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Should Religious Men & Women Hold Public Office?

Politics-American Religion Religions Candidates

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Poll: Can Religious People Hold Public Office? (45 member(s) have cast votes)

Can Religious People Hold Public Office?

  1. Yes - as long as they don't push their religious views on the public. (9 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  2. Yes - as long as they uphold the Constitution governing their jurisdiction. (32 votes [71.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 71.11%

  3. Yes - as long as they aren't public about their religiosity. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. No - they are inherently compromised and cannot be trusted to maintain separation of Church and State (4 votes [8.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.89%

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#81 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 06:35 PM

BTW - I still haven't had anyone clarify their opinions on position #1 - and that now has 5 votes...

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#82 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 06:37 PM

I wouldn't consider myself a religious person.  It does however, mystify me that we've been voting "religious" people, whatever that means, into office since the beginning, and the country is still ticking away.  I'm not sure I find credibility in the notion that this is now a problem.  On certain levels, I find reassurance in the idea that my officials have strong religious beliefs.  At least they believe in something.  Sure you'll find those who take it to an extreme, but that's true of any group of people.

#83 HubcapDave

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 06:39 PM

Rhea, on May 14 2004, 03:55 PM, said:

Una Salus Lillius, on May 14 2004, 02:48 PM, said:

^  You mean, like proposing a constitutional amendment that forbids gay marriage? :angel:
Beat me to it. :p~

And Dave, if you're going to argue that $$ is a factor in not allowing gay marriages, then I'm going to point out that nobody used that as a factor when considering heterosexual marriages either.

The truth is, it's a purely religious decision, because Bush admits that he's pushing the amendment because he  believes based on the Bible that homosexual marriage is wrong. "It would be expensive" is a hugely discriminatory statement, given that no one worries about expense when heterosexuals marry and get benefits - it's just a given.
Rhea,

I don not propose to debate what has been debated ad infinitum previously here. My point simply was that there are other arguements against it, regardless of whether or not you agree with them.

Bush may feel that gay marriage is against his religious beliefs, however he has only supported the amendment due to what he perceives as judicial activism run riot.

#84 The Tyrant

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 07:25 PM

Voted 'no'. I don't trust religion.

#85 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 09:16 PM

RichieAvatar - can you clarify?  Do you mean by that that a person who has any religious beliefs should be barred from holding office, or that you would not vote for someone who did?

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#86 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 09:30 PM

I think the problem is that folk who sympathize with position number 4 (and astoundingly I'm not one of them) feel that attempts to explain themselves will get them attacked.  I think that's too bad though. For example, cyberhippie is entitled to his opinion but I think it's important that he recognize the implications of that opinion and when I say that I don't mean it as an attack.

We all have biases.  There's no fault in admitting and discussing them.
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#87 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 09:38 PM

You may be right.  I knew when I was making this thread that it was a sensitive subject.  And I don't know how to ease the sensitivity of it.  Because I've seen sufficient evidence here that suggests that people really do believe that the religious do not have the right to hold office, and I've further seen the opinion that the fact that a public policy is motivated by a person's religious conviction makes it automatically invalid as law.

I don't believe either position is true or fair, but I started this thread to see if indeed I was right (and so far it looks like I am), and to understand that point of view if I can.

HM07

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#88 G1223

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 09:49 PM

I think HM that outside of this group you will saee that most poltica office seekers are church going people partially to gain votes. As I said before God will be used in speeches till the end of time.

I as a personal note do not look at canidates to see if they are church goers. but whenI see Kerry or other canidates going out for the photo op I shake my head as they are pandering to the camera and crowd and not showing us the real guy.

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#89 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:02 PM

Thank you G, but that isn't the issue.  That simply recognizes the fact that the demographics of this country are largely people who believe in God and hold belief in God as a value worth maintaining.  

The point of THIS poll is to explore the ideas of those who oppose religion in public life.  

