In the 2004 election and this upcoming one, religion has played an important role in considering political candidates. Yet, it irks me considerably how religion has played a part in politics.
The issue isn’t how a candidate will handle the religious diversity of America or the religious turmoil across the globe, but how often a candidate goes to church or if God is holding his or her hand during every decision making process.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a president seeking guidance from religion, but when a candidate’s church life is the focal point of discussion my blood starts burning.
Firstly, it appears to me that the American public seems to confuse religion with morals. Morals can be influenced by religion, and religion possesses moral codes; but, simply because a person doesn’t go to church or isn’t a Christian for that matter does not mean they are soulless beings without conscience. There are plenty of Americans without God in their lives who are helpful and loving people; while there are just as many convicted felons who’ve been in the pews every Sunday.
Morality can be secular; it’s just common sense. Treat others the way you would like to be treated; share; love one another. One doesn’t need religion to learn these things.
The religious obsession over political candidates distracts voters from the more obvious questions. How will a candidate run our nation? What are his or her views on the issues?
I do not care if our next president is Jewish or Muslim or Atheist or a practitioner of Voodoo, as long as our nation and we Americans are safely and wisely guided that is all that matters.
Obviously, a person’s religious beliefs will influence their decision making-yet our leader should be able to divorce him or herself from their beliefs if it will positively benefit the nation.
As harsh as that may seem, I believe it is a legitimate cause for concern. If the country needs to be protected or if something will help our nation, but it conflicts with the president’s religious virtues, the leader needs to make the difficult choice.
After all, the president is a servant of the people who placed him or her into power, under the Republican ideals on which our nation is founded.
The plethora of religions and philosophical ideas in the United States presents another issue. How can we as citizens with views different from a president be content if it feels like his or her principles are forced down our throats?
This brings to mind the issues of gay marriage and abortion rights. Every time I hear why homosexuals should not be married the reason is usually: to preserve the sanctity of marriage.
What exactly is the sanctity of marriage?
To me it appears that sanctity is analogous with tradition and stability-according to Judeo-Christian ideals surrounding marriage. This places homosexuality in opposition with marriage as if allowing gays to marry will destroy heterosexual marriage as an institution.
If preserving marriage is so important to political leaders then why not get rid of divorce? Divorce is breaking up families faster than a gay couple in Massachusetts ever will.
The abortion argument involves the idea of when life truly begins. The popular argument against abortion is that the soul comes into being at conception, that when sperm and egg merge a human life is made. Now that is all very well and good but there is no evidence for the existence of a soul.
There are no tangible facts that a soul exists in an embryo or that homosexuals will ruin marriage. It is largely steeped in religious belief. I don’t want a president who influences law with religious convictions.
I am not anti-religion, or anti-God, or even an atheist for that matter. I am merely a citizen concerned about religion is influencing politics especially with an election year rapidly approaching.
If religion is your guide so be it, but consider how a presidential candidate will run the nation not run to the pews.