Monday, March 5, 2012

Religious Revival

The Kansas City Star published an article stating that religion still plays a role in politics. The Star presents both sides of the support and opposition of religion in politics.

Carol Swain, a politics and law professor at Vanderbilt says, “That’s the heart of the Bible Belt. People who are religiously devout feel that they are under attack and that’s driving more people to elevate a candidate’s religious stance in their decisions.” I too, can attest to the heavy influence of religion and politics, especially in the South. However, I do not think personal beliefs should be the sole determinate of political candidacy.

I am originally from Washington, D.C. and grew up surrounded by the political world. Now, living in Atlanta, there’s a different political ‘vibe’ so to speak. In my opinion, religion is much more heavily emphasized in political candidates.

In the book, “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation ?”, the author John Fea argues that America was not founded as a Christian nation. Instead, he asks to look at the historical context of the founding fathers. He also asks to look at larger implications of using religious language in the politic sphere.

I do not think that religion should play such an intricate role in politics. I think it is deceptive to use religion as a platform during political campaigning as well. I am not foolish enough to think that people do not unconsciously or consciously intermix the two. However, people should look more closely at the legitimate political qualifications of the candidate, rather than their personality traits or religious ties.

Religious conservatives, for example, would argue for the involvement of religion into politics. I would counteract this point by using the example of the initial founding of the United States and the support of keeping politics and religion as two separate entities.

Lawrence M. Krauss, from The Huffington Post, also writes his opinion on the matter of religion and politics. Krauss also realizes the impossibility of completely separating the two spheres. He uses the example of potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Santorum’s lack of support for abortion and birth control. Including Santorum’s outlandish claims of birth control causing more abortions.
To reiterate, his Catholic views should not have such a heavy influence on his views or over his political persuasion. And moreover, his religion should not be a legitimate excuse to limit women’s reproductive choices. Complete separation of religion and politics is a lofty goal. But religion should not play such a vital piece in deciding a candidate’s credentials.




I wonder who she would select for presidential candidacy?


Preston L.

13 comments:

crunchycheetos said...
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Emrah K said...

I think generalizing on the relationship between religions and politics is not so good because there are two basic elements on this matter. First, for everyone, for example, economic case of the country, military power, perfection of health system, etc. are not as important as freedom of religion. Second, political understanding of a politician may be different from another one. For example, in Turkey, for many people, religion is one of the most important factors on elections because since the foundation of Turkey there has been a very strict secularism. Thus many devout Muslims have been deprived of very simple but basic observances of Islam such as education of religion, learning-teaching of the Quran, preaching, wearing hijab, etc. Therefore, I think, considering religion on an election is very normal. For the United States, people may have various worries about their own religious life or thoughts, so they may consider religion as an important thing on elections as well.

Anne G said...

An interesting and thought provoking post. Even though the video is noxious, it certainly captures the different "vibes" surfacing today. The Fea book gave us a good look at our country's history -- warts and all. It also clarified the issue of our beginnings and the religious language that frequently spoke the laws into existence. I agree that it is impossible to separate religion from politics, but not impossible to change the tone and focus on the candidate's qualification to govern ALL the people of America. His record and character should be the focal points along with where he/she stands on the matters facing our country. When we the people insist on civility in political and religious discourse things will change. Unfortunately, the only voices we tend to hear and react to are the ugly mean-spirited ones.

Olivea M said...

I agree with your statement that religion and politics should not be intertwined. Although this seems like an impossible reality, it think that one's religious beliefs should not interfere with their ability to preform their professional duties. I do understand that there are religious groups with certain fundamental issues that can conflict with their jobs. When one is running for a public office, especially the seat of President of the United States, I think it is important to be as neutral as possible when it comes to religious beliefs. This way I think one can relate to more people and therefore acquire a vast amount of constituent support. I also agree that Rick Santorum's religious views should not be the foundation of his political ideology. Using the contraceptive example, by letting his religious views steer his political views, women who rely on and who would greatly benefit from low cost contraceptives could lose their right to obtain these contraceptives based solely on his personal religious beliefs. The United States is made up of different people with an array of different beliefs and I think the main goal of the President is to try to to their best to do what's best for the entire country not just people with similar beliefs.

Olivea M said...
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Charlesha L. said...

I do agree with you that religion should not play an intricate role in politics. Although this occurs daily, what happened to the law of man on separation of church and state?
It seems as though this law only applies to when government is rallied in to intervening in religious issues and that the public or citizens reject this law when consciously selecting and supporting politics.
I also think that Commonality seems to drive individual's interest in politics. What I mean is that a common religion may give off the illusion that this connection justifies the right political choice. Which is an example of religion's influence on politics.

