Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Quick Look Back, A Big Look Forward

Nearing the end of blog I have observed a trend in American Politics and Religion; that there has been a long tradition of separating church from state, but an equally powerful inclination to mix the two together. The nations great political and social movements have been driven by these two forces and in recent years I have noticed that religion has been woven more deeply into the fabric of partisan politics than ever before. Because of this I've realised that I can't have my way where where religion is completely separated from religion and that I would have to work hard if I want them to stay as separate as possible. In the 2004 presidential campaign candidates openly discussed their religious beliefs, churches became increasingly active in political mobilization and voters sorted themselves out not just by their policy preferences but also by their religiosity. From this I believe that for the 2008 campaign whether a person regularly attends church would be as important in determining his or her vote for president as standard demographic characteristics as gender, and race. At my political table is what I see as the 3. The truly religious Huckabee, the Female Clinton, and the Black Obama. Whoever wins, I hope will keep religion a private matter.

Less Ranting, More Substance

Most of my blogs have been rants against the mixing of religion and politics. Now I will calm down and try to better convey the reason why the two things should not be mixed. As I learned from my philosophy of religion class, I believe that religion is a private matter and should stay that. As I read the story of Abraham, I learn that religion can be irrational, but that is not the point I care about. What I learned from the story is that a private relationship with god where rationality is ignored and absolute faith given utmost dedication like Abraham's can be the right thing. Being guided by the bible and God for policy making is fine, but when someone takes this guidance into the public square and try to impose it on others, I get mad. The status of the Bible and a relationship with god cannot be debated in politics and the state cannot take sides in how the Bible and god should be interpreted. Such issues, I believe are subjects of private religious faith, not public reasoning. This is the real reason why I believe mixing religion and politics must be avoided.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Many More Should Just Come Out of the Closet

To conclude my blog, I will list the reasons I am not so friendly towards religion mixing with politics and why I believe and want to be someone who can keep religion away from controlling politics. First off, it is hyprocrisy. There is just too many cases of religious people making morally righteous claims and then doing something contradicting it. The most recent and hilarious example that I can think of is Senator Foley and his explicit sex talks with a child, after he had introduced a bill that would punish those who harm children. And who can forget Senator Craig and his airport restroom controversy. Why would any one criticize and forbid other people from doing things, and do it themselves. It seems to me that these political hypocrites and others like them should just come out of the closet and accept their inner selves instead of attacking other people who share the same inner-self. This leads me to be especially critical of those political figures who claim to be religious. I believe most of them are just using religion and that some may even be atheists.

Fighting Back Against Popular Culture

For previous posts I mention some of the more popular religious/political leaders of the world and explained why they might have near celebrity status. Now I will dive into why do the Conservative Christian leaders are not so popular and looked upon negatively. I believe it is because, not only are they not mainstream and are intolerant, they are fighting against the mainstream. They seems as they are militant towards anything mainstream. As abortion clinics made their way through and gain some acceptance from women and men they bomb it. And now as gay marriage rights are being fought on the coasts of America, the Christian conservatives are attacking the gays again. This time they are doing it by going to the teens and young adults who are so involved with popular culture. I consider this move brilliant, because instead of trying change the culture, they are getting rid of it and setting up a new one. I also consider this move to breed intolerance and hate under religion.

The Asian Occasion

We've talked about the white religious/political figures in class and I've mention the black leaders. Now I would like to introduce another figure whose position has brought him near celebrity status and given his voice a strong political presence. The Dalai Lama, is the reincarnation of the Bhudda and was head of the Tibetan government in the past. but i recent years, the current reincarnation Tenzin Gyatso would have to live in exiled. During this period of exile he has gain wide praise for his political movements to protect Tibetan culture. From wining the congressional gold medal to the Nobel piece prize he is known around the world for promoting peace and tolerance. But the question rises, why are some religious figures more famous than others? In addition to what I've said before about them focusing more on the political issues, I also believe that a history of having to struggle also plays a big role in how the world perceives them and their political views. For the Christian religious/political leaders they seem to have never had to struggle for their faith or politics. Thus when they get political, the world seems to not look so kindly at them and consider their political values religious ones.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reverends in Popular Culture

Why is it that some Reverends get more national attention than others and are better known by the general American public? I believe it is completely due to the fact that these reverends focus more on the political than religious issues. Who are these people? They are what many people call the christian left, people who hold Christian values and traditions along with left wing ideals. They are Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Both have achieved near celebrity status and have become completely driven by civil rights and politics. They seem to have forgot their religion in the sense that they do not mention or talk about it much anymore. And even when they do talk about religion, they seem to contradict what almost every other Christian conservative would believe in. Pro-abortion, pro- gay rights, and pro-animal rights, they support them all and do so as political and religious leaders. However, I see it differently, these guys are just really politically leaders who are black and believe in very liberal values, and that the only way for these liberal black leaders to gain the support of white liberals and black conservatives is to pose as religious leaders.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

True Religion Brand Politics

I find it funny how a denim brand can raise such a strong question or make such a strong religious statement through fashion. I believe that religion is much like jeans, that no particular one "brand" or "fit" of religion that will fit any particular person, that there is no true religion in the world, and that wearing "jeans" is not the only option for a someone. Despite my belief, the many nations of this world still claim a true religion. In America, I believe that Christianity/Catholicism has claimed itself America's true religion. Every presidential candidate I see seems to claim that they have a relationship with Jesus and God. This somehow shows to me that America has a dress code where only Jesus and God as "tailors" can sew clothes that make an individual fit to be president. To me this is a religious test for presidency, and I strongly believe that the over a True Religion should be completely ignored, and instead search for the True separation of church and state that the Constitution wants.