I have a political question.

2

Comments

  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    I live in the South... It is impossible for me to directly associate Christianity with good morals. I would love to see a president that does not believe in a god, and respects the rights of others to believe whatever they want. On a global scale, I also find there to be no positive correlation between the morality of overtly religious individuals vs. those of either a private faith or no faith at all.
  • I live in the south and I understand your frustration with that one, southern baptist...hell-fire and brimstone sermons. It is unfortunate that christianity has been high-jacked by those that don't provide a good example of the faith. I agree people should be able believe what ever they want without persucution. As for overtly religious individuals vs private faith(?) or no faith at all statement, I disagree. China was put on the world stage and the government is overtly non-religious and if anyone speaks out about it or tries to publicly worship then they are jailed among other things. Myanmar is the same way, they are ran by a militaristic government but persecute the monks there for their faith. Russia (which is becoming a problem again) was known for there lack religious freedom because of their marxist beliefs. 'Religion is the opiate of the masses.' I could bring up Hitler too, he wasn't so much pro-christian as he was anti-jewish. I smell an inkling of correlation...lol.
  • dutyjedutyje Posts: 2,263
    Do I need to rattle off an equivalent number of violent or oppressive states that are governed by religion? My point wasn't that non-religious states are less violent or oppressive... My point is that you wouldn't find a valid statistical correlation in favor of religiously-based governments creating a more moral society.

    The problem with many of the southern churches I've been to (more so in SC than in NC) is their exclusivity. As an example, if you go to church unclean or dressed in casual clothing, you are looked down upon. Also, if you should happen to go to church with a cold and let out a cough or sneeze during the service, you quickly see scornful looks from those sitting nearby, as if you have just intruded upon their day.

    I seem to remember being taught in church that Jesus welcomed the poor and the sick... Many churches down here seem to exclude these groups as unfit for their private circles of worship. How well would you expect a homeless man to be received if he dragged himself into church on a Sunday morning?

    I know you weren't arguing that point.. I just wanted to rant.
  • What? You didn't go to church in your 'sunday best', shame on you. I know that turned me off of church as well as those larger than a high school churches. But I found that doesn't subscribe to all of that old school church legalism. Its more faith based and getting the message out, bring people to church no matter what they look like.

    Now with the origanl discusion, with a religion I know more of where they stand than someone without one...thats just me though.
  • kuzi16:
    Im not throwing my vote away if i vote my values.
    Bingo. Stategic voting is BS. Vote for whom you want in office, period.

    What gets me is that so many people turn out for Federal/State elections, but so few vote for local elections (judges, Sheriffs, County Commissioners, etc...). THOSE people have the greatest impact to OUR Daily lives but so few (around me anyway) give a ****. Pity.
  • madurofanmadurofan Posts: 6,152
    Dammit Zim, can I buy you a drink. I agree whole-heartedly with everything you just said!
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    kuzi16:
    j0z3r:
    You are half right kuzi. A president's religion is none of our business as long as said president keeps his religion separate from his presidential duties, which if we're talking about Bush Jr. is simply not the case.
    we have never had a non Cristian president. are you saying that no other president has ever sat down and said a prayer to help him through the hard decisions? I refuse to believe that.

    lets face it, a large percentage of americans ARE followers of Jesus. we (as a nation) have always elected a President who does too.
    Saying a prayer to get through a tough decision and using the foundations of a chosen religion to make your decisions are two completely different things. I had hoped you would have read that much into my post and not insulted my intelligence (intentional or not) by assuming that was my point.

    I'm all for religion, if it makes you happy, gives you some purpose, run don't walk towards it, but don't run the country I live in and call home based solely on your religious beliefs, that's what I'm saying.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    kuzi16:
    we have never had a non Cristian president . . . we (as a nation) have always elected a President who [believes in Jesus] too.
    Actually, that's not accurate. Neither Jefferson nor Madison were Christians in any recognizable sense of the term. The exact nature of Madison's beliefs (or lack thereof) is not known because he never talked about it in public or even wrote about it in his letters and journals. Jefferson, however, we have a very clear sense of, and he certainly didn't believe in Jesus in any Christian sense.

