Religion in Politics Essay

Religious beliefs have become an increasingly important role for U. S politicians in the recent years. Some argue that faith should be a part of policy, while others strongly dispute it. In the 1960 presidential election, John Kennedy’s Catholicism was made a prevalent issue.

As a result, Kennedy pledged that he would act independently of the Catholic Church if he were elected. Various issues such as gay rights and abortion have since then surfaced and have become topics of controversy among politicians.Observers say that religion is becoming an important factor in determining who citizens cast there vote for, thus references to religion from candidates are becoming much more frequent in election campaigns.

President Bush was very open about his religious beliefs and attracted a multitude of attention because of it. Some argue that Bush relied too heavily on his religious views when making policy decisions, but at the same time his opponent in the 2004 election John Kerry, was criticized for not being open about his religious beliefs.Kerry’s view on abortion also caused much controversy during his running, even though he is personally against abortion, Kerry has consistently voted in support of abortion alongside the Catholic Church. Those who support religion in politics, stand to argue that they should be free to express their beliefs. Critics of religion in politics believe that politicians whose religious views influence their decisions can be blind to opposing points of view and can alienate those who do not share their beliefs. Politicians should be able to separate their personal religious views from their public service obligations.

Religious views are best protected by a society in which no one is allowed to impose their religious beliefs on anyone else, they maintain. The U. S Constitution separates church and state, forbidding the government to sanction any particular religion. The 1928 campaign of New York Governor Al Smith is one of the most prominent controversies regarding this issue. Smith was the first Catholic president nominee in U. S history, and because of that, citizens expressed concern that having a Catholic president would be overly influenced by the will of the Vatican when deciding the course of the U.

S policy.In the end, Smith ended up losing the election. During the campaign of Kennedy, the second Catholic nominee, concerns over religious beliefs guiding policy became an issue that surfaced during his presidential campaign. Raised an observant Catholic, Kerry regularly attended church. He is personally opposed to abortion but is pro-choice.

Archbishop Raymond Burke stated publicly that Kerry shouldn’t present himself for communion within Burke’s archdiocese. In January 2003, the Vatican had issued a note reiterating it’s position that Catholic politicians should oppose abortion, renewing debate over the issue.While national publicity was centered on Kerry, other pro-choice Catholic politicians were threatened with denial of communion as well.

Among those singled out were California Governor Gray David and Colorado attorney general candidate Ken Salazar. Governor Jim McGreevey of New Jersey agreed not to receive communion. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado stated in a letter that communion should be denied to parishioners who vote for politicians who support, abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of D.C was assigned to head a task force to determine how the issue should handled, in response to the controversy. Many agreed with him when he made the public announcement stating that he opposed denying communion to politicians who take stances opposing the churches teaching. The debate over whether pro-choice politicians should be denied communion has helped fuel the wider debate over the role of religion in politics.

Bush’s approach received more support from those who support a more prominent role for religion in politics.His religious references were welcomed as a sign of his convictions and morality. Those who criticize his remarks are uncomfortable with freedom of expression when it extends to religion. “His freedom of expression does not become second-class because it’s of a religious nature. ” Patrick Scully of Catholic League for Religious and Civil Liberties says about Bush. “he has the right to be the person that he is. ” Supporters insist that values can be expectable guides to policy.

In fact, there is a history of U.S political leaders using religious values a s a justification for policy. Another argument supporters make is that politicians whose actions do not conform to their religious beliefs are being guided by expediency and they also contend that it is permissible for religious leaders to take actions such as refusing communion to pro-choice politicians. To act against these would run the potential risk of hurting the reputation and beliefs instilled in the church. “The point of the denial is not to punish the politician or even to change his behavior.Maintains the integrity of a sacrament of communion is an important goal in tis own right for the church, not a means to an end. ” Writes Nation review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru. Actually, supporters say that the real political pressure comes from secular focuses rather than religious ones.

The Democratic Party is indeed singled out, because they are believed to be dominated by pro-choice groups. The Catholic Church at one point was once directly associated with the Democratic Party, but that has since diminished causing many to leave for the Republican Party.When it comes to policy decisions, those who are opposed to religion being intertwined with politics refute the politicians who are excessively guided by their personal religious beliefs because it can compromise their judgment.

To govern correctly, they believe political leaders must have the ability to maintain an open mind and listen to the points of view of the people who surround them. Politicians run the risk of offending those who are of a different religion or choose to not practice any religion, such as Bush.Many opponents argue that politicians’ leaders must be cautious as to not isolate Americans who don’t share their religious beliefs. Critics acknowledge that religious beliefs often influence the way in which a politician will approach a situation. But there is nothing wrong with religion underpinning the moral understanding of a political leader, as long as the influence is not over bearing.

As debate over religion in politics skyrockets, the major differences between the two major political parties came to light.Republicans are notable for their associated religious views, and Democrats are known to be less forthcoming about their religious beliefs. Response.

