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Religious People with Political Views

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by historylass, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. historylass

    historylass New Member

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    I am wondering what everyone thinks about religious people with political views. In Australia, it seems to me that the media, particularly, tends to discard anyone who has political views and has a strong faith. I also get the feeling that it is believed that Christians should not give their views on political issues, because they are Christians and biased. Surely, everyone is biased in this sense because we all have an idea of what is morally right. Also, why is it that movie stars can give their opinions on the issues of the day because they are famous and yet some media people believe Christians should just stay out of the discussion because they have no right to comment.
     
  2. dong

    dong New Member

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    Probably this is a backlash against the perception of the "religious right" and fundamentalists ruining it for everybody. We all know that there are bodies of people who believe that if "God is on their side" then nothing can be against them as they are completely correct (which is a misapplication of the faith, of course). On that note, one can also see the social effect and implications of religiously motivated political parties (usually called "family first" or "focus on family" etc.)

    Moving away from perception and towards theory and demographic, it appears also that people with strongly manifested faiths are more likely that they conform to a conventional interpretation of theology, which by definition limits the scope of reciprocal discourse (as reflected in the perception). My personal experience is that I can often hold a fairly open discourse with anybody regardless of faith (I have more trouble with elitist high-SES conservatives), but nonetheless almost every religious person I have met seems to actively demonstrate some kind of deference to religious principles that conflict with other aspects of their belief-system. I usually attribute this to their not having found their "religious feet" so to speak.

    This of course has nothing to do with just how much "right" somebody with religious faith has to comment on politics. However, religion and politics have always entwined due to our historical origins, and so naturally what we see will be the result of the various social factors interacting and conflicting. As to what "morally right" is, I would hope that those who discuss this are able to do so in a constructive manner that is not "I don't need to justify this claim with recourse to facts or reason because I have claim to higher authority."

    On that note, since the public knows about celebrities, it appears to be presumed that the converse is true- that celebrities know what's going on in the world, which, really, is often questionable. This does entail worrying implications as in this day of attempted secularism, idol worship comes in the forms of observing, titillating about, and even emulating these celebrities.
     
  3. mamab

    mamab New Member

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    I've just joined the forum, and I had to comment. Just because someone has a strong faith, does not mean that they are in the "religious right", as they are often called. Everyone has a right to their own opinion when it comes to politics. Just because I believe in Jesus Christ, it does not mean that I'm stupid. It does not mean that I am misinformed. I check on the candidates based on their voting, vote where my values are being honored, and then accept the outcome, whatever that might be.

    In regard to "celebrities," they're just as misguided as people in the "religious right." They think their views are the only ones that are valid, which is false. Not everyone in the US is a tree-hugger, environmentalist. What happened to the people in the heart-land that, for the most part, are conservative to moderate. Why does there have to be such a gulf in politics. The nation is not like that, as a whole. People are not as diametrically opposed as the liberal media likes to paint them.

    Do I have a right to voice my polictical opinion because I have faith? Yes, I do. Do you have a right to voice your political opinion if you have no faith? Yes, you do. Just because someone has faith, it does not mean they've checked their brains at the door and blindly follow whatever they're told. I'm not so sure I can say that of everyone with faith, but of the ones I personally know, they are more aware of what's going on politically than others I know with no faith.
     
  4. mtatum4496

    mtatum4496 New Member

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    I think the issue is that in the United States, the portion of the Christian world that has received the most media attention has been those segments which tend to be referred to as the religious right. For the millions of Christians who espouse moderate, progressive or liberal understandings of Christianity, the sad fact is what those segments think don't make very spectacular reading. So you have those who are at one extreme end of Christian thought get most of the media attention.

    All of us, regardless of religious affiliation (or lack of it) have the right to express our opinions on political matters. Where some religionists tend to step over the line is when we insist that in order to be a good Christian (or Muslim, or any other faith you want to insert here) one must support a certain candidate or a specific piece of legislation. That is sheer folly. No religious leader - be it a local pastor or a national denominational leader - has the privilege of dictating to me how I will vote. I will make up my own mind.

    My present denominational affiliation is very active on social issues. And it is very vocal about them. But it does not endorse particular candidates, nor does it tell any of us we have to vote a certain way. It does, however, urge us to vote in elections, from local all the way up the line, and to vote according to our individual conscience.
     
  5. hokeshel

    hokeshel New Member

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    Do you think that there are really as many extreme rightests due to Christianity as the media protrays? OR
    Is it just that because the President refers to it in his decision-making so often that Bushwhackers are using it as a way to scare people into pushing out conservativism?
     
  6. destiny_star200

    destiny_star200 New Member

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    totally agree with you here no ones views are correct its just their belief and what it is that there following this is what causes so much pain and upset in the world when people try to force their beliefs on one another if people would just agree to disagree their would be alot less violence and definatly we wouldnt have the wars we are going through at this present time:nono:
     
  7. mtatum4496

    mtatum4496 New Member

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    You know what they say, Hokeshel - the squeaky wheel gets the grease. My observation is that the religious right is very vocal and also very exact in what they denounce - which makes for very readable copy. Toss in the President's comments and you have a very easy subject for journalists to write about.

    For folks like me, who lean toward progressive and liberal Christianity, there is less of a united front. We simply are very conscious of the right of the individual to make up her or her mind about many things, including matters of faith. Therefore, we make less sensational copy.

    Now, how big is the Christian right? I dunno. Some folks say that all evangelical Christians are part of the religious right. I know evangelical Christians that are very conservative with their faith, but very liberal in their politics. Right now, they do have a very visible media presence, and I like to think there are fewer of them than one might think. Either way, if it is grabbing headlines, it deserves scrutiny and attention.
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Also, by virtue of their having media scrutiny and attention, such inevitably shapes cultural evolution.
     