    (I generally stay out of the political discussions because that's not what I come here for. But this is a matter of history, not politics.)
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    Bad Andy:
    Now with the original discussion, with a religion I know more of where they stand than someone without one...that's just me though.
    (Andy, I corrected a few typos for the quote, forgive my **** retentive nature)

    I think this statement, while perhaps true to a certain extent, is erroneous to a larger extent. I am one of those people who you might describe as "having no religion", and I wouldn't disagree or take offense to such a description. For the sake of clarity though, how do you know more of where a religious person stands than a person who claims no religion? And I'm not trying to call you out at all, this is a sincere curiosity of mine.

    Joe
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    j0z3r:
    kuzi16:
    j0z3r:
    You are half right kuzi. A president's religion is none of our business as long as said president keeps his religion separate from his presidential duties, which if we're talking about Bush Jr. is simply not the case.
    we have never had a non Cristian president. are you saying that no other president has ever sat down and said a prayer to help him through the hard decisions? I refuse to believe that.

    lets face it, a large percentage of americans ARE followers of Jesus. we (as a nation) have always elected a President who does too.
    Saying a prayer to get through a tough decision and using the foundations of a chosen religion to make your decisions are two completely different things. I had hoped you would have read that much into my post and not insulted my intelligence (intentional or not) by assuming that was my point.

    I'm all for religion, if it makes you happy, gives you some purpose, run don't walk towards it, but don't run the country I live in and call home based solely on your religious beliefs, that's what I'm saying.
    i actually got dragged away from my computer and didnt get to finish my point. and on a related note, the fact that you can make a cognecent argument is proof enough that you are intelligent.
    my actual point was more along the lines of many of the basic laws of our government have basis in many religions. they are fundimental beliefs that most religions hold dear. if a leader looks to a religion to make a choice that will affect everyone so be it. ...especially in this country. We as a nation elected him, his religious beliefs and how he uses them and all. if you dont like it (and its fairly clear you dont) then vote a different way, and voice your opinion against it like you are. thats what this country is all about. I like to discuss things with people that have a different view than mine. i hope you do to. this is what makes this nation great. H.R. Clinton said it best: " i have the right to disagree with this administration or any other admistration" shes right, you are right, i am right. personally i am ok with prayer and conversation with God when making a decision that will affect millions. to me that says he is taking his core beliefs into account and that he cares. he wants to do the right thing. I still dont think that that proscess is making this a "religion based" nation. again this is from a non religious person

    again, im sorry if it came accross that i was being short or insinuating things that i was not. when i made my post i was litterally 10 minutes late for work. (lost track of time) in haste, i hit "post" when my point was not even close to being in order.

    to tell the truth im not sure it still is in order. i mean, an issue as complex as this is hard to wrap a mind around much less jot it down in a few lines on a cigar forum. there are so many things to take into account. discussion brings out all sides and makes room for growth and learning. i dont know about you but i like that.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    urbino:
    kuzi16:
    we have never had a non Cristian president . . . we (as a nation) have always elected a President who [believes in Jesus] too.
    Actually, that's not accurate. Neither Jefferson nor Madison were Christians in any recognizable sense of the term. The exact nature of Madison's beliefs (or lack thereof) is not known because he never talked about it in public or even wrote about it in his letters and journals. Jefferson, however, we have a very clear sense of, and he certainly didn't believe in Jesus in any Christian sense.

