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Old 2004-10-13, 02:38   Link #1
phoenixfire92983
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Did the Church/Other Places of Worship Step Over the Line?

Ok...some rules first before posting.
1. Don't talk about which religions are better or not cause this thread has absolutly nothing to do with that.
2. Don't discuss whether Bush or Kerry should be elected cause this isn't about that either. There's a whole other thread dedicated to that.

So, here's what happened. I was watching my local news station, and a reporter did a story about priests and religious leaders talking about politics at their gatherings. They showed a number of Muslim leaders, Christian priests, and Catholic priests preaching to audiences that they should vote for Bush, or vote for Kerry. There was no discussion with the audience, just purely "vote for _____!"

The news reporter stated that these religious leaders and priests were walking on a very fine line. But as I see it, all of the groups shown in the report stepped way over the line. When I think about the seperation of church and state, it seems pretty black and white to me. Talking about politics and elections in a place of worship seems like a violation to me.

What bugs me even more though, is that people who attend places to worship tend to have great respect for the religious leaders who lead the congregations. So if your priest is telling you that Bush or Kerry is the guy to vote for, then that may seem like enough persuasion for you. As a result, people are less likely to actually look up the hard core facts about what each candidate stands for/what they've accomplished and just take heresay. Those are my thoughts for now. Does this example of imposing one's opinion in a religious setting bother anyone else?
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Old 2004-10-13, 02:58   Link #2
LoveOfAnime
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixfire92983
Ok...some rules first before posting.
1. Don't talk about which religions are better or not cause this thread has absolutly nothing to do with that.
2. Don't discuss whether Bush or Kerry should be elected cause this isn't about that either. There's a whole other thread dedicated to that.

So, here's what happened. I was watching my local news station, and a reporter did a story about priests and religious leaders talking about politics at their gatherings. They showed a number of Muslim leaders, Christian priests, and Catholic priests preaching to audiences that they should vote for Bush, or vote for Kerry. There was no discussion with the audience, just purely "vote for _____!"

The news reporter stated that these religious leaders and priests were walking on a very fine line. But as I see it, all of the groups shown in the report stepped way over the line. When I think about the seperation of church and state, it seems pretty black and white to me. Talking about politics and elections in a place of worship seems like a violation to me.

What bugs me even more though, is that people who attend places to worship tend to have great respect for the religious leaders who lead the congregations. So if your priest is telling you that Bush or Kerry is the guy to vote for, then that may seem like enough persuasion for you. As a result, people are less likely to actually look up the hard core facts about what each candidate stands for/what they've accomplished and just take heresay. Those are my thoughts for now. Does this example of imposing one's opinion in a religious setting bother anyone else?
That is completely wrong! There are no other words for it. Pastors, Priests, Muslim leaders, Ministers, (No offense intended if I forgot some), none of them should be telling their respective congregations who to vote for. To add to this I have also heard where Churches are also having Voter Registration Drives in their Churches on certain Sundays! This made me sick.
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Old 2004-10-13, 03:05   Link #3
srb
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This is certainly way over the line since these men and women hold offices of great respect in their respective communities.
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Old 2004-10-13, 03:06   Link #4
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No Bin Laden please. thanks
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Old 2004-10-13, 03:09   Link #5
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I would bet cases like that are pretty rare. Though, people are always going to get caught up with things.
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Old 2004-10-13, 03:21   Link #6
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Originally Posted by ???
No Bin Laden please. thanks
There has been no reference to him until you talked...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOfAnime
That is completely wrong! There are no other words for it. Pastors, Priests, Muslim leaders, Ministers, (No offense intended if I forgot some), none of them should be telling their respective congregations who to vote for. To add to this I have also heard where Churches are also having Voter Registration Drives in their Churches on certain Sundays! This made me sick.
This was easy to understand that they would give their 'vote for ***' idea.
Anyway, you really need to be an idiot to just follow what your Priest, or whatever tells you to do.
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Old 2004-10-13, 03:36   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avaj
I would bet cases like that are pretty rare. Though, people are always going to get caught up with things.
I'm starting to wonder if its really rare or not. The report showed over 5 different religious organizations doing it.
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Old 2004-10-13, 03:52   Link #8
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Yes, separation of Church and State is starting to feel like a bungee cord.

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Old 2004-10-13, 04:02   Link #9
NoSanninWa
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Separation of church and state is enforced on the state, not the church. Churches are allowed to get as involved with governement as they are legally allowed. I'm afraid that telling their parishoners who to vote for is quite legal. In fact the separation of church and state prevents the state from telling them not to. As the church doesn't have any laws or tradition of non-interference with political entitites (quite the reverse in fact) there isn't any religious authority to prevent this either.
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Old 2004-10-13, 04:10   Link #10
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cant believe all that religion and stuff can go that serious ya know. like what LoveofAnime said... The pastors, preachers such and such shouldn't influence what is to decide...(Mark me if im wrong...) sounds they are saying this guy is evil, dont vote for him, this guy will lead our people and be our saviour. I guess its ok, but just remember everyone of us has an opinion... I guess some believe its right to take advantage of what they believe in... but i know what sparks much of everything in this world.... the MEDIA* ..news cast, articles , radio such and such, blahblah blaH.
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Old 2004-10-13, 04:23   Link #11
???
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[QUOTE=Shoeshefied]cant believe all that religion and stuff can go that serious ya know.QUOTE]

That's because peoples beleave that saving your soul is more important then life.
Would you save your soul ? After all those centuries of wars. and death.

