Religion and politics in the USA

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2008 5:11 PM GMT
    Did anyone catch the open forum over the weekend with Obama and McCain? First of all, I find it rather disturbing the seemingly recent trend of separation of church and state in American politics. It's always mattered, but I just don't remember this amount of time and energy spent analyzing past Presidential candidates' personal beliefs and religious subscriptions.

    I think it's ridiculous! As an atheist, I think it's time for their to be a push toward secularism in politics, like there is in almost every other developed nation. The prime reason why gay marriage is not legal in this country is because the majority of Christians (who make up roughly 75% of the population here) oppose it.

    Contrast this with places like Germany, the UK, and Canada, where religious belief is very significantly lower, and you find greater acceptance of science and reality. To put it bluntly, many other countries laugh at how ass backwards this country is - I'm sorry to say, but it is belief in religion myths which propogates this ignorance.

    I'm voting for Obama, but I really had a problem when asked how defines marriage, he was quick to point out his Christian "belief" that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

    I mean, that's great most Christians want a religious wedding, but one needs to separate religious marriage and marriage which is recognized by the state. If marriage is a Christian tradition (as it is often erroneously claimed to be) why then can heterosexual atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews get married? If it is truly a Christian "tradition", everyone who's Christian should be able to get married, including gays.

    The fact of the matter here is that people get married to obtain the various benefits associated with marriage, and to deny those rights to people based on their innate sexual orientation is purely discrimination. I find it utterly embarrassing how backwards and ignorant this country is in accepting that reality.

    I can only hope in the future that we look back on this period of time as an awkward state of growth and ultimately accept everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
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    Aug 18, 2008 5:59 PM GMT
    The separation of the church and the state only applies when they're campaigning to non-Christian voters. icon_lol.gif

    Seriously, it's the same problem here in the Philippines although supposedly, as in the US, the church is divorced from the state.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 18, 2008 6:05 PM GMT
    When I saw it I thought..

    WHAT THE HELL?

    One of the first real head to head talks btw the two candidates being headed by evangelical christians?
    Haven't we had enough of these lunatics to begin with and they are framing what we're going to be talking about at least for the beginning of this campaign season??
    I was surprised that the Obama camp even agreed to this

    But what made it worse was that it was a typical rightwing hatchet jobcamouflaged as something different the original press release stated that this talk WAS NOT going to be the usual right wing questions and was going to be more on pioverty compassion and HIV AIDS

    Then the order was done by coin toss???
    Was I born yesterday?

    Then we're told that John McCain was "IN A CONE OF SILENCE?"
    Are you kidding me?... He was listening the whole time in his limousine!!!

    Obama better smarten up and realize who his enemies are ... he should have smelled this rat from miles away
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    Aug 18, 2008 6:29 PM GMT
    Even if Obama has gained the image of being an politician who doesn't play by Washington DC's rules, he's still a politician. The sad truth is that a large percent of the population in this country think that issues such as gay marriage are more important than a candidate's position on subjects like the economy. Something as silly as supporting gay marriage could cost him the election, so I think that's why he tries to pander to the Christian conservatives.

    But I agree. It's weird how part of the population links the US with ideas of freedom (land of the free, free speech, etc.) while the other part of the population thinks of the US as a very christian and conservative nation.
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    Aug 18, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
    How can you removed religious contexts in politics from a country founded by religious separatists? As much as we may hate it, the religious right is going to have a strong opinion in national politics, and candidates are going to appeal to that opinion based on voting outcome. Until younger and more liberal people start voting in more numbers, the religious right is still going to be one of the largest voting groups in the country.
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    Aug 18, 2008 6:55 PM GMT
    The whole thing was crazy. Both pandered to the preacher. Obama has no balls. He cant just say he supports gays or womens rights, he tries to twist it to appeal to the religious freaks. The dems are consistantly weak in pushing their views, whereas the repuplicans just go for it, teeth exposed.

    All these sneaky cover ups with Bush you never hear about....if it was say, Clinton the last few years, she would have been impeached and hanged by now. The dems are just weak and afraid, of what I am not sure of.

    Obama is against gay marriage, he defined marriage as a man and woman, so he is not much different than McCain. He wants to "extend" some rights to gays...so they can visit their spouse in the hospital..wow, thanks. I feel so human now.

    It makes me sick we have to beg and impress and work so hard for straight people to accept us and toss some rights to us, we, free human beings who live and put up with repression and second class citizen rights.





  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Aug 18, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    Well this is what we mean when we say that religious belief is a conversation stopper.

    If someone asked about gay marriage says that they believe it is between a man and a woman because "that is the way i was raised", or "those are simply certain values i have", or "that is what my religion tells me" and so on it is just accepted. No reason, no explanation, no logic has to be given for the position.

    Imagine the same answers being given about any other issue, say about the economy or health care, all of those answers would seem firstly extremely hollow of content and secondly extremely evasive and dodgy and shady.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2008 7:49 PM GMT
    I have always been puzzled that a country that has tried so hard to separate church and state has its' politics influenced so much by voters holding very rigid religious views.