    (I generally stay out of the political discussions because that's not what I come here for. But this is a matter of history, not politics.)
    actually you are correct now that i think about it. I should have thought about that considering that my brother has a blog that discusses religion an history quite often. PM me urbi, if you want a link. you may find it interesting.

    very good point
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    kuzi16:
    j0z3r:
    kuzi16:
    j0z3r:
    You are half right kuzi. A president's religion is none of our business as long as said president keeps his religion separate from his presidential duties, which if we're talking about Bush Jr. is simply not the case.
    we have never had a non Cristian president. are you saying that no other president has ever sat down and said a prayer to help him through the hard decisions? I refuse to believe that.

    lets face it, a large percentage of americans ARE followers of Jesus. we (as a nation) have always elected a President who does too.
    Saying a prayer to get through a tough decision and using the foundations of a chosen religion to make your decisions are two completely different things. I had hoped you would have read that much into my post and not insulted my intelligence (intentional or not) by assuming that was my point.

    I'm all for religion, if it makes you happy, gives you some purpose, run don't walk towards it, but don't run the country I live in and call home based solely on your religious beliefs, that's what I'm saying.
    i actually got dragged away from my computer and didnt get to finish my point. and on a related note, the fact that you can make a cognecent argument is proof enough that you are intelligent.
    my actual point was more along the lines of many of the basic laws of our government have basis in many religions. they are fundimental beliefs that most religions hold dear. if a leader looks to a religion to make a choice that will affect everyone so be it. ...especially in this country. We as a nation elected him, his religious beliefs and how he uses them and all. if you dont like it (and its fairly clear you dont) then vote a different way, and voice your opinion against it like you are. thats what this country is all about. I like to discuss things with people that have a different view than mine. i hope you do to. this is what makes this nation great. H.R. Clinton said it best: " i have the right to disagree with this administration or any other admistration" shes right, you are right, i am right. personally i am ok with prayer and conversation with God when making a decision that will affect millions. to me that says he is taking his core beliefs into account and that he cares. he wants to do the right thing. I still dont think that that proscess is making this a "religion based" nation. again this is from a non religious person

    again, im sorry if it came accross that i was being short or insinuating things that i was not. when i made my post i was litterally 10 minutes late for work. (lost track of time) in haste, i hit "post" when my point was not even close to being in order.

    to tell the truth im not sure it still is in order. i mean, an issue as complex as this is hard to wrap a mind around much less jot it down in a few lines on a cigar forum. there are so many things to take into account. discussion brings out all sides and makes room for growth and learning. i dont know about you but i like that.
    I understand your point, and I appreciate it, believe me I do. I was perhaps a bit heated with my reply, so there is no need for you to apologize and I should perhaps offer up an apology of my own for making baseless accusations.

    Let me state clearly that I have absolutely no problem with a president, or any governmental official for that matter, being religious or praying to seek guidance on difficult issues, that is absolutely fine with me. What I do take issue with is when those same government officials, such as president Bush, try to push their religious agenda(s) into places they do not belong. The Constitution draws a clear line between Church and State, and as the president of the US, I feel Bush is duty bound to uphold those principles laid out at the founding of this country. It is flagrantly unconstitutional for George Bush to give faith based organizations my tax dollars... this is my issue. And it goes to say something about him as a president when he chooses which parts of the Constitution he will follow and which he will disregard.

    So, my fear is not this nation becoming "religion based", if you ask me a whole lot of people in this country could use a bit of religion. My biggest fear is a president with no restraints... and religion just happens to be a part of that, but certainly not the only issue.

    Lastly I'll say that I too like a good argument. I respect your opinion as I hope you respect mine, regardless of whether we agree on the matter at hand.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    i may not be 100% on this but im pretty sure that nowhere in the constitution does it say "seperation of church and state" ... but it does say that the government will not favor one religion more than the other.

    this is a hard one. I mean. Bush is a human. I, as another human, cannot tell him what he can and cannot believe. so when he gets to the point where his beliefs can affect others does that mean that we have the right to change or discount them? hmmm thats an interesting thought. is that along the lines of the needs of the many out weighing hte needs of the few?

    not gunna lie here, i may have to ponder this a bit more. maybe explore it a bit.


    this again is why i like discussion. it makes me think.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    I did some research, and you're correct about the Constitution not saying that. The Establishment Clause of The First Amendment, however, is generally interpreted to effectively establish a separation of church and state in that Congress is prohibited from forming a national religion and also, as you said, from showing preference of one religion over another... which brings about my point about Bush giving taxpayer money to religious organizations that he believes in, or shows preference in.

