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Old 09-13-2008, 03:27 PM
 
268 posts, read 942,552 times
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I've read through the discussion thus far and it seems to me that the issue most everyone is pressing is whether the state should be allowed to pass laws that reflect a particular religious belief.

Unfortunately, in a democratic (or representational) society/government, laws have to reflect the desires of the majority - and if the majority happens to believe, say, against same-sex marriage or prayer in school, then those are the kinds of laws that get passed.

Very unfortunate because those in the minority become oppressed, but that's the system.

The trick, it seems to me, is to make sure that we do not allow the majority to think only of themselves and their needs, but to awaken them to the needs of the minority as well. This, IMO, is what plurality really means.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,325,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vickilynn View Post
I have no problem with a public servant holding strong religious beliefs, but they shouldn't allow those beliefs to enter into their executive decisions.
I don't understand how a person can make executive decisions without their moral beliefs - whatever they may be - entering into the decision.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,325,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
Each of us must find, in ourselves, what matters to us in deciding how to vote. Yes, to me and thee, it seems absurd to vote purely based on personality and/or background, but for others if a candidate does not start from the basis of a solid personality and background, then that candidate is untenable, regardless of policy and position.

For at least some of those voters, in any given election no candidate is deemed worth their votes. For others, they choose the lease inappropriate candidate, based on their values.
Very well stated. I believe you have to balance the personality / background (or more specifically integrity) of a candidate with their positions on the issues.

However, it still sounds like some in this thread are arguing that a person's religious views should not influence their vote. In analyzing one's opinion of a candidate and their positions, the morals of the voter will play a part. There is no way around that. Based on that, the absolute separation of Church and State is unattainable (and IMO, undesirable).
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:50 PM
 
1,491 posts, read 1,990,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
I don't understand how a person can make executive decisions without their moral beliefs - whatever they may be - entering into the decision.
True. The individual must be as objective as possible, but there is a difference between social mores ("civilized" behavior, morals) and religious doctrine/beliefs. True, most morals in this country are based on Christianity, but as another poster pointed out concerning the majority rules factor of democracy, if the executive is trying to make decisions in a "moral" fashion, they will consider the needs/desires of the minority also.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Very well stated. I believe you have to balance the personality / background (or more specifically integrity) of a candidate with their positions on the issues.

However, it still sounds like some in this thread are arguing that a person's religious views should not influence their vote. In analyzing one's opinion of a candidate and their positions, the morals of the voter will play a part. There is no way around that. Based on that, the absolute separation of Church and State is unattainable (and IMO, undesirable).
I believe some in this thread are arguing just that. My stance for them would be the same as my stance for those who make that their exclusive measurement: Each of us must find, in ourselves, what matters to us in deciding how to vote.

The other response I wish to toss onto your fire is that there are many in this forum who would argue that morals are not necessarily religiously based or derived. Therefore, the absolute separation of Church and State, to them, is attainable.

Does that make sense (even if you don't concur)?

Last edited by jps-teacher; 09-13-2008 at 03:53 PM.. Reason: correct quote
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Old 09-13-2008, 05:08 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
545 posts, read 2,057,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopKnot View Post
We also came to the conclusion that "morals" drive most laws in this country. The more we relax our country's morals, the less likely we are to have a moral society. At this time there are more people in this country that do not believe homosexuality is a moral activity. OTOH you can say all 12 of us are homophobes, bible thumpers and neocons but knowing this group I can state you would be wrong.
I like the other arguments against my argument better...that it's a legal standing that they oppose, rather than a religious one. I still believe that it's foolish to deny two people who love each other the chance for that love to be legally recognized. The argument still smacks of religious discrimination against something.

My knee-jerk reaction to your response, thought, was, "Oh, but having a child out of wedlock is perfectly moral and acceptable?"

This is what I have a problem with - people denying others a chance to have a legally recognized family while glossing over the problem of teen pregnancy and divorce, which used to make people social outcasts in this country. If you're going to address gay marriage with "morals" or "family values" you ought to address the other things as well.
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Old 09-13-2008, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Seacoast NH
259 posts, read 864,396 times
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Default Seperation of ?hurch + State was to protect the church

Thjomas Jefferson introduced the doctrine of seperation to protect the church to keep governments grubby fingers off the church, recognizing that theres nothing that the political process can't screw up! Woe to those who thininks that faith based distributed social servives is a good. Government will use money to reward those that please them as thy do now with things like,
[foreign-aid] Israel, a prime example , the top receivor of U.S. aid. (could Isreal ever have continued their long history of conflict without our aid[dirty money!]??)

Also [like states] that have a sat-belt law + right-turn on red . Federal highway funds are now used to manipulate state legislatures on these two issues.
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Old 09-13-2008, 05:59 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,187,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeehombre View Post
Government will use money to reward those that please them...

Also [like states] that have a sat-belt law + right-turn on red . Federal highway funds are now used to manipulate state legislatures on these two issues.
And many other items. Drinking age is another, but there is quite a list. The same thing is done in education and a variety of other areas, as well.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,325,829 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
The other response I wish to toss onto your fire is that there are many in this forum who would argue that morals are not necessarily religiously based or derived. Therefore, the absolute separation of Church and State, to them, is attainable.

Does that make sense (even if you don't concur)?
Yes, I appreciate where you are coming from.

In my mind there are only three types of belief - religious, agnostic, atheist. Each type has many values that are derived from or influenced by their belief system. I see atheism as its own quasi-religion, often looking to the State to fill in where a Church otherwise might. Look no farther than Marxism for an example of that. The rise of Secularism is also a quasi-religion. (By "quasi-religion" I mean a belief system that has many of the markings of a traditional religion without much of the formal organization and rituals.)

Under your hypothetical that absolute separation of Church and State is possible it would require either a) a society that is 100% agnostic or b) a society that only had laws based on the morals that were not religiously based. Option A is theoretically possible. I doubt that option B is.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,088 posts, read 4,544,006 times
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I have never really understood why morality is likened to religiousity. Is it not in the best interest of the specie to behave in a moral and ethical manner? Individuals may benefit from behaving otherwise, but "nature" cares not for the individual, but for the specie. . . .
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