In theory, religion should have no place at all in politics according to the Constitution. In practice, we can see that religion does play a role in politics. Even in a secular state, there are instances where a government official is influenced by his/her religious belief when making policy decisions on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and assisted dying. Article 6 of the constitution says that there should be no religious test for holding federal office.As an American, I believe in the rightness of that provision. Kerry’s conflicting view on the issue of abortion opposing with his Church’s ultimately caused his loss but the restriction of not being able to receive communion. But when Bush’s religious beliefs were publicized in his presidential campaigns, his religious references were welcomed as a sign of his convictions and morals assisting him in his win. In one instance, a man’s religious views were ultimately a factor for his loss and for the other a prime reason for his victory.

People should be able to think and make decisions independent of their religious views and beliefs. We live in society A Christian might very well believe that if states allow same-sex unions, it will not threaten traditional Christian marriage and it will allow states to do to the same thing with heterosexual unions: safeguard health, ensure insurability, and provide for the custody of children and the disposition of property when relationships are broken down by death or other causes. Part III Source Evaluation. Title: Religious Freedom Name of Magazine: Human Rights Date: January 2013Author: Barry W. Lynn 1. The main idea of this article that the author is trying to portray is that religious liberty is vitally important to the America people. Our religious freedoms, to practice and to express, are wildly misunderstood in our nation, and with a misconstrued perception of these rights they can never be properly exercised.

Lynn believes that religious liberty does not mean being handed state sanctions to force your theology on other people, it does not mean being granted a free pass from laws you aren’t fond of, and it doesn’t mean your faith gets you a little help from the state.Many “ordinary” Americans are left standing dazed and confused at the intersection of religion and politics. (Lynn 2013. ) 2. Facts: “The first proposed regulation to cover the contraception mandate clearly exempted all pervasively sectarian institutions, like churches and seminaries, with moral objection to family planning. ” The author presents a fact that we as the reader are able to look into and verify with minimal research.

Authority: “Background imagery is employed by both sides.These issues are, as presidential candidate Pat Buchanan famously put it, part of “a culture war for the soul of America. ” Supporters of the incumbent president spoke of a Republican “war on women” because of religious opposition on birth control, while the president’s opponents asserted that he has declared a “war on religion”. The author utilizes the famous quote from presidential candidate Pat Buchanan to support his claim. Common Knowledge Claim: “The differences between major parties are never absolute, but there are consistent patterns.The 2012 Republican Party platform endorses school vouchers, including those that would subsidize religious schools; in spite of mounting evidence that the concept is fatally flawed and generates no appreciable academic improvement this same platform supports the public display of religious symbols on government property.

Although the Democratic platform is unlikely to even mention this latter topic, congressional votes on such subjects as selling property, to groups that intend to erect religious icons or, recently, affirming support for “In God We Trust” as American’s national motto are likely to garner nearly unanimous bipartisan support. The author presents the well-known basis of both the Republican and Democratic Party platform regarding school vouchers in 2012 to validate his point. Example: “Perhaps the most significant example of this was the creation of a Council o Faith Based and Community Partnerships, which consisted of twenty-five primarily religious including high0ranking officials of two major Roman Catholic groups, World Vision, and a man once offered the presidency of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition.Some advocated of church-state separation were included, but the over all makeup was clearly designed so that recommendations on the faith based initiative would not migrate too far in the direction of separation. ” The author uses this prime example to exemplify his position that religious freedoms in out nation are widely misunderstood. 3. Card Stacking (Believability fallacies): “Voters in 1960, fearful of the possible allegiance of presidential candidate and Catholic John F. Kennedy to the Vatican.

Were generally satisfied to hear him address a gathering of Southern Baptists and affirm his belief…” The uthor suggests that the voters’ worries of a potential Catholic president were dismissed in direct correlation with his speech proclaiming his beliefs. There could very well have been other influenced the voters changing there minds that the author chose not to mention in the article. Misleading Analogy (Relevance fallacies): “The 2012 election cycle began, uniquely, with four potential presidential nominees of one major political party informing the electorate that God had asked them to seek the position.Because none of these four survived the grueling primary process or even ended up as a the vice presidential nominee, it seems there was, at a minimum, a ‘failure to communicate’” The potential presidential nominees failure to succeed in the primaries is being directly correlated to their religious beliefs that were expressed in the campaign. Though there was a very good chance that for each of the four nominees that there religion played a factor, we cannot fully deduct that is the only reason why.

There are sure to have been other influential characteristics of the individuals during their campaign to accredit other than their religion alone. Consistency: The author’s argument is consistent. The presented support holds up together and does not fall apart to contradict himself in his argument. I was only able to identify minimal fallacies in this article. 4. Barry Lynn presented a very solid argument supporting his opinion. More historical facts and statistical data regarding specific polling surveys would have made his argument even more convincing.

5.The author’s presentation of the argument and his opinion was very well constructed. He uses valid support for his claims, and is very thorough concerning both sides of the issue addressing both the Republican and Democrat Party.

6. I believe that religious freedom grants to each citizen the right to make personal decisions about how he or she practice their religion or if they don’t practice any religion. What it doesn’t grant is the right for a citizen to impose their beliefs on others or to use religion as justification to discriminate by “closing the door” because they disagree with the person. .


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