    I agree, this is a hard subject and there are a lot of opinions. My main problem is not with Bush's religion, as I've said I have not a single problem with religion or those who partake in it. My problem lies in the fact that Bush clearly disregards the Constitution by giving taxpayer money to faith based organizations.

    I'm not arguing his humanity, my humanity or your humanity, simply the facts. I understand where you are coming from, and I do appreciate the points you bring up, they make me think and question some of my own beliefs to an extent and I view that as a good thing.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    The 2 relevant sections of the 1st Amendment read: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof..." The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. (There are other provisions elsewhere in the Constitution that are relevant, but not necessary to mention right now.)

    There have been lots and lots of cases over the years in which the Supreme Court had to try to decide/explain what that language means as applied to specific legal disputes. I've studied all those opinions and the history and principles involved. The short version, IMHO, is that they were written to prevent the kinds of internal and external strife (and wars) that resulted from the historic practice not just in Europe, but also in the American colonies: i.e., the ruler (or ruling faction) picking a religion or religious denomination and saying it's the preferred one, thereby giving it special privileges and support while imposing legal sanctions on (or just killing) adherents of all other religions or denominations.

    To whatever extent an American gov't's actions tend to promote religion-based civil strife, then, it's in violation of these clauses. Therefore, IMHO, the Establishment Clause doesn't just forbid "showing preference of one religion over another," it forbids showing preference for religion period. The gov't can't give taxpayer handouts to all churches equally and claim not to be violating the Est. Clause; it's still forcing people who aren't members of any church to financially support churches in general.

    There are a thousand other important considerations in thinking about this stuff, but that's the basic principle, IMHO.

    (Sorry to run off at the mouth. I did my M.A. on this, so when I get started, it's hard for me to know when to stop.)
  • Ok, just skimming over the post that I missed over the last several hours...wow...a lot has been said, good points and constructive arguements. I love it. That being said I want to answer what Joe asked for me to reply to, I know my grammar is bad so no offense there. I failed HS English for a reason. lol

    j0z3r:
    Bad Andy:
    Now with the original discussion, with a religion I know more of where they stand than someone without one...that's just me though.
    (Andy, I corrected a few typos for the quote, forgive my **** retentive nature)

    I think this statement, while perhaps true to a certain extent, is erroneous to a larger extent. I am one of those people who you might describe as "having no religion", and I wouldn't disagree or take offense to such a description. For the sake of clarity though, how do you know more of where a religious person stands than a person who claims no religion? And I'm not trying to call you out at all, this is a sincere curiosity of mine.

    Joe

    I have my faith in God, a christian God. Some others may faith in other gods. But it all starts with faith, IMO, its what leads or guides the people that have it. I try to make decisions based more on my faith and the guidance I get from God through prayer and scripture. And I'm fairly new to this as well. In the last 6-7 months I have come a long way though, I read the Bible and pray a lot and I feel out-of-sorts when I don't so I know when my connection to Him is lacking. I'm not sure if you have been churched or even had faith in a god but since you said you have 'no religion' then I will assume that you haven't had that connection. It may be difficult to understand where we both come from too. I know God is leading me and my family for what is best for us and believe that He is doing the same for any politician that prays for His guidance. I'm not saying that people can't do right or good deeds without a religion or faith but I do know that faith without good deeds is useless. You can't claim to to be a faithfull christian and walk all over everybody and do bad things becuase 'God will forgive me', it doesn't work that way. The bible even says to follow your political leaders, do not disobey them unless they want you to do something that defies your faith. If someone has a religion and they are actually faithfull to it, it lets me know who they are, how well they are 'grounded', where they maybe coming from in there thinking. I don't see it as being any different in knowing what schools they went to, what branch of service they were in, where they grew up, etc. Its something that tells me who they are, although, I may put more importance on there beliefs. I'm not sure if this explains what you want know but this basically where I am coming from in that statement.
  • urbino:
    The 2 relevant sections of the 1st Amendment read: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof..." The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. (There are other provisions elsewhere in the Constitution that are relevant, but not necessary to mention right now.)