Calli W. said...

Unfortunately, the United States has become a country where you have to be a Christian in order to be successful in politics and religious beliefs are a must have for those vying to lead our country. Even worse, Christian doctrine is also the reason and excuse that many use to discriminate and take away people’s rights. With that said, I firmly believe each person has the right to choose whatever religion, or lack thereof, they want in their lives. That personal choice should be kept that, a personal choice and should not be legislated and pushed onto others. At times like this, we have to remember, we are in a country that was founded on freedom, not a specific religious belief.

Amber P. said...

I believe religion and politics should be separate, but I agree it is a lofty goal. It is hard not to intertwine the two. People tend to base their political decisions on what values are important to them, such as religion and decisions on abortion and death penalty. When something is important to a person, it of course becomes part of decision making. In the South, "The Bible Belt", religion is an important value to many, therefore, it becomes a deciding factor in decisions and in this case, politics.

Amisha P said...

I agree with the comments above, a person’s religion should not affect their politics. In reality it does. From the time of the founding father to now religion and politics have been intertwined, and it will continue to do so. I believe every presidential candidate uses his religion to base his politics the difference is how much does it let religion impact his politics. Rick Santorum really uses his religion as a foundation for his politics, while other candidates do not. In the end it may led to Santorum’s demise. A good presidential candidate should set his religious beliefs aside and look at what is good for the entire nation.

kathryn y. said...

This blog posts pretty much speaks to most in our class, I believe and the annoyance and frustration of the game of religion and politics. The issue is, it's not going away. Unfortunately this presidential election is far more involved in the show out of whose the better Christian and which denomination they belong to. I believe that wrapped up within your post, there is also the question of can law be neutral to morality? Can morality be separated from religion? And can we actually have the freedom of religion? While I know that you would have many supporters, I believe that like Emrah said, religion is an important part of elections these days. I believe that the media has a lot to do with the portrayal of such annoyance in the game of religion and politics and that as a nation, many are still concerned with our "moral" state & that religion can help "save" that.

jacobr said...

This article criticizes the use of religion as a key determining factor in the selection of a Presidential candidate. I completely disagree I believe they religion should be one of the top reasons in individual supports and ultimately cast a vote for a particular candidate. Religion from its inception was a political institution. Religious separated individuals based on moral and ethical differences and similarities. Individuals within a particular religion share more than just a belief a benevolent creator but they also share values and cord notions of right and wrong.
Society promotes norms that are accepted by the individuals that make up every level of the structural fabric of a given community. A Society begins with an individual from the individual it expands into a family from a family it involves into a community. In order for any community to develop cohesive strands necessary for it to whether the difficult challenges there was certainly confronted strong bonds must be formed and maintained. The form and maintain bonds between individuals and or groups there must be a unifying commonality. Religion is the glue that connects a vast majority of individuals under a common unifying cause and organization. Without religion and the inherent positive attributions that come with it this Society and the entire political system would be in jeopardy of internal erosion and subsequent collapse.

jacobr said...

This article criticizes the use of religion as a key determining factor in the selection of a Presidential candidate. I completely disagree I believe they religion should be one of the top reasons in individual supports and ultimately cast a vote for a particular candidate. Religion from its inception was a political institution. Religious separated individuals based on moral and ethical differences and similarities. Individuals within a particular religion share more than just a belief a benevolent creator but they also share values and cord notions of right and wrong.
Society promotes norms that are accepted by the individuals that make up every level of the structural fabric of a given community. A Society begins with an individual from the individual it expands into a family from a family it involves into a community. In order for any community to develop cohesive strands necessary for it to whether the difficult challenges there was certainly confronted strong bonds must be formed and maintained. The form and maintain bonds between individuals and or groups there must be a unifying commonality. Religion is the glue that connects a vast majority of individuals under a common unifying cause and organization. Without religion and the inherent positive attributions that come with it this Society and the entire political system would be in jeopardy of internal erosion and subsequent collapse.

Sachin G said...

It seems to me like people closely monitor anything or everything that comes out of a presidential candidate's mouth. If the issue of religion is not raised in debates or media,i don't think that people will focus much on their religious beliefs. But if it is brought up, like the election this year, people certainly do favor Christianity and family values. I would blame media and other presidential candidates for raising such religious concerns to win favorable votes.But neither can media nor the presidential candidates be stopped from using religious arguments because of the Free speech amendment.At the end of the day,is it about winning the election, or is about choosing the right guy to lead this country?