As I've stated earlier this week in another thread - I'm actually far off from the standard view here.  I personally do not agree with the separation of church and state, and view it as a necessary evil, until we figure out a way to not have that separation AND not cause the oppression of others.  Having said that - given that I believe that the separation of church and state IS a necessity for this time period, I don't think that my approach to the implementation of that idea in anyway jeopardizes the spirit of the idea.  Quite to the contrary, I believe that my approach is more similar in intent to the framers original thinking, and I base that on the fact that the majority (if not all) of the framers were deists of some sort.  But clearly, 31% of the Ex Isle population does not agree with me, and its that 31% that I'm trying to understand.

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#90 Themis

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:37 PM

There are religious people.  And there are religious people.  It may be in the degree.  

I don't object to politicians for whom religion is a part of their life but I do object to those to put it in the forefront all the time and make it seem like their religious beliefs are driving their public decisions, possibly to the exclusion of what others think and advise and what might actually be a wise strategy or position.  Yes, they may see their religion as the source of their moral values (and total lack of religion might be the source of the very same moral values for someone else).

But Bush and his "faith-based" initiatives  and his constant reference to his religion are pushing it too far, imo.  Keep my money out of anybody's church or synagogue or temple or whatever.  If you want to worship a god and use it as your source of inspiration for "doing the right thing," fine.  But there are lots of sources and inspirations for what most think are good moral values (not killing or stealing or commiting arson or generally taking advantage of somebody else) beyond what has been codified into the Bible and I'll thank my elected officials to keep their personal beliefs out of public policy.  After all, for a silly example, there are Christians who believe dancing is a sin.  Would they want a constitutional amendment against it because, to them, it's a sin?  Would they ban it at the White House?  That would be pushing their religious beliefs into my life.  I would object strongly in that case and in most of those Mr. Bush likes to spout.  If an elected official wants to go to church or temple, wants to pray, wants to not dance or smoke or partake of caffein - that's just fine.  Just don't make it public policy and keep it out of my face and my pocketbook.  

An elected official should certainly make  personal religious beliefs a part of their personal life.  They should not make it a part of their office and force it on the public at large.  And if they are unable to separate the two, they should not be in office.  Let the public decide what's needed in the country, not your religion.

Themis

Edited by Themis, 14 May 2004 - 10:46 PM.

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#91 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:40 PM

Wow!!!!!  I knew there was a reason Themis and I once got on so well.

Very finely said!
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#92 Themis

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:45 PM

Handmaiden07, on May 15 2004, 03:00 AM, said:

That simply recognizes the fact that the demographics of this country are largely people who believe in God and hold belief in God as a value worth maintaining.
And any elected official needs to recognize that there are also a lot of people who do not believe in God, or in that official's version of God (there is the Pentecostal version of Christianity, the Catholic version of Christianity and a zillion version in between, not to mention  non-Christian religions that believe in a god of some sort), and who think that the belief in a spirit in the sky restricts thinking.  An elected official absolutely must recognize that fact and act accordingly, not push his or her own religious agenda or make public policy based on the edicts of their religion.

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#93 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 10:52 PM

Themis, on May 14 2004, 11:35 PM, said:

There are religious people.  And there are religious people.  It may be in the degree.  

I don't object to politicians for whom religion is a part of their life than to those to put it in the forefront all the time and make it seem like their religious beliefs are driving their public decisions, possibly to the exclusion of what others think and advise and what might actually be a wise strategy or position.  Yes, they may see their religion as the source of their moral values (and total lack of religion might be the source of the very same moral values for someone else).

But Bush and his "faith-based" initiatives  and his constant reference to his religion are pushing it too far, imo.  Keep my money out of anybody's church or synagogue or temple or whatever.  If you want to worship a god and use it as your source of inspiration for "doing the right thing," fine.  But there are lots of sources and inspirations for what most think are good moral values (not killing or stealing or commiting arson or generally taking advantage of somebody else) beyond what has been codified into the Bible and I'll thank my elected officials to keep their personal beliefs out of public policy.  After all, for a silly example, there are Christians who believe dancing is a sin.  Would they want a constitutional amendment against it because, to them, it's a sin?  Would they ban it at the White House?  That would be pushing their religious beliefs into my life.  I would object strongly in that case and in most of those Mr. Bush likes to spout.  If an elected official wants to go to church or temple, wants to pray, wants to not dance or smoke or partake of caffein - that's just fine.  Just don't make it public policy and keep it out of my face and my pocketbook.  