    There have been lots and lots of cases over the years in which the Supreme Court had to try to decide/explain what that language means as applied to specific legal disputes. I've studied all those opinions and the history and principles involved. The short version, IMHO, is that they were written to prevent the kinds of internal and external strife (and wars) that resulted from the historic practice not just in Europe, but also in the American colonies: i.e., the ruler (or ruling faction) picking a religion or religious denomination and saying it's the preferred one, thereby giving it special privileges and support while imposing legal sanctions on (or just killing) adherents of all other religions or denominations.

    To whatever extent an American gov't's actions tend to promote religion-based civil strife, then, it's in violation of these clauses. Therefore, IMHO, the Establishment Clause doesn't just forbid "showing preference of one religion over another," it forbids showing preference for religion period. The gov't can't give taxpayer handouts to all churches equally and claim not to be violating the Est. Clause; it's still forcing people who aren't members of any church to financially support churches in general.

    There are a thousand other important considerations in thinking about this stuff, but that's the basic principle, IMHO.

    (Sorry to run off at the mouth. I did my M.A. on this, so when I get started, it's hard for me to know when to stop.)
    Urbi...I think there is another valuable point here. What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights in general. To protect the people's rights...from the gov't (mainly) and from others. I don't think it forbids showing a preferane for religion. There is no 'seperation of church and state', at least legally, maybe theoretically so that there is no finite preferance shown. But this country was founded upon some christian fundementals so I don't think that religion would be completely forbidden in gov't nor would it be from politics. And as far as taxpayer handouts...I'd rather my money go to a church than a lot of other things my tax money is going to now.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    I read you loud and clear on that one Andy, I appreciate the clarification of your stance as I was a bit confused as to what you meant exactly. And you have a valid point I think, I don't personally feel religion is necessary for a person to be good and moral, but I know that there are some who would be lost without it also.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    j0z3r:
    My problem lies in the fact that Bush clearly disregards the Constitution by giving taxpayer money to faith based organizations.
    i must have missed this one. what organizations are you talking about again?


    so now the question is effectivly, can a president give tax money to a religious organization if the people are ok with it?

    geneally speaking, the population has no problem with "religion"
    If a religious organization asks for government aid and the general populous has no problem with it is this now unconstitutional for the aid to be paid out? At what percentage of decent does it become unacceptable?

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Bad Andy:
    And as far as taxpayer handouts...I'd rather my money go to a church than a lot of other things my tax money is going to now.
    as far as tax payer handouts go...

    geeez. i hate when my wealth get redistributed.
  • Amen Kuz, Amen.
  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Bad Andy:
    urbino:
    The 2 relevant sections of the 1st Amendment read: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof..." The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. (There are other provisions elsewhere in the Constitution that are relevant, but not necessary to mention right now.)

    There have been lots and lots of cases over the years in which the Supreme Court had to try to decide/explain what that language means as applied to specific legal disputes. I've studied all those opinions and the history and principles involved. The short version, IMHO, is that they were written to prevent the kinds of internal and external strife (and wars) that resulted from the historic practice not just in Europe, but also in the American colonies: i.e., the ruler (or ruling faction) picking a religion or religious denomination and saying it's the preferred one, thereby giving it special privileges and support while imposing legal sanctions on (or just killing) adherents of all other religions or denominations.

    To whatever extent an American gov't's actions tend to promote religion-based civil strife, then, it's in violation of these clauses. Therefore, IMHO, the Establishment Clause doesn't just forbid "showing preference of one religion over another," it forbids showing preference for religion period. The gov't can't give taxpayer handouts to all churches equally and claim not to be violating the Est. Clause; it's still forcing people who aren't members of any church to financially support churches in general.

