Friday, October 28, 2011

Your morals are immoral!

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       Our political atmosphere is over the rim with individual ideologies and systems of beliefs but the king pin is Christianity.  Around 78 percent of Americans are Christians and 89 percent of  the new 112th Congress affiliate themselves with some form of Christianity.  While Christian dominations vary in belief, the core values dominate American politics.  Voters looking to align themselves with Christan values can look to organizations, such as the Christian Coalition and many others.  The Christian Coalition has voting guides which tell subscribers which politician should get their vote and with 2.5 Million followers they hold significant influence.  Politicians recognize this gravitas and seek solicit some of those yummy votes.  Democrat, Republican, moderate or fringe, aligning yourself with Christianity is a sure fire method to boost your chances of getting elected.  Once elected, these politicians tend to shape policy that appeases the people that voted for them.  That leaves little room for other values and ways of thinking.  Morality should be defined in its most basic terms of life, liberty, and security.

        I was once a devout Catholic (turned atheist) who, at the time, found strength and spiritual guidance in religion when personal challenges arose.  I have no problem with religion but I do have a problem with religious institutions pushing political agendas. Its fine if they don't believe in abortion but outlawing abortion forces morals and ideology upon those whom may not share those beliefs.  Prohibition failed because it didn't represent the majority of the country's feelings towards alcohol.  Rather, well organized evangelical groups passed legislation by pressuring politicians.

       Religion is a great tool for those people looking for personal guidance, but it has no place guiding an entire nation.  What people consider moral or immoral can vary wildly from person to person.  Their personal beliefs undoubtedly influence their political ideology.  Ideology is simply an opinion, which when argued should be validated by with facts.  If we detach ourselves from facts and simply adhere to feelings of what is moral and immoral  the consequences could be harmful and unintended; such as the crime wave that spurred death and corruption during prohibition.


  1. Thanks for sharing! :) Here are my thoughts:

    Some of the most fragmenting issues in American society today revolve around ideological differences. Should abortion be legal? Should homosexuals be able to marry? What role do Muslims play in our culture? It is no surprise that people, as individuals, have differing ideas about these issues and that these ideas creep into our political system.

    In a recent blog post, one of my fellow government classmates argues that such ideologies, specifically Christian ones, should be kept out of our government and laws. But even more than ideologies, he writes that Christian morals should be abolished from politics. While many can agree that separation of church and state is necessary for a country that promotes freedom of religion and that ideologies without facts should be kept out of politics as much as possible, we must be careful that we are not, "throwing the baby out with the bath water." Are 'Christian' morals really such a bad thing to have in government?

    Before this issue can be fully understood, we must be careful that we are not equating the terms "ideology", "morals", and "religion". Ideology and religion are both things derived from moral standards and it is generally agreed that both should be kept from law-making; however, morals are different in that they are the basic standards by which we as humans decide what is right and wrong. They are even more basic than those proposed by my classmate as, "life, liberty, and security." Is it right for a human to murder another human? Is it right to do nothing when you see evil happening towards another human being? Morality in this sense is not something that "varies wildly from person to person."

    While morals are often labelled as "Christian", they are usually basic to all religions and value sets. The golden rule, "do to others as you would have them do to you" may be of Christian origin, but is quoted and personally desired by those of all sorts of beliefs, including Atheists. Is this sort of morality system such a problem in government? What if our political system was free from morality?

    An amoral system of government is in reality impossible. All human-made governments are going to act off of some sort of moral system. Whether it is a communist regime acting off of the principal that equality matters more than individual rights, or a religious state, every government must have some set of basic principals upon which to set their laws. A government without morals leads to anarchy and chaos, and ultimately tyranny.

    As can be attested throughout history, not all moral systems acknowledge the dignity of humans equally. Millions have been killed under communist, atheistic governments as well as under theocratic governments. We can find examples of America's misuse of power, but our government, based on Christian morals yet not a Christian theocracy, has created more freedom, equality, and dignity for humans than any other government in history.

  2. According to the ancient philosopher Aristotle, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

    If religion has no place guiding a nation let us look at a true historical comparison. In France, shortly after America gained its independence, they too began a revolution. They removed God from their equation and as a result they have gone through more than a dozen constitutions. Their god became ‘reason,’ and reason is where man received his rights. When society dictates what is right and what is wrong, some sad things become true…

    1, Hitler was right, because the German people loved him.
    2, If I help the little old lady across the street or run her over with my car it makes no difference if the majority of people agree.
    3, The purpose of life is nonexistent.
    In such a system morals become flexible, people do whatever feels good, and people lose their heads.

    In the United States we are founded as a nation under God. If religion has no place in government, then why did it work so well for so long? In France the lack of God at the government level has led them through a number of constitutional failures. (1791, 1793, 1795, 1799, 1802, 1804, 1814, 1815, 1830, 1848, 1852, 1875, 1940, 1945, 1946) And on the other hand, the nation born from the idea, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This has lasted more than two hundred years. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. There is not a single revolution in history that worked out as well as it did for the United States.

    Religion is not just the right flavor of faith, or a belief in the afterlife, it is a viewpoint by which all of our actions are influenced. It is where we get the ideas of right and wrong. It is what gave the world direction since time began.

    Yes, making abortion illegal is forcing a belief upon a people. However, what person in Washington does things with no regard for self. Better yet, what self-sufficient person does things without any self-regard? And yes morality should be defined in its most basic terms of life, liberty and security. But where would you find those morals if you completely remove religion from the equation? You find them in the corruptible uncertain wavering standards of person to person, and eventually… you end up eating cake. There is no difference between illegal abortion affecting a percentage of the population and the removal of prayer from schools. If it is right then it is right, and if it is wrong then it is wrong, but as a society let us keep things consistent.

    When you understand why this country was founded by the English to begin with, you realize that the reason that we have a country is because people were trying to flee from religious persecution. England basically told the early settlers that if they didn’t like how things were, with the king’s specific breed of religion being forced upon them, then they could get out. So what is wrong with that theory today? If you want to live in a country that was founded upon religious persecution, religious principles, and by so gave us the right to choose to either believe or not to believe in “God” then I guess you have the right to get out too.