  9. luvcamerasnic

    luvcamerasnic New Member

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    Isn't everyone given the right to have a political opinion? If my beliefs as a Christian affect it, it's not different than my neighbor's beliefs as an athiest.
     
  10. berlinlife06

    berlinlife06 New Member

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    I guess everybody has right to have an opinion if they live in a democracy. The trick is not to let religion interfere with politics or viceversa. There are two different aspects in life, and I think they should keep separated.
     
  11. nobull

    nobull Member

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    The short answer to that is, yes. There are some mine fields to traverse though before we settle on everything. First, let it be understood that the Bible does not address every single issue that we as Americans are facing today. By that I mean in the specifics, as the Word of God most definitely gives us the principles by which we should conduct our lives. Our culture has so complicated life that there seems to be no easy answer to anything anymore. If we are willing to forget political correctness and our fear of being called some name, then we can get down to fixing what is wrong on the governmental side of things. Secondly, it is important to note that all Christians do not agree on every single issue of the day. For instance, the theory of global warming is just now beginning to be discussed by some evangelicals. Truth be told, however, is that many of the things that consume the political mind do not interest a large portion of believers.

    The words liberal and conservative are a good way to divide political points of view. They will serve to consider the divide amongst Christians. Those who hold to a liberal perspective toward the Bible will generally hold liberal political views. If you do not believe that the Bible is a fixed, settled, revelation of the plan of God and His person, it is not likely that you will believe that the Constitution of the United States is a fixed document. The idea of an evolving Constitution grew out of the congregations who believed that the Bible could and should be interpreted in the light of history and culture. Some have so changed the shape of the truth that it is no longer recognizable to them or anyone who objectively considers their stance on the issues of the day.

    Conservatives and fundamentalists, these are not always the same group, believe that the Bible is a fixed, settled revelation of God and His plan for men. Likewise, we believe that the Constitution is a settled document that should be read as it was written and its principles applied to modern life. Conservatives do not find a right to privacy that guarantees the right to an abortion. We do not say things like, “I am personally against abortion, but….” Principle will not allow us to pick and choose the popular position, but demands that we take a consistent position.

    This is where I stand amazed at so many who profess the Lord as Savior. I have lost count of the number of people whom I have heard say that they are against abortion, but they will vote for those who support it. I am not trying to get Christians to support the Republican Party with what I am saying. I do not believe that the acronym GOP means God’s Own Party as some evangelicals seem to do. I am arguing for consistency in our Christianity. How can we honor the Lord and vote for those who support the radical agenda of the sodomites in our country? How can we claim to be faithful believers and put our vote and influence behind those who will support expunging any reference to God from our society? Is there a Christian position on these issues? Then there must be a Christian position on politics.

    Every presidential election is important to the direction of our country. We have learned that one man who is wicked and openly immoral can make a tremendous impact on America from the Oval Office in Washington. We need political leaders who will do the right thing. What is good for the country should be on the top of their priority list instead of what is political expedient for them and their party. The tendency to “slap a band-aid” on the problem approach that we see from Washington will have a high cost in the near future.

    Many people believe that the Bible does not address the budgetary process of our country. It is not unusual to hear someone say that they are “voting their pocketbook.” What this means is that they believe that the economy needs attention. I agree. However, I will not support a candidate who I believe could fix the economy if he, or she, is wrong on core moral issues. Further, the Bible teaches that we are to lay aside goods for hard times. In Proverbs chapter six, the Word of God addresses being surety for another’s debt and the need of learning from nature about laying up in store for the day of need. Our country has less money than I do. It is in debt trillions of dollars because they are giving away what they do not have. The philosophy of Keynesian economics is that growth will result when the government borrows and spends money. That is a very simplified view of the theory, but it is a proper way of explaining it. Our government officials have been for decades spending what they have not yet received in the form of tax revenue. “Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have,” said President Gerald Ford. He was right. It is, in my opinion, unbiblical to support those who will give away government largess in order to stay in power.

    The “interest payments” on this godless philosophy of governing are already coming due in the form of decreasing morality and rising vulgarity. Forty plus million voices from the grave are calling for justice and an end to abortion. Where are the leaders who will step forth and call abortion what it really is: murdering the unborn child? Where are the leaders who will state flatly that marriage is only to be between one man and one woman? How can we allow a group such a NAMBLA even to exist in this country? You would think that their entire agenda would be against the law. Instead we have some politicians who want to make life hard for the Boy Scouts because they refuse to allow sodomite men to be involved in leadership. There is a day or reckoning coming for our country. I fear and tremble as I ponder it. I have determined that I will not knowingly vote for anyone of any party who helps the enemies of God and the Bible. That is what I call the Christian Position on Politics.



    regards
    doug
     
  12. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    what else do you need Doug ? if its not right, its wrong. whats wrong with global warming ? we were given this creation to serve us. what may be wrong is claiming it as fact when clearly its not.
     
  13. nobull

    nobull Member

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    In agree..
     
  14. Neutral Evil

    Neutral Evil New Member

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    Neutrality seems to be a favored recipe in Australia. Indeed, we all base our opinions and beliefs on our own understanding of how life works. I say that the solution to the problem is for those who feel they are being treated unfairly to create their own rules and live by them, so long as they are true to them. Neutral views can be dangerous because they often put the individual ahead of the greater good.
     
  15. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Who gets to decide what consitutes the "greater good"?
     
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