Some religion do not permit sex and self ******** is wrong for them
Does the Virgin realy as to be virgin ?

Oh and the pope said that gay mariage is devilish. Religion is a confuzing thing that's why i stopped beleaving in those thing.. i preffer buddism cause there's a bit of logic on it.

Last edited by ???; 2004-10-13 at 05:45.
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Old 2004-10-13, 05:06   Link #12
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Red face

You know what really get me, (I apologize if this goes into those realms you asked us not to Phoenixfire92983 but it is pertinent. Here I will try to stay away from straying too far) One Canidate is against Abortion and one is for Abortion. All the religious folks I have have spoken with seem to think that the whole election is based on this one specific issue. That is the part that makes me sick. They should be looking at all of the issues not just this one issue.

I cannot believe I am up this late typing in here. lol Could not sleep due to illness. It is like 3 am here.
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Old 2004-10-13, 05:48   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixfire92983
What bugs me even more though, is that people who attend places to worship tend to have great respect for the religious leaders who lead the congregations. So if your priest is telling you that Bush or Kerry is the guy to vote for, then that may seem like enough persuasion for you. As a result, people are less likely to actually look up the hard core facts about what each candidate stands for/what they've accomplished and just take heresay. Those are my thoughts for now. Does this example of imposing one's opinion in a religious setting bother anyone else?
It's mostly only affecting undecided voters, but in this close of an election I can see why that's such a big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa
Separation of church and state is enforced on the state, not the church. Churches are allowed to get as involved with governement as they are legally allowed. I'm afraid that telling their parishoners who to vote for is quite legal. In fact the separation of church and state prevents the state from telling them not to. As the church doesn't have any laws or tradition of non-interference with political entitites (quite the reverse in fact) there isn't any religious authority to prevent this either.
Unfortunate but true. I think there should be stricter rulings on what constitutes a church though. When a group begins pushing politics or trying to push to get their teachings into public schools they should no longer be considered a church and no longer be given any special benefits from the government (tax free property for example).

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOfAnime
You know what really get me, (I apologize if this goes into those realms you asked us not to Phoenixfire92983 but it is pertinent. Here I will try to stay away from straying too far) One Canidate is against Abortion and one is for Abortion.
If I remember right the candidate that is "for it", is also "against it" (like that didn't just give away who it is ) in the sense that religiously he disagrees with it but that the government has to look at it legally. Essentially that those who disagree with the practice shouldn't have to do it, and those who agree with the practice shouldn't be kept from doing it simply because others disagree with the practice religiously. Or something like that, I just got out of bed....
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Old 2004-10-13, 07:30   Link #14
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I think this issue can get more confusing than it's supposed to be when other realities are taken into consideration--such as the 'freedom of speech' and the fact that other influential social groups exist. I myself can get pissed off when I see such things, but it's one of those things I choose to simply live with. Plain and simple.

It would be a different matter altogether if the Church were to exercise real political power behind the scenes, to which I'm sure, does sometimes happen in one way or another. After all, the Church still stands as a prevalent presence within postmodern society.

On another note, there have been times when the intervention of the Church within the socio-political sphere has been "justified." Such was the case here in my country during Martial Law--during the Marcos Regime. Now of course, this is the US presidential elections we're talking about--so I can only imagine how "black and white" things are right now. Pardon me for that comment, but seriously... That's how it really looks like from where I'm standing.

But yes, this also happens over here. The difference is...politics in the Philippines tends to be more satirical and surreal at the same time, so yeah--I'll just leave it at that.
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Old 2004-10-13, 09:27   Link #15
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Well, like evryone else, I find the issue disturbing. I think religious institutions would do well to stay out of political debates, especially in a period where religions are, once again, driving people to do a lot of stupid things.
But, as NoSanninWas said, their is nothing preventing them from showing such an interest, except the view of their peers. So I hope that their fellow cult representative will somehow tell them that they are in the wrong and that what they are doing is just going to aggravate already existing tensions. Moreover, this will probably have no significant positive result for them since, as it has been said, I don't think this would sway any but the most shaky opinions. On the other said, now that I think about it, this may work really well for old people, who don't really have an opinion (because the mainly don't follow politics), but really like their cult representative.


