Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Politics and Religion: Joined At The Hip

For the longest time, I didn't like Lou Dobbs. I thought he was a stuffy, old, rich man who had a backward opinion on everything. I didn't think much of those opinions because I thought he was stuffy, old, and rich. But as I started to watch him more, I realized that I wasn't exactly right. I began to see that I agreed with some of the things he was saying on his show. I realized that he was making good points that should be taken seriously. This editorial is one of those thoughts.
Somewhere down the line, religion and politics, in America, have become joined at the hip. In fact, especially in the South, you will be hard-pressed to find a single candidate that doesn't mention his/her religious beliefs in a campaign add. And you will also not have to look hard to find someone who will call America a "Christian Nation." All of these seem to contradict the first amendment of the Constituion, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Many will say that bringing up religious beliefs in politics is not establishing a religion. They are right. But by doing so, we isolate those people in our country that do not share the same religious beliefs. They are Americans too. Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus, Christians, etc. all have a stake in the United States. They are all equal. So why is religion such a big part of politics. The sad fact is that because Christianity is the religion of the majority of people in the country, it gets the most attention by politicians. It is also the majority religion in Congress. And I think we all know where the President stands on religion.
The point, is to no isolate other Americans. I know it may seem like a crazy idea to some, but we should actually care what other people believe. We should never try to dictate law based on our own religious beliefs. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that it has been going on for years now. Religion and politics are so closely connected, that it would be impossible to separate them without making some very drastic changes. And I don't think that will happen.
For now, we educated voters need to look at more than the church visitation records of our leaders. In the long run, it doesn't matter. The best example is starring us in the face. A man that claims to be a Christian but has no problem bombing and killing innocent people in other countries. Shouldn't that be enough to change your mind. Look at the issues. Don't be stupid. A man that makes a point to tell you over and over again that he is religious is probably lying to your face. We should have listened to Thomas Jefferson.

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