Religion & Politics: USF Fall 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

mixing religion and politics

Blog # 4
Spencer Brady
Religion & Politics

Religion and Politics are two very controversial aspects of our society, and when they come together it tends to stir up emotion through out the people. We live in a country where both religion and politics are equally important and some how they always seem to transcend into one another. Politicians have and do use religion to aid their campaigns all the time, especially with the major war in Iraq going on. Also, on the other hand religious leaders have a tendency to use political issues when it comes to deciding who is really a member of their religious society. It is said that we are suppose to separate church and state, and let each one stand on their own grounds. This has proved to be impossible so far because they simply go hand in hand with one another.

As we all know, President Bush is a religious man, and he is a strong believer in the Christian faith. Bush tends to incorporate religion into his speeches quite often and people do not really like it when the leader of our nation is giving off the impression that the U.S. is a predominately Christian nation. I read in an article “Religion Plays a Big Role in Bush Presidency” in the ABC News, that Bush invited the Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski to join him in prayer in the oval office. It is incidents like this one that people get uneasy about because he is mixing church and state too much. Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League said, “When he (prays) as a private person practicing his own faith, God bless, but when it becomes part of the official function of the President, then that’s something that’s inappropriate.” People simply do not like the idea that he is communicating to other foreign leaders from the standpoint that he is the leader of a Christian nation. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for separation of Church and State said, “He is treading dangerously close to breaching the idea that this is a secular country.

Then there are also the situations where religious leaders allow politics to have too significant of an affect on what they are trying to do. An example of this is the topic of abortion. Obviously abortion is against some religions, and if you were to support abortion you would be going against that particular religion. I read in an article “Religion, Politics can be Combustible Match” in ABC News, that at East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina there was an issue around this. The people there say that Rev. Chan Chandler told them “Those that did not support Bush needed to leave, that they were sinners that believed in abortion and all the wrong things.” So when some people from that church supported John Kerry’s campaign, they were kicked out of their church. This is the other side of the spectrum, but you can see how mixing Church and State can be detrimental to our society.

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