    There are a thousand other important considerations in thinking about this stuff, but that's the basic principle, IMHO.

    (Sorry to run off at the mouth. I did my M.A. on this, so when I get started, it's hard for me to know when to stop.)
    Urbi...I think there is another valuable point here. What is the purpose of the Bill of Rights in general. To protect the people's rights...from the gov't (mainly) and from others. I don't think it forbids showing a preferane for religion. There is no 'seperation of church and state', at least legally, maybe theoretically so that there is no finite preferance shown. But this country was founded upon some christian fundementals so I don't think that religion would be completely forbidden in gov't nor would it be from politics. And as far as taxpayer handouts...I'd rather my money go to a church than a lot of other things my tax money is going to now.
    As I said, Andy, there are a thousand other important considerations. One of the problems with discussing church and state is that everybody wants to talk about it as if it's simple -- as if it boils down to one issue or one consideration or one viewpoint -- when in fact it is, by far, the single most complex issue in American politics.

    This is one of the reasons I try never to get involved in discussions about it with anybody other than close friends who I spend lots of time with: because there is no short way of discussing it. That's already become the case with this discussion. There is no reasonably brief way of accurately responding to some of the points raised, which is why I'll be bowing out of the thread.

    Just for thought, though, consider that there is no single "purpose of the Bill of Rights." The people who voted for it voted for it for wildly different reasons, with wildly different understandings of what it would do or mean. The people who wrote it -- James Madison, primarily -- didn't think it had much purpose at all; they thought it was a pointless exercise.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    the vast complexity of this topic does make it a bit daunting. its incomprehensably difficult to seperate the office from the man and then the man from the religion. they mingle just by the nature of all three.

  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    kuzi16:
    j0z3r:
    My problem lies in the fact that Bush clearly disregards the Constitution by giving taxpayer money to faith based organizations.
    i must have missed this one. what organizations are you talking about again?
    What do you deem a reliable source? I have an article that outlines some of what I'm talking about, here is a Link



    so now the question is effectivly, can a president give tax money to a religious organization if the people are ok with it?

    geneally speaking, the population has no problem with "religion"
    If a religious organization asks for government aid and the general populous has no problem with it is this now unconstitutional for the aid to be paid out? At what percentage of decent does it become unacceptable?

    No, a president cannot give taxpayer money to a religious organization. I suppose if enough people were in support of abolishing the First Amendment, then perhaps, but popular support for religion is simply not enough for the president, or any member of the government, to disregard the Constitution.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    you do know that many religious groups in the US get federal aid... right?

    i mean when i was in high school (in the late 90s) the bus i too to private catholic school my freshman year was owned and operated by our local school district.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    I'm aware that it happens... I don't agree with it strictly on a constitutional basis, but I'm aware of it.

    edit:also, I feel that point is kind of neither here nor there in regards to what I was saying, though I do understand what you meant by it.
  • Urbi, I respect your bowing out and understand that these are difficult discusions. So many aspects and so many viewpoints means too many opinions. But I do like the respectful banter on here. In verbal conversations I usually get cought and lose my train of thought, on here I get a chance to breath and say the things I want more clearly.

  • urbinourbino Posts: 4,517
    Oh, yes. I agree that the discussions here have been respectful and intelligent. That's not why I'm bowing out. It's just that this issue is so huge, and right now I'm not willing to devote the time to it that the discussion, to be truly worthwhile, really requires.
  • j0z3rj0z3r Posts: 9,403
    That's a shame, honestly I'd really look forward to your take on some of these bigger issues being discussed, you strike me as pretty intelligent and knowledgeable (well, that's what I gather from what you had posted thus far) and I think your insight would be greatly appreciated. Now, don't take that as me trying to twist your arm and drag you into this, I completely understand and respect your decision to stay out of it.
  • brodskalesbrodskales Saint LouisPosts: 78
    Every vote is wasted. Here in oligarchic America the rich and powerful will always win, and there's no changing that buddy. Long live glorious government. All hail the mighty American Empire.
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