Religion and politics
I couldn t wait for 2008, and according to the current administration s approval ratings, it seems I don t share these feelings in isolation. We can all remember vividly, the night, and the ensuing day — seemingly the dreariest day in America since September 11th, 2001 — the day that Mr. Bush was re-elected into office.
Four more years?? How will we endure it? How can we stand by and let this man represent our nation for another term? How did this happen? He s really here to stay? We all heard the desperate cries: I m moving to Canada! I m surrendering my citizenship! I m ashamed to be American. But most of us are here, still here, with a big decision lurking at the forefront of our minds: who s next?
With a little bit of research, or a lot of TV watching, we learned of theories that it may have been the religious-right who extended our Bush sentence. But who are they, where did they come from, and can they be beat? What about our founding fathers? What about separation of Church and State? I think Thomas Jefferson would be turning over in his grave if he knew how rampantly religious ideology has tainted Washington politics.
Enter Romney. A Mormon! Oh, my, god, a Mormon is running for president! Panic. Brush aside his qualifications to run the country, we can t vote for a Mormon. I mean, Mormons believe that Jesus was born to a virgin mother, rose from the dead, walked on water, and is the son of god, — a god who created humans, and the world, in seven days, 6,000 years ago nonetheless. It is also important to note that Romney believes the Bible to be the literal, divinely inspired word of god? Ludicrous! We can t vote for this wacko. Some claim that he holds a few other wacky beliefs too, but let s not sweat the trivial details.
So here we go again. Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Presbyterians, Jehovah s Witnesses and Jews all have to vote for a candidate. Each god-subscribing American will inevitably take into account their potential candidate s personal religious beliefs before they make their final decision. The media will have a heyday with Romney s Mormonism, and once again America finds itself preoccupied with religion. Election time in America has been saturated and stained by religion a time that is supposed to be set aside for politics and hope for the positive change that country is starving for.
Where are the non-believers in this picture those crazy seculars? The gentiles, the liberals, those hippies, those heathens? May I venture out to suggest that these very people enjoy a freedom the religious right will never know: they are free to view a candidate solely in the light of their qualifications for the job. Free from wondering which holy book the President will turn to in times of need. Liberated from conformity, tithing, scrutiny, and man-made notions of heaven and hell. Free from the paranoia of an omnipotent, incessant surveillance, tallying up our good and bad deeds. Most importantly, non-believers are immune to the inherently polarized religious dogma that is tainting our political discourse. Free to make informed political decisions based on innate morals and ethics, seculars can formulate political decisions with some good old fashioned rationality. Imagine that, America.
A very impassioned speech! Sorry I couldn’t get it up on the blog in a more timely manner.
That said, I think that a candidate’s religious beliefs can be very important, but only so far as the candidate believes that religion should dictate political decisions and policies. Our current President seems to think that he knows what is right (in a religious sense) and makes decisions accordingly. I think that has caused some serious problems. Another candidate said that it’s easier to change the Constitution than to try and change the will of God — a statement that I find scary as heck.
So although Romney’s religion is a non-issue to me, I don’t think that a candidate’s religion is never an issue.