heart of hearts that she wants every Catholic to be as good an example as she is (and I mean that sincerely, even when she sets my hair ablaze), but her continued denial of facts--sexually active Catholics are using contraception in huge numbers, like it or not--is really puzzling to me. I think she continues to preach to the wrong crowd. Her writiings should be aimed at those Catholics who are not being obedient. My church has no position on contraception. She's not to convince me of anything!

She ends her column with this comment: "It is my wish that all people of good will recognize that religious freedom hangs in the balance Nov. 6 and that they vote accordingly to ensure our country's leading role as a beacon of freedom in the world." As I asked a 'very Christian' friend last night: "you, as a Christian, support a cult member?" I have to ask Mary Ann the same question. Let me elaborate a bit on that.

I have no personal problem with Mitt Romney being a Mormon. I really don't. I do have a huge problem with hypocrites! Do not try to make me believe that Romney being a leader in a cult wouldn't matter to them under different circumstances! I was just talking about this with someone who attends a local Bible Church. She was telling me how the pastor did a lesson on Mormonism several years ago, yet the bulk of the church is republican and apparently supports the Mormon now. THAT is the hypocrisy I am talking about.

Back to the Catholics, I understand the Knights of Columbus have a fair sized ad in the paper today urging folks to make the 'right' moral decision. I just don't know.

Well, I guess the good news is that 1.6 million evangelicals have vowed to write-in Jesus for president on Tuesday. I say go for it! Jesus or Obama--I'm good either way!

Mike said...

I did make a moral choice by voting for President Obama because he will not ignore the 47%. Aren't there more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God's deep concern for both in the Bible?

I'm not that convinced that God cares about American politics.

The Church is split on HHH; on one side we have the nuns and on the other there is the male hierarchy.

The "Nuns on the Bus" oppose the Ryan budget for the heavy burden it puts on the poor.

Edith Ann said...

You can bet if the Mormon were the Democrat, religion would bean issue!

Mike said...

Oh,you know it would becuase then the Evangelicals could bow out gracfully without having to pretend they accept Mormanism.

Mike said...

Oh,you know it would becuase then the Evangelicals could bow out gracfully without having to pretend they accept Mormanism.

Mike said...

I'm not going to church tomorrow because I don't want to hear this message "Thousands of area Catholics attending Mass this weekend will hear a message about the Roman Catholic Church’s objections to elements of the Affordable Care Act through a letter Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky is requiring all priests to read.".......God gave me a brain and I'm not a child but most importantly. I can read for myself.