An elected official should certainly make  personal religious beliefs a part of their personal life.  They should not make it a part of their office and force it on the public at large.  And if they are unable to separate the two, they should not be in office.  Let the public decide what's needed in the country, not your religion.

Themis
Ok. Thanks.

Now I want to understand this again.  Sticking with your dancing example.  I, like you, would expect an elected official to draw the line there.   I can think of no reasonable way to introduce such a measure (no dancing) into law.

That said - there are lots of situations where I might (were I to believe in such a thing) see some opportunity for public policy.  For instance, such a cancidate might encourage (as "America's Mayor" Guiliani did) quality of life policies that limited the operational hours of dancing establishments.  S/he might strongly zone them out of the way of children.  S/he might advocate for more stringent bouncer regulations.  You know, something!  Something that discouraged the activity as much as legally possible, as much as actual public interest might allow.

And all the while, you, me and everybody knows that these are big issues to the candidate, because s/he belongs to a belief that says dancing is sinful.

Obviously the dancing segment of the entertainment industry (and probably the music industry) would oppose me in office.  But, you know that the majority of religions in America today DON'T hold dancing as sinful.  What if the majority of the people agreed with these quality of life positions?   Do you feel that it is wrong to put forth these public policy ideas JUST because the candidate is motivated by his or her religious thinking?

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#94 Chipper

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 11:17 PM

Kevin said earlier:

Quote

Er... Pardon me? When in the 2000 campaign did Bush say he wanted to throw the US into a blood soaked global crusade to impose democracy on an unwilling middle eastern nation? I think he's been lying to you guys for a long time.

You know, I didn't support the war but COME ON!  I don't think Bush expected to have to create  homeland security office eitehr, but then we had 9/11.

Things changed, for better or worse.  The war may not be the most popular thing by far but I doubt that if 9/11 had happened that our involvement in Iraq would actually happen.
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#95 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 11:25 PM

There is no question that a religious person's morals and ethics are at least in part shaped by that religion.  But to say "just because" when talking about a public official pushing a political policy when it's obvious (and I'm sorry qt, it IS obvious in dubbaya's case to anyone who is not opposed to homosexuality on religious grounds and I know you are) that someone's religion is driving the way they attempt to shape political policy there is cause for concern.  Do I think that Bush's Amendment idea is grounds for impeachment?  NO.  However, had I been inclined to vote for him at one point, the revelation of his willingness to allow his religious beliefs to dictate his policies would certainly have changed my mind.
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#96 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 11:31 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on May 15 2004, 12:23 AM, said:

There is no question that a religious person's morals and ethics are at least in part shaped by that religion.  But to say "just because" when talking about a public official pushing a political policy when it's obvious (and I'm sorry qt, it IS obvious in dubbaya's case to anyone who is not opposed to homosexuality on religious grounds and I know you are) that someone's religion is driving the way they attempt to shape political policy there is cause for concern.  Do I think that Bush's Amendment idea is grounds for impeachment?  NO.  However, had I been inclined to vote for him at one point, the revelation of his willingness to allow his religious beliefs to dictate his policies would certainly have changed my mind.
You've stated that it IS cause for concern, and I've stated that I don't agree.  Moreover - your statement seems (to me) to be inherently contradictory.

You said:

Quote

There is no question that a religious person's morals and ethics are at least in part shaped by that religion.

and then

Quote

But to say "just because" when talking about a public official pushing a political policy when it's obvious ... that someone's religion is driving the way they attempt to shape political policy there is cause for concern.

Which is it?  Is it expected and normal, or is it a cause for concern?  Leave gay marriage alone, since that's a hot button issue, and deal with the issue that Themis raised, and I addressed.  Is there a problem with a politician pushing these "quality of life" issues because he or she has religious views that happen to be served by pushing these issues?

