Religion and government

posted 2 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
871 posts
Busy bee

I do not think religion should play any part in government. This is coming from a practicing Muslim. Sharia Law in Muslim countries is its own separate struggle. But the USA was literally founded for freedom of religion! 

At the same time- the US is very Christian based. Every Christian holiday is off in schools. Good Friday, Christmas conveniently falls in Winter Break, etc etc. No Christian student has ever had to miss school for a religious holiday. Every other student of all other religions has to. Which is fine, it’s excused and no one fussed about it. But it’s very obvious that there’s a slight divide in convenience. 

I feel like such people believe US was founded on freedom of denomination. Protestants, Baptists, Catholics etc came to practice their version of Christianity safely. But majority were all Christian at the end of the day. So while I do not think we are a Christian country, I think there is a very, very strong influence. An influence that should not exist in government. You think God forbids abortions? Cool. YOU don’t get an abortion. But your beliefs should not be interfering with other’s. Same goes for all other issues in which religion is involved. 

ETA: the national anthem has “God” in it which kinda excludes the beliefs of Athiests :/ so there goes freedom of no religion too

Post # 3
Member
910 posts
Busy bee

Religion has no place in American government. None. I’m an atheist and was raised a non-Christian. I believe individuals should be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs within reason, but government should be areligious. 

OP, ask your mom to get a copy of the Constitution and pull out a highlighter and mark every mention of god, Jesus, or Christianity in it. See what she comes up with.

(Those three words aren’t anywhere in the Constitution. Kind of odd for the document that forms the basis of a “Christian nation,” no?)

Post # 4
Member
2914 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Just, no.

my husband and I were literally just talking about how the government and religion should be 100% separate. They say it is, but then these assholes make comments about it being gods will that a women ends up pregnant from a rape… ok.

soexcited123 :  

Post # 5
Member
6221 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

There is no qestion that the vast majority of the founders of the US came from protestant backgrounds, were listed on church rolls, married Christian women, etc. Most likely would have identified as Protestant Christians. 

However, they made a concerted effort to create a country in which religion played as minimal a role as possible. As it has already been noted, government and public holidays are Christian, the money holds a religious slogan, and it is still expected that those running for president make some show of attending church. There are painfully few American politicians who are openly atheistic. It seems that the last “religious” group who it is socially acceptable to publicly despise is atheists.

Still, I do not believe religion should hold any place in government. Clearly that is an ideal that seems unreachable right now (what with the religious faction trying to take control of women’s bodies and healthcare), but I hope that I will live to see an atheistic president.

Post # 6
Member
119 posts
Blushing bee

I’m atheist/anti religion, and believe the government should never make decisions based on religious doctrine.

The trouble is, it’s very difficult for most people to separate the two because they see religion as the basis for morality. Many people insist that they “wouldn’t know right from wrong” if not for the Bible telling them, and since government/laws also establish right from wrong, it’s hard to prevent the two from bleeding into one another.

The whole “religious freedom” trend is equally baffling to me. It allows people to essentially take away others’ rights. The idea of “deeply held beliefs” could go in circles forever. Evangelicals’ beliefs say I can’t have an abortion, my beliefs say I can. Whose beliefs do the courts back? Whose beliefs are more valid in this country? We all know the answer, and it’s depressing.

Conservative Christians weren’t generally interested in politics until the 1970s. It’s really chilling to think that the government was fulfilling the vision of the Constitution better 50 years ago than it is now.

Post # 7
Member
2133 posts
Buzzing bee

soexcited123 :  religion and government shouldn’t even be used in the same fucking sentence together.

Post # 8
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

soexcited123 :  I think it’s undeniable that christianity (and judeaism) has played a big role in shaping Western society.

I think it’s hard for people who haven’t lived outside of Western countries, to see just how different some countries, their generalised morals and their customs/laws are. 

I see it on here sometimes when someone has an issue and mention they are from a different culture.  Most people don’t even consider the culture for a second and just give their opinion based on their own belief structure. 

I’ve lived in a country where revenge rape (raping a mans daughter/wife if he had raped your daughter/wife) was not only accepted, but backed in law, along with other “eye for an eye” vigilante punishments.  This law was backed by the people, yet would never be passed in a western society.

