the church and law

v a n d a l's picture

i was pondering this while watching the tv last night (actually ive ponderd it before... but ya know). on the news it had a whole bunch of our polititions (in australia) all going to mass for prayer.

now, i realise that the church - or at least christianity - as a whole is a good guide for living, but how far does the church reach in terms of its power over a country?

im under the impression that the whole anti-gay marriage thing in the u.s.a is basically because the church - or bush in representation of it - doesnt agree with it, but surely not all of its citizens are christian? shouldnt law be decided by the community as a whole, not by one religious group?

what sort of things would be law if it were decided by a religious group? anyone thinking back to, say afganistan and women not showing a piece of skin to the world? ther are a lot of comparisons we could make here.

i dont know if im really making any point here, but im just getting a little annoyed with the arguments polititions make when they're basis of the argument is what is right for the public; that should be living good, christian lifestyle.

just for the record, while i dont go to church, i have lived a lot of my life as a christian, so im not saying that its wrong... just that the laws of a country should not be decided by religious groups. otherwise we might as well let countries be run by priests and nuns instead of polititions.

my two cents anyway.

Griffy's picture

Yea

I sort of agree. Growing up never setting foot in a church in my life, I look at the whole religion/govermnet law issure without religious barriers, but more on what seems right as a whole, which for most of us, luckily agrees with what you call an overall "christian lifestyle", but that's still a wide area of lifestyles you're covering there.

I am not at all impressed with our president, nor the way alot of the things in our government are set up-especially coming from being in a community where 90% of everyone here is of a signle religion: mormon. Almost everyone in utah in a politcal office title of some kind is a Mormon, and 95% of the people who ARE mormon support them and their opinions and put them in office, so the law of Utah is basically mormon biased.--Atleast in my county where the mormon wrath is the greatest. It's just kind of weird to see things more out side of the box more than alot of people do, it's probly helped me to become more open minded and wanting change for the world. Not all mormon's here are mindless, though. Alot of poeple I know DO question how things are and see how it could be better, but then thaere are some that live their lives not questioning any authority and just going with what they've always been told was 'it'. It's not all THAT bad but I find it sort of hypocritcal towards our beloved constitution, you know?

We are lucky, however to have what we do have but I still don't feel bad in bringing up areas that we could greatly improve on.
-Griff

justsomegirl's picture

on the church in america

I'm not sure as to what percentage of America is "christian", although, a vast majority of people claim to have some beleif in a higher power (much higher than in most western nations), and about 30% of the population attends church on a regular basis, for contrast, I seem to recall reading that in the scandinavian countries, only about 5% go to church on a regular basis.

I do think much of the push against gay rights in this country does come from religious circles, as does the fight against abortion (probably the other really big social issue the churches are weighing in on). It is important to remember that churches vary greatly on their stances towards gay marriage and in regards to homosexuality in general. I was raised Presbyterian and Catholic, the Presbyterians allow for individual pastors to make the call if they wish to perform civil union ceremonies or not. The Catholics as a whole are much more hostile to gay rights.

I think it is also important to remember that while we often look at churches as being forces of reaction and conservatism, religion has also in the past played a key role in important social movements, most notably the civil rights movement here in the United States.

I just finished working on passing an anti-sweatshop policy at my school. Several area members of the Catholic Church (a priet, a nun, and head of the catholic center on campus) proved to be key allies.

**I'm willing to find out what impossible means**

morbid intentions 666's picture

down w/ the christian government!!! F**k U!!

"but surely not all of its citizens are christian?"
duh! i heard not even half the nation is christian, its lik 30% christain.or hav i mistaken..or was it the world? *shrugs*

i'm a satanist/wicca :)...how?..u say..well im an enviromentalist hippie-ish wanna-be bad ass self-god uhh....hate redemption person

i kinda wish the government was runned by pagans...just like b4 christians convert them(might be wrong..since they dont mention this in history class x0 ) it was so peaceful & nature-worshippy *back 2 reality*
off-topic....again
i wonder who would vote 4 me to become dictator...
-on topic of religion: if u r a priest who molest 100+ kids i'll cut ur balls off & take off all reference to goD in $,alligence,anthem & true free religion
-economic:give jobs to beggars "unskilled" jobs like planting trees,picking garbage whatever is available so we can tax em ;),tax churches(have u seen the #& size of buildings they get?!),more taxes on rich ppl *hail comme-capitalist pigs!* & give "fair price" (amount of wha somthing is worth,not overpricing)
-political:destory all offense weapons in world & replaced them w/ radar 100 mi. range defense weapons (world can't have wars if they dont live 100 mi. w/in each other ;)
-enviroment: solar-power! hybrids,fuel cell etc. ^,^ actually protect & NOT destroy animals' homes ..unlike bush...(do christains really believe in exploiting goD's creations?)
listen to needs of citizens & poll them just lik louis napoleon ^_^
everything opposite of bush administration
any1 vote 4 me?
any1 wanna get pissed off & have me point &laugh @ u 4 being a "lamb of goD" u can im me ;)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"keep ur thorns,cuz m running away" -Mudvayne
"simply being loved, loved, loved -- it's more than enough"-BT

Uneven Edge's picture

Hmmmm....

This just happens to be a subject I am loath to think about but enjoy to comment on.

Just so everyone is aware of it, though I'm sure we all are, there was a seperation of church and state over two hundred years ago with the writing of the Constitution. Unfortunately, many US politicians (particularly Republicans) find it difficult to remember this fact. They forget that when they enter the legislative chambers, they are to leave their religion at the door and decide if something is constitutional and good for the people, not what the church will approve of and what the bible agrees with.

For some reason, chrisianity seems to think that it is the only religion to have ever endorsed marriage. So it thinks it has exclusive rights to define what the "sanctity of marriage" is.

Silly, isn't it?

adbak's picture

Separation of Church and State

The separation of church and state is a beautiful thing for theists, nontheists, and atheists alike. It allows that no leader, no matter what he or she claims his or her religion is, doesn't skew, slander, or stigmatize his or her or any other denomination of a certain faith.

The First Amendment of the [United States'] Constitution dictates that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." By talking about the so-called "sanctity of marriage" Bush is respecting an establishment of religion. Sure, he's in the Executive branch, not in Congress, but if Congress were to pass a Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) like he wants, then that would undeniably be prohibiting the free exercise of religions who do not place much importance on conformity to one sexuality. But would the FMA take precendence over the First Amendment?

Elected leaders, though chosen by certain demographics, are expected and sworn in to office to uphold and represent the rights of all of his or her constituents. Just because someone may have been chosen by the Radical Right does not give them the right cater to the Right. They were elected to serve the people, all of the people. Not everyone is conservative and they, as our elected leaders, should respect that. Not everyone is religious or their kind of religious, and they should respect that.

A quick aside: I read somewhere that though more people claim to be religious in countries that endorse religion, attendance at the respective places of worship is lower than in countries that have (or try to) a separation of church and state. What that means is that even though more people say that are religious, they don't mean it as much.