Religion & Politics: USF Fall 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Politics vs. Religion

In a recent November 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times, there was an article about an All Saints Episcopal Church being investigated by the IRS. The church is being investigated because during the 2004 presidential elections. Rev. George F. Regas tried to persuade his congregation to vote one way. Apparently, the Pasadena church put out newsletters and flyers during the election and the church now refuses to comply with IRS and hand the newsletters and flyers over. The challenge that the church is making is whether or not they violated any federal laws.
This surely isn’t the first time this has happened, is it? I’m sure many churches over the years have tried to persuade their congregation to vote one way or the other. Even USF did. During the mid-term elections, many students received pamphlets on how they should vote?
Does the church have a right to influence how you should or shouldn’t vote? Politics and religion should not correlate. However, that is not the case. As much as we try to not to relate them together, religion will always have an influence over politics. On the other side, isn’t it their right of free speech to preach whatever they want?
What I don’t understand is why the IRS needs to get involved. Why is this a matter of national security? What harm is the church in Pasadena doing?
Americans still judge politicians on what religion they believe in even though it has nothing to do with the issues they are dealing with. In the 60’s, John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president and many people were more skeptical about their new president solely because he was Catholic. In recent news, the first Muslim in Congress, Keith Ellison is making news because he’s Muslim. I don’t think Americans should worry because if Congressman Ellison is a good politician, then his religion should not interfere with the choices he makes in Congress.

4 Comments:

  • I also believe that religion influence politics. Many people bring their religious background into politcs portray a certain image and gather supports who also believe the same ideas.

    By Blogger anthony, at 11:56 PM  

  • I agree with what you are saying about how religion and politics are inevitably interlinked. It seems that when people are voting on a govenor or a president, they are instinctively concerned with what the persons religious background is on top of their political views. I just agree with you that as a society we should try to work towards seperating the two.

    By Blogger spencer, at 12:33 AM  

  • Politics Vs. Religion
    I would certainly agree that many people still use religion to inform their political views and decisions. I think a more important question to ask is not whether it is happening or not but whether it should be happening or not. I think it is or at least can be to have religion and politics so closely tied. I believe this is partly the reason we see such divisions and partisan squabbling in politics today. Also I don't think it is a national security issue but chruches do have certain excemptions from tax code because of their religious status-- if they are telling people how to vote they may very well have violated that status in which case the IRS should be investigating.
    -Stephen

    By Blogger stephen, at 1:42 AM  

  • I certainly understand why we still judge politicians based on their religious affiliation. It is the easiest way for us to classify/relate to the politicians. When John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic president, there was definitely controversies concerning his ability to govern the country. That was because it was outside of the norm, it was hard for the Americans to accept change, but they did eventually acknowledged him and grew to love him. So for a Muslim to take office in the Congress now, it is a definitely a first but people have to accept the fact that the world of religion and politics is changing constantly. If the people of the United States are able to accept a Muslim into Congress, w ho knows, maybe a female president will be nominated and possibly elected? I guess we just have to wait and see. -Wendy.

    By Blogger Wendy P, at 4:19 AM  

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