Religion in Political DiscourseWeaver -- Wednesday, November 03, 2004 -- 08:59:11 PM
The role of religious motives, methods, organizations, ideas, words and people in political activities: good or bad, effective or ineffective, how and why?This thread is tagged: religion
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I don't like it when any politician wants to whack me over the head with his religion or his "moral values." But apparently more than half the voters like that sort of thing, so I guess I'm going to have to adjust.
Suppose someone agrees with you politically, though- does it detract from that agreement that he derives it from his religious faith? Because it does seem to me that Republican secular wonk types find it a lot easier to get past than Dem secular wonks do, and that gives the Reps an advantage in working together.
He elaborated on the debate remarks at greater length. Obviously I am not sure I would either, hence the "dabbling" but it was leaning vaguely that way.
I used the term partly because I know several Godless leftists who really disrespect religion in politics here in the USA who were big LT fans when South America was all at war with itself.
j.ross, touche (although it didn't seem so much like LT to me).
So maybe for me it does come down to the Jimmy Carter brand of judeo-christian philosophy vs. the (insert your favorite wingnut here) brand of judeo-christian philosophy. I love Jimmy Carter and love the beauty of his faith. And in retrospect, maybe his economy wasn't so bad either.
I don't see Bush as evil. But I don't seem him as a man of great values or morality either. Most troubling is that Bush seems willing to say that his god, his interpretation of faith is what should drive our policy and gives credence to our actions as a country.
I stop short of saying that we’re on the road to becoming the Christian version of a Islamist state. And I hate to sound like a liberal alarmist (especially as I self-identify as a conservative) but his stance and the acceptance of it by so many does worry me. They don’t seem to hear the echoes of religious extremism that I hear in their own words.
The unapologetic nature of it is what is most concerning. Because we’ve managed to balance that righteousness, the rightness that can’t help but follow any religious belief system, in our actions in the public sphere.
Carter, I believe, tempered his righteousness.
Who will temper George Bush?
does it detract from that agreement that he derives it from his religious faith?
Not at all.
I love and appreciate religion, but I hate the way the religious right uses it, for two reasons.
First, they make an entertainment and show of faith, perpetuating the falsehood that if you don't yell your prayers loudly in the street you don't really believe. Beware the overly pious men who need an audience for prayer.
The second problem is that once you tie a specific suite of political positions to religious doctrine you begin making ranking people as cosmically good or evil based on how they feel the country should be run. Beyond being silly, it's destructive to our long-term cohesiveness and I'm convinced it's the road to division and ruin. It's the elimination of the American idea that people of good faith can disagree.
Both sides are guilty of it though, because while the right has demonized skepticism much of the left has demonized faith.
Wouldn't almost any devout person have to believe this, even if he were not willing to say it. I know if I believed in God Almighty, and that he was a Good God I would be unable to avoid believing that my God, and by extention my faith (which is how I understand Him) should drive our policy. REally, how could you not believe that?
Thanks; I haven't yet caught up with that.
Yes, this troubles me too. I'm not sure what draws some to this view and not others; it's nothing as clearcut as sect membership or theological conservatism.
j. ross, I agree with that, actually. The extension described in Greg's final paragraph is where I see trouble. I can believe that I need to put my faith into practice in my leadership without believing that no one of good faith can disagree with me.
Shelby was helping calling Dems to GOTV yesterday, her first outing with the local Dem organization. She was really upset however by how the other Dems there talked about the right in general and people of faith specifically. The left really does have a hate of religion problem. A good portion of religious people are on the right because they empathize politically with the left but don't feel like they're wanted or trusted there. Calling them all "stupid Nazi assholes destroying the country and creating a totalitarian state" is not only untrue but does nothing to win people over, which is what the Dems need to do to avoid falling out of the game altogether.
(Deleted message originally posted by ktp on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 -- 10:48:22 PM.)
Yes. Because I wonder (fear?) what the stance on the next issue will be. Religion is inherently authoritarian. It derives it's moral impact from the authority that gives it birth and sustains it. That authority is beyond question and criticism or the faith falls.
I regarded Liberation Theology as highly suspect, seeing it as a way to combine the efficient tyranny of Stalin with the mythical Papal power to chase opponents beyond the grave. What we saw in Carter and LT was a failed effort to wave the cross against the cross. In the end authoritarian strains of Christianity were enhanced simply because it conformed more to "Fundemental" and "Orthodox" forms.