Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics


In listening to a discussion on Face the Nation April 8th, 2012 on the role of religion in politics and to the issue of polarization of religious groups either for or against a particular political party, I was aghast.  Leaders of many faiths were presenters in this discussion.  I would like to make the following points which seemed to be sorely missed:

  1. All of us have beliefs
  2. All of our behavior is driven by our beliefs
  3. To say that one politician is or is not mixing his religion and politics is a totally spurious argument.  To say that our political decisions are or are not based on our religious beliefs is equally spurious.

The fundamental question is “do we have firm beliefs based on Truth which consistently leads us to good decisions in our life whether they are decisions with political overtones or life effecting personal decisions?”

As I have written elsewhere “Where do our beliefs originate.  Have they been passed down as uncluttered and unmodified Truths?  Do they give us a sound moral base for our decisions?”

With those questions sufficiently answered then it is safe to say that any political candidate has a belief system that will affect his decisions and, by the way, they may have a history of emanations from a religion.  The two cannot be separated and indeed, should not be separated.  Modern ethics and beliefs come from faith or other learning’s.

An atheist has beliefs as strong as a theist.  That he has beliefs is not the issue.  The issue is:

  1. Do his beliefs lead to decisions that are fair to all?
  2.  Does he have respect for all regardless of their beliefs?
  3. Can he live in acceptance of all without the need to impose his beliefs on those who believe otherwise?
  4. Are they fundamental to the dignity of man and the support of human rights?
  5. Is there consistent evidence that his beliefs and therefore his decisions are for the betterment of all mankind?

If the answers to these questions are positive then any candidate who so exemplifies this life style deserves to be elected. Can you imagine a government filled with individuals who live and act in this manner?


April 2012