    As soon as the Civil Rights Act was passed in the mid-1960s, the fundamentalist white Christians took another tack and started voting Republican under the banner of "moral majority". Nearly 30 years later their power has been diminished to a certain extent (thank you Bush Jr.) but they can still cause politicians to turn themselves inside out in order to win their votes.

    One question as a Gay American I would ask is if I am denied the same rights as straight Americans (e.g. marriage) why is the state expecting me to pay the same amount in taxes. Shouldn't I at least get a discount!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2008 8:20 PM GMT
    Delivis -

    Seeing our "dream" candidate bending over backwards to appeal to people who go out of their way to, ex - vote so that we cant even see our partners in the hospital and who would just assume we did not even exist is grounds for calling them (Dems) a very weak, scared, disorganized party.

    We are not free, we are at the mercy of liberal straight people to have compassion on us and hopefully vote in our favor.

    Surreal Life - I want the tax discount too!!!! All gays should file one massive lawsuit.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Aug 18, 2008 8:26 PM GMT
    I wouldnt say we are at the mercy of liberal straight people just illogical religious people and everyone else who thinks that religious beliefs should be given special status out of the reach of criticism unlike any other topic.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2008 8:36 PM GMT
    Mikesw said: The whole thing was crazy. Both pandered to the preacher. Obama has no balls. He cant just say he supports gays or womens rights, he tries to twist it to appeal to the religious freaks. The dems are consistantly weak in pushing their views, whereas the repuplicans just go for it, teeth exposed.

    Bush pandered to the center ("compassionate conservative") then went way right when he got the job. Obama will do the same, but on the other side of the spectrum. Sadly, this is politics in America, but it still doesn't prevent me from voting for Obama. He and McCain may seem to occupy the same fat center, but I trust Obama to do more for us than McCain when he finally gets the job.

    Mikesw said: All these sneaky cover ups with Bush you never hear about....if it was say, Clinton the last few years, she would have been impeached and hanged by now. The dems are just weak and afraid, of what I am not sure of.

    Dying in a "plane crash"* maybe?

    Mikesw said:

    ...

    It makes me sick we have to beg and impress and work so hard for straight people to accept us and toss some rights to us, we, free human beings who live and put up with repression and second class citizen rights.


    Yeah...as if the no-reciprocation blow jobs aren't enough? Grr. ;-) j/k

    *(Wellstone, Carnahan, JFK Jr., and so on)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2008 8:43 PM GMT
    Rugger - You know dude...you are right, about the Obama thing..and still voting for him....still.. The work and effort we have to go through to get some of the most pathetic (seeming) rights "gifted" to us by straights who have no idea what it would feel like to not have those rights. I cant help it...seeing him, or Hillary, or anyone cooing up to those people who work overtime to keep us at second class is one of the few things I cannot find peace with or gel with.
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    Aug 19, 2008 4:20 AM GMT
    I think Obama is not allowing himself to offend the religious part of his constituency. I think he is also saying he will do all that he can to help Gays. I trust Obama. He has already stated that he wants to do away with DOMA and help establish civil rights for Gays. He is a civil rights attorney and is just being clever with his wording. If you look at his various stances on the issues you can see how clearly he supports Gays and acknowledges our rights issues:
    (from http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Barack_Obama_Civil_Rights.htm#Gay_Rights )
    # Gay Rights
    # Being gay or lesbian is not a choice. (Nov 2007)
    # Decisions about marriage should be left to the states. (Oct 2007)
    # Homosexuality no more immoral than heterosexuality. (Oct 2007)
    # Ok to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples; they know already. (Sep 2007)
    # Has any marriage broken up because two gays hold hands? (Aug 2007)
    # We need strong civil unions, not just weak civil unions. (Aug 2007)
    # Legal rights for gays are conferred by state, not by church. (Aug 2007)
    # Disentangle gay rights from the word "marriage". (Aug 2007)
    # Gay marriage is less important that equal gay rights. (Aug 2007)
    # Gay rights movement is somewhat like civil rights movement. (Aug 2007)
    # Let each denominations decide on recognizing gay marriage. (Jul 2007)
    # Supports health benefits for gay civil partners. (Oct 2006)
    # Opposes gay marriage; supports civil union & gay equality. (Oct 2006)
    # Marriage not a human right; non-discrimination is. (Oct 2004)
    # Include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws. (Jul 199icon_cool.gif

    Read in detail what he says in the link about Gay Marriage.




    He separates the idea of Religious marriage vs. Government recognized (civil) marriage/union, but says the they must be equal in the eyes of the Government.

    I think also though what he is hinting at is that Gays seek to be recognized as a Civil Rights Minority, then any other discriminatory law can be called into question and overturned. I think that is the more powerful approach that has worked in other civil rights cases and I think that is the approach that will work for Gays.