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#97 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 11:49 PM

There is no "which is it".  Some people who honestly believe in God or a vast majority of the tenets of their religion are still in favor of 1) choice;2) responsibility in sex; and 3) equal protection.  Some are not and are not above using their political power to foist their RELIGIOUS (and please can we just admit that these are RELIGIOUS beliefs for once and for all) on others.  The latter can run for election to their heart's content.  But I'll be damned if I'll ever vote for them.
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#98 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 12:18 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on May 15 2004, 12:47 AM, said:

There is no "which is it".
Indeed there is a which is it, and you've stated it clearly.

I'd have appreciated if you stuck with the example we starte out with.  But ok. dealing directly with your statement:

Quote

Some people who honestly believe in God or a vast majority of the tenets of their religion are still in favor of 1) choice;2) responsibility in sex; and 3) equal protection.

Yes.  Some people are in favor of these things.  And some people, including those who do not have any belief in God believe that 1) some things are not a matter of choice, 2) responsibility in sex (who doesn't believe in this? :wacko:,  and 3) equal protection.  

So have we accomplished anything by saying this? No, I don't believe so.

Quote

Some are not

Ah... well, no.  I don't believe at all that there are any people running for office today who don't believe in choice, responsibility in sex, and equal protection.  Or, for that matter, that some things are not a matter of choice.  The distinction, of course, is what you are talking about when you more specifically define those catch phrases.  This is why I asked that we leave the hotbutton issues alone.  Looking at the principle of the matter isn't going to be very easy if we are stuck in political trenches.

Quote

and are not above using their political power to foist their RELIGIOUS (and please can we just admit that these are RELIGIOUS beliefs for once and for all) on others.

well - the whole point of this thread is to talk about religious beliefs, so for the sake of THIS thread, that's fine.  Note - that is not the same as stating that this means inherently that I agree that Bush's homosexual agenda is a purely religious agenda (that's really what we're talking about, even though I didn't want to talk about that, right?)  The point I was making was about a person who had a religious agenda, and looked for the legal ways to advance that agenda in the public interest.  The example I was going with was when a political person saw an opportunity to "hoist" his or her religious views on the public, because they happened to have a legal conduit by which they could be "hoisted" AND because the public also agreed with the policy - even if they didn't come by that agreement for the same reasons as the politician.

Quote

The latter can run for election to their heart's content.  But I'll be damned if I'll ever vote for them.

O.k. You have clearly stated that you don't think such a person should be in office, but that they have a right to run.  I assume then, that you chose option #1.

HM07

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#99 Bad Wolf

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 12:24 AM

I'm in the middle of watching Out of Gas so I'll need to get back to this tomorrow.  :)
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#100 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 12:43 AM

Themis, on May 14 2004, 11:35 PM, said:

I would object strongly in that case and in most of those Mr. Bush likes to spout.  If an elected official wants to go to church or temple, wants to pray, wants to not dance or smoke or partake of caffein - that's just fine.  Just don't make it public policy and keep it out of my face and my pocketbook.
Coming back to this - I missed a good opportunity.

Smoking policy IS a current issue in the public eye.  And there ARE some people who count smoking amongst the things good people don't do.  If a politician today belonged to a faith that stated that smoking was sin, and got elected, and then continued the current trend of banning smoking in public places - say, for instance, federalizing it so that it was illegal in all states, and not just the ones that enacted legislation for it already - would you consider this inappropriate political behavior?  Keep in mind that there are lots of reasons for banning smoking outside of the religious one, but this hypothetical politician is known to be antismoking for religious reasons, and says things like "The evil of smoking must be curbed. As President, I will federalize the ban of smoking in public places."

Is this someone you feel is inappropriately using the office to advance his or her political views?


O.k. now after you answer that - lets say that scientific evidence becomes available discounting the whole second-hand smoke issue.  However, public opinion is still mostly against smoking in public areas.  For some - its just a dirty nasty quality of life issue.  For some, like myself, who are asthmatic, it is a health issue no matter what the scientists claim.  For this politician - it is still a religious issue, and in spite of the lack of scientific backing for his or her policies - this politician is still plowing ahead with the public smoking ban.

If you didn't before, do you now feel that this politician is acting inappropriately?

HM07

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