Religion in Politics

May 21, 2012 on 12:52 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Let me ask, should there be religion in politics? I just read an article in USA Today about Mr. Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. The writer of the article wants Mr. Romney to address his faith in such a way that The Evangelical Christian’s will accept him.

In my opinion this is just plain wrong. I do not follow Mr. Romney’s faith and from what I have heard about it, it is a little odd. In reality I do not care if he is a Mormon and I do not care what he believes, if he keeps it all to himself. America is one crazy country. The same people that are going to put Mr. Romney’s faith aside and vote for him will use Mr.Obama’s faith as a reason to vote against him. Of course these people are believers in Mr. Obama being a Muslim or an Atheist even though he is a Christian.

I want a moral person to be my President and I want some one that shares some of my core beliefs. I would imagine most people do. However, there is no way we as a nation should be electing people based upon the faith they claim to follow. The first reason we need to look past faith is that it is too easy for them to say they are a Christian and everyone just assumes that means the same to all of us. Mormons, Evangelicals, Catholics, Protestants, etc., they all have some common beliefs but they are all radically different from each other. Even the people within the same exact religion have a difference of opinion on how they are supposed to worship and what their beliefs are. Each individual derives their own beliefs within the confines of whatever religion they worship and all of their morals can be very different.

Another reason we should not just say, hey that person is a Christian they must be good, not all Christians are good. Our newspapers are full of stories about the most devout Christian person committing heinous crimes. There is no reason to begin a list, we all can think of more than we really want to remember. Please do not think I am picking on all Christians. My Mother goes to Church every Sunday.

I would like to dispel one of America’s greatest myths that our country was founded on Christian beliefs. Some of our Founding Fathers were Christians, of course. John Jay was a Founding Father that considered himself to be a Christian. Many were not and this includes the most notable of them. Deism was quite popular when our nation was young. Men such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Madison were considered Deists or Atheists. Had it been thought of at the time these men likely would have considered themselves to be Pantheists.

George Washington wrote very little if anything about his beliefs. Historian Barry Schwartz writes: “George Washington’s practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian… He repeatedly declined the church’s sacraments. Never did he take communion, and when his wife, Martha, did, he waited for her outside the sanctuary… Even on his deathbed, Washington asked for no ritual, uttered no prayer to Christ, and expressed no wish to be attended by His representative.” [New York Press, 1987, pp. 174-175]

Paul F. Boller states in is anthology on Washington: “There is no mention of Jesus Christ anywhere in his extensive correspondence.” [Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963, pp. 14-15]

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law.” Thomas Jefferson

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” James Madison
Our Founding Fathers Were Not Chrisitans

We all need to understand that our beliefs are ours and ours alone. No matter what faith a person claims to believe in the only faith we really have is the unique way we live our own lives. My faith is unique to me based upon the things I have seen, heard and read that made sense to me. We all take the things we like from wherever we learned them and we drop those beliefs that we do not agree with, no matter where we learned them.

I cannot tell another person what to think or believe. I can list my beliefs and give my reasons for them. One of two things will happen; the person I am telling this to will either refuse to abandon their own beliefs for mine or they will accept my beliefs and replace their own. Either way that person should now have a stronger belief. This, of course, can also work in reverse. The other person, by making me explain my beliefs, can either get me to strengthen my belief or I might see the error of my ways and come to a different conclusion. My beliefs would then be stronger whichever the outcome. “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw

We need to stop looking at a person’s religion when deciding who to vote for and begin to look at their true character. To me it takes character to be against a certain lifestyle personally but understand that other people should have the right to live that lifestyle, so long as it does no tangible harm to those of us not participating in it. Mr. Obama seems to have evolved to this way of thinking. Have you?

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