On a sidenote, I've always felt like the separation between church and state was much less a reality in the State than, for instance, here in France (I live there so it's the only other example I can really talk about). For instance, God is mentioned in nearly evry USA president speech I can remember, while mentioning God in a political speech here would be a huge political mistake. Likewise, in US courtroom, you usually swear on the Bible, here you swear on the code of law, which is much better imo. I could make the list longer, but my point is, that religion, and for the US, catholicism in particular, is very present stateside even though it has no realy power.
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Old 2004-10-13, 09:44   Link #16
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yay! more religion threads! ^_^ I try to avoid this topics since people just loooove to writte eassys about the subject *waiting for Mr_paper mindboggling post* this one is even better since its politics + religion! I have to say from experience that it doesnt matter the warnings, thing would end up "flammy" I mean... look! theres already one post deleted...

But I should have more faith in you guys and hope for a constructive discussion, so here I go:

In my country I think there is no such thing as church-state separation, if it is then its just on paper, the archbishop is a hugely important political figure, and often sticks his nose in political matters, but theres no one complaining, really. Although theres freedom of religion, most people are catholic and I have to admit society looks down other religions in general, even I do, and Im not catholic (old habits die hard). But although things are like this, there isnt political discourses in masses as far as I know, the archbishop's political movements sometimes only are about having an opinion (an opinion that is highly influential on people may I add) or negotiating with the local guerrillas, which seems contradictory, since you people in the states have a very clear law and may I dare to say "moral" issue about church - state separation, but you end up having political debates in churches... a question, its starting to be a common denominator in churches, or its just a small group? if its a small group then I can assume its not a big deal, Im sure there are political biased religious leaders that debate politics in masses here in my country, but there are very few to give them importance.


See? long post! O_o

note: nothing against Mr_paper ^^, I like his answers, although it makes me feel a bit ignorant about general culture and shamefull of my english skills after reading them
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Old 2004-10-13, 11:09   Link #17
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I remember going to Church this Sunday and in the pews there were these little booklets that told you how to vote religiously. Some things I agreed with were not voting because of your families choice of politics (Republican or Democratic.) Also not to vote for the side you usually vote for. Those are understandable.

Then I looked that what not to support and it said homosexual marrage. Well sure marrage of the same sex defies the churchs teachings, but then again they sound like the biggest homophobes ever. What difference does it make if the church and state aren't supposed to be connected to each other but separated? Seriously, if the church doesn't allow same sex marrage then they should just forbid it. People chose that kind of marrage without permission as I recall. Nobody gave them the right to but nobody bothered to do anything about it. I'm tired of the church thinking that the president wll actually care about same sex marrage. Originally the state had no control of the church and vice versa. It seems everyone likes to "forget" that.


In other words if same sex marrage is a problem in the church, their problem, not the states.
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Old 2004-10-13, 11:33   Link #18
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Originally Posted by phoenixfire92983
Talking about politics and elections in a place of worship seems like a violation to me.
I don't have the same opinion about this. As part of a community group (not church-affiliated) I once helped to run debates among mayoral candidates in a church hall (a church I was not a member of). The debates were open to the general public. There was at least one other debate run in a different church for the very same election, and I attended although I did not belong to the church. I didn't and don't see the harm in any of this.

Political endorsement by religious leaders is nothing new, and comes fairly close to the attempts you cite to give out-and-out instructions to church members. But leadership of (or membership in) a religious community involves attention to earthly concerns as well as spiritual matters. And a church as a group is entitled to express its political interests in the same way as a labor union or business group.

Regardless of any sort of browbeating any member of any church might undergo from the church's leadership regarding any given election, all people are ultimately protected by the secret ballot system -- just as they are protected from being forced to attend any particular church.

The separation of church and state is a restriction on government preventing the government from endorsing any specific church. This was intended to prohibit the United States government from establishing a national religion on the pattern of the Church of England.
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Old 2004-10-13, 11:43   Link #19
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lol First their forcing jesus on ya now they forcing bush, heh
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Old 2004-10-13, 12:10   Link #20
phoenixfire92983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bun-kun
lol First their forcing jesus on ya now they forcing bush, heh
To keep things fair, a lot of them were also forcing kerry hehe, so there!

Quote:
I don't have the same opinion about this. As part of a community group (not church-affiliated) I once helped to run debates among mayoral candidates in a church hall (a church I was not a member of). The debates were open to the general public. There was at least one other debate run in a different church for the very same election, and I attended although I did not belong to the church. I didn't and don't see the harm in any of this.[/
I can see why your activity would be okay. A church hall was probably the best location for your debate. Moreover, your activity was a "debate" where people basically heard different sides.

It still bugs me though when you have a relgious leader who is well respected, just spouting one view, and one view only. Like someone said earlier, their opinion may not affect most people. But older people, and even younger people (18 or so) may be swayed real easily. In a election as close as this where poll numbers are only like 4% apart, I don't think its alright for a religious leader to just then impose their view.

Its also important to think about those attending the congregation that may have a totally different view. Their respected religious leader is telling them to vote the opposite way, and as a result they're now stuck in a tug or war so to speak. Do they listen to their religious leader or follow their own gut instinct? Can they afford to keep coming to their place of worship and feel comfortable if their leader continues to impose his/her views on them?
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