Everyone’s morals are heavily influenced by your family, culture, education, religion and law.  

Also, I would be interested to see how you define Sharia Law, since there are plenty of Muslims in the USA and other western countries, who practice Sharia right now.  Is that a problem for you? 

Post # 9
Member
380 posts
Helper bee

 

Religion/ mythology has no place in government.  

Per Jefferson:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

Unforunately, I think the U.S. is largely Christian and so is the government. 

You can see that in the holidays that are nationally recognized and many of the hot button topics. 

If a large portion of people ignored the belief that humans have “souls” that the “where does life begin” issue woudln’t exist. 

At most we’d be arguing over sentience when it comes to abortion–which is for sure well after a heart beat. 

Post # 10
Member
6360 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

soexcited123 :  The nation was, I suppose, founded on Christianity, but they put Separation of Church and State in there for a reason.  Unfortunately it does create a bit of a quandary: if you disallow abortion because Christians, that’s forcing the religion in there.  If you say “you have to pay for someone else’s contraception and abortions no matter what your religious beliefs” you are also forcing the religion issue.  There’s no real way to win here because religion does, in fact, exist.

I think the real problem is that right now both sides have a very ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.  So the left makes bills that imply it’s okay to off a baby as it’s shooting out the door if you happen to change your mind about it.  And then the right says they’re going to prosecute anyone who even thinks about abortion because Jesus or whatever.  Neither of those is acceptable, to my mind. 

Best case scenario is that we all start taking more personal responsibility (both to avoid the need for one in the first place and to be able to deal with it independently if the need arises) and at the same time, we find a way to make medical costs drop to the level that is affordable for once and for all.  And no, Obamacare was not that solution.  Neither iis making abortion illegal (and I’m betting these laws will be thrown out once we’re all good and outraged about it). The left and the right have GOT to start talking to each other and acting like the adults and representatives they are supposed to be.

Post # 10
Member
10431 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

It’s spelled out in the Free Exercise Clause of the US Constitution.

For further clarification as to what our Founders had in mind, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter in 1802 which I will paraphrase.  The point, as written by Jefferson, was to “build a wall between church and state”.  

The entire reason that America exists is religious freedom.  The first Americans refused to be forced by the state to join the Church of England.  A long and bloody war was fought for our freedom.

That said, America is, by tradition, a Judeo Christian nation. Our Founders were not a group of atheists. But, the Constitution bars the government from forcing any religion on the citizenry; just as it bars the government from interfering with any citizens right to worship.

It’s a common misperception that “Separation of Church and State” appears in the Constitution.  It doesn’t.

Post # 11
Member
1048 posts
Bumble bee

I still can’t figure out how they rationalize abortions as ‘bad’ and the death penalty as ‘good’.  If they want to call it murder and put a doctor away for 99+ years than what about the one that does the lethal injection?  It can not be an intellectual argument of convenience. I still can’t believe that a bunch of old men get to decide what a woman can do with her own body.  I am glad I live in a State that has gone from purple now to blue…if not, I would be headed back to California!

Post # 12
Member
706 posts
Busy bee

rosadiaz :  Hold on. Sharia can be followed much like any other Christian or Buddhist edicts or teachings can be followed, insofar as it doesn’t interfere with the country’s law, but if and when it does, the country’s laws reign supreme. 

What’s with the paranoia? Sharia law is problematic, sure. But the only real threat I see in the US right now is certain Christian beliefs about conception that seriously threaten women’s rights.

The same Christian right that is so purportedly anti Saudi Arabia, from where Wahhabism originates, still votes for the president who cozies up to Prince MBS because of oil and a strategic alignment against Iran. 

Post # 13
Member
380 posts
Helper bee

There is supposed to be a seperation between church and state. 

Unforunately, there’s a lot of christians in America and enough of them can’t keep their beliefs out of government. 

For example with the whole abortion thing. 

It’s so obvious a religious thing. I can’t imagine why the question of “when does life begin” matters unless one is trying to figure out when does a cell get a soul?

If one is not religious one knows that souls aren’t real and the questions becomes “when does a fetus gain sentience”.

 

 

Post # 14
Member
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Thomas Jefferson wrote, discussing (and quoting) the first amendment in the Bill of Rights:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. 

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