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Religion and Politics – Religion and Politics

You may have come to the conclusion that beliefs based on faith have no place in the public square. You should be aware that nowhere is such an idea ensconced in the founding documents of the United States. In fact, the Founders seemed to be quite intent on making decisions on that basis.

Imagine there were a set of religious beliefs in which it’s not only permissible to lie, it’s considered more or less mandatory so to do in certain circumstances. Now imagine a there’s large percentage of the population who consider themselves adherents to this belief set.

Does such a group actually exist? Frankly, that’s pretty much immaterial. It would certainly be problematic if they did, but for the time being, this what is referred to as a “thought exercise.”

Put another way, if nothing else, to remove bias, we’re assuming the possibility without naming names; or even implicitly pointing the finger at a specific group.

Now imagine the lies told, could be related to things a given believer may work toward achieving whilst in political office.

Sounds scary, no? Well if it doesn’t to you, rest assured it does to me.

The final piece of this puzzle, is that we further must have a person from this particular group, running for political office of some sort.

Nothing here is too difficult to believe, at least not for me.

Where it might be reasonable to argue that such a person would be “found out” because he would’ve lied in past, about certain things, it’s also reasonable to say just about anybody on the planet could be accused—generally correctly—of lying at one time or another.

There are arguments to the effect that both people currently running for the highest office in our land, are at least regular, if not habitual liars. Whether those making statements to that effect are to believed or not, is beside the point.

The reality is, it’s typically not unreasonable to state that everybody has propagated untruth at one point or another—possibly in the very recent past.

It also tends to be true that the official doctrine of a given cohort of those claiming to hold to a specific ideology is substantially different to what makes its way to the public.

Consider that, it at least was I believe, literally counted unconstitutional to practice Scientology in Germany at some point. Why? Because the German government held that it was “not a real religion.” Additionally there was an argument that what they put forth about themselves, was not what they actually held true and correct.

I bring this up because, there are currently similar strictures being considered right here in the United States for different reasons. In fact, such bans have been in place in past for essentially the case I raised (being more or less mandated to lie in certain circumstances), among others.

So the person holding with the ideals in question makes his way to some political office. Having done so, he seeks to further the agenda of those he counts brothers and sisters in his worldview.

He wasn’t put in office for that purpose; rather, he was elected to that position with the express intent that he represent all in the region that put him in it.

You may argue at this juncture, that this is exactly the point of not allowing people in such jobs, who’re likely to use their position, to forward their personal, religious beliefs, if you will.

Now let’s select another person to talk about for a moment. We’ll discuss a woman who is upright inasmuch as she’s able to be so. She too, holds a set of beliefs; one of them being to not lie even if telling the truth means you or your little cadre are seen in a bad light as a result.

Further, within her core tenets for existence, is the idea that you treat others as you would like and expect to be treated (read here, “with respect, dignity, honesty and love”).

Which of these two would you elect to a position of authority, were you fully apprised of their beliefs?

There’s little doubt in my mind which I would choose.

There are those who argue personal beliefs have no place in the public lives of those serving the people. You’ll forgive my saying so, but if you truly hold to some way of looking at the world, how can you not have the things you count true and proper, work their way into your life outside your home and “church?”

Further, for those selecting people for official activities, can you really expect they’re going to ignore obvious flaws inherent to a given foundational position?

As such, can you expect them to ignore that somebody holds that worldview?

When it comes down to it, the idea that we all ought to toss our views by the wayside when we either run for or choose an individual for a given occupation, is a very bizarre one indeed.

What makes it even odder, is the assumption that we can do so to begin with. What do you suppose that says about what we hold dear?

Would you argue that, if we have religious or philosophical beliefs, we should refrain from running for any kind of office, or voting? I would hope not.

At the very least, in doing so, you consent to almost certain disenfranchisement of various constituents.

Fact is, if their views are in the minority, folks are already at risk for not feeling themselves included in the system.

Just imagine being a Quaker, looking at the current political climate in this country. Much the body politic, serves to employ virtually nothing you count reasonable and proper; and you can bet they’re far from alone in that.

The idea that the intention of the statement(s) in places like the U. S. Constitution forbidding a state sanctioned religion, also means that one ought to ignore beliefs when either running for a given public position, or voting for folks when they do so, is one I will never understand.

People should be expected to apply the terms of their ideology to pretty much everything they do. If that’s true, how exactly do you propose it’s reasonable for them to not select leadership on that same sort of basis?

You may have come to the conclusion that beliefs based on faith have no place in the public square. You should be aware that nowhere is such an idea ensconced in the founding documents of the United States. In fact, the Founders seemed to be quite intent on making decisions on that basis.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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