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Thats my opinion

(2,001 posts)
Wed May 30, 2012, 11:55 AM May 2012

Check out the motivation!

“RELGION, ETHICS AND SOCIAL PRACTICE”—AND 20 AMAZING COLLEGE STUDENTS
This past semester my wife and I were enrolled in Religion, Ethics and Social Practice, a class composed of 20 undergraduates and 10 elders. This academic offering was part of the curriculum offered by the college’s Department of Religious Studies. While we sign up for a class each term, this intergenerational experience was different. I had never before encountered a group of 20 year olds as turned on to what their faith had inspired them to do in the community or the wider world, as were these bright men and women. Each undergraduate designed a project she/he was prepared to execute. Here is a sampling: Teach women’s soccer in the slums of Nairobi as a way to encourage self-respect. Work with women ex-convicts who make jams and jellies for sale in local stores. Work for a Constitutional Amendment overturning the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision. Mentor minority youth, by teaching them the meditative skills which might help them prepare for college. Assist kids on drugs by providing them the testimony of ex drug addicts/

One of the proposals that got my attention was nothing quite so grand. A nearby city, here unnamed, had passed an ordinance which provided guards and locks for the toilets at the public library. No one is permitted to use them unless thev have a valid library card. Who does this bar? Why the homeless, who have no address, and therefore cannot obtain a card. And that restriction defines the purpose of the ordinance. If the homeless have nowhere to do you know what, maybe they will gravitate to some other city where they can.

This student, and those who will work with her, will do the hard political work necessary to reverse the ordinance. This will involve, among other things, discovering who promoted the ban in the first place, who are the others in the community who want to reverse it, and what necessary steps need to be taken.

Saul Alinsky, the nation’s best-known community organizer, faced a similar issue at a municipal airport, so he organized a “sit in” by which his group controlled every toilet in the terminal! It didn’t take long until the terminal’s operators realized they had a losing battle on their hands, and Alinsky got the changes he wanted. Rational discourse is one way to institute change. Guerilla theater is another.

At the same time, a spin-off of a local Occupy has secured a grant to find ways to provide the homeless with the personal identification needed to get a library card, a Social Security card, a driver’s license, voter registration, a post-office box and other documents necessary to re-enter society. Street people often have none of these things. These twin projects plan to work together. If the homeless in this community can get a card, then the toilets at the library will be free for the sitting!

But back to the class. From time to time I get disheartened by what is going on in America. Few things have more soured my appreciation of our nation than the rise of the Tea Party. Its inherent racism, selfishness, bitterness and support of inequality caused me for a while to wonder just where we were headed. And then I ran across this group of students, most of them coming from affluent families, who. had a vision of some noble possibility for their lives. While most of these young adults have a religious motivation which impels them on their journeys, there are others all across the country who have come to some nobler way to live through other motivations. Maybe there is yet hope for the re-flowering of America’s more gracious spirit. At least the students in this class have provided me with fresh hope.




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Check out the motivation! (Original Post) Thats my opinion May 2012 OP
Motivations designed and distributed by rrneck May 2012 #1
What is the constitutional prohibition against political activity? cbayer May 2012 #2
The First Amendment. rrneck May 2012 #3
I disagree that the First Amendment prohibits religious groups from engaging in political action cbayer May 2012 #4
How so? rrneck May 2012 #5
The establishment claause constrains the government, not churches. eomer May 2012 #27
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." rrneck May 2012 #32
You forgot to include the free exercise clause. Thats my opinion May 2012 #35
How do you feel about rrneck May 2012 #38
I feel i should add... rrneck May 2012 #6
1+++ patrice May 2012 #8
Appreciate your responses here and I see your point about the difficulty cbayer May 2012 #9
Forgive the intrusion --> daaron May 2012 #12
Well said. Again, I think, but am not certain, that the projects of these students cbayer May 2012 #13
Could you explain how the Establishment clause bans organized polticking of religious institutions. Leontius May 2012 #15
By "organized politicking" I'm referring to endorsing or opposing political candidates --> daaron May 2012 #22
What I want you to explain is how you reach the conclusion that Leontius May 2012 #23
Campaigning from the pulpit is banned according to SCOTUS decisions. daaron May 2012 #24
The law that constrains churches is the Internal Revenue Code, not the establishment clause. eomer May 2012 #28
The tax code that constrains churches stands only because SCOTUS --> daaron May 2012 #30
The problem is when you start playing so fast and loose with the Constitution Leontius May 2012 #42
Here is some --> daaron May 2012 #31
The question decided in that Supreme Court ruling is whether the government is permitted... eomer May 2012 #33
6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other. daaron May 2012 #39
No, I didn't say the government doesn't limit churches, I said the Constitution doesn't. eomer May 2012 #40
Sudo !! daaron May 2012 #41
Yes, that is what the First Amendment is all about. nt Thats my opinion May 2012 #18
Sorry, nope. rrneck May 2012 #14
Take a look at #16. Thats my opinion May 2012 #19
Hey, rrneck May 2012 #21
Help me understand. Thats my opinion May 2012 #16
No society can last for long rrneck May 2012 #20
Hee hee -- "...in air conditioning and iced Scotch..." daaron May 2012 #25
To the extent that political action or causes are more than 50% associated with a certain candidate, patrice May 2012 #7
None of these projects appear to be supporting particular candidates. cbayer May 2012 #10
"While most of these young adults have a religious motivation which impels them on their journeys" trotsky May 2012 #11
Other than using your response as just another way to take a swipe at anything religious, Thats my opinion May 2012 #17
Nope, your attempt to smear me is misguided. trotsky May 2012 #26
If Thats my opinion May 2012 #36
Actually, it's honest commentary. trotsky May 2012 #37
Religious groups often engage in things that benefit society. MineralMan May 2012 #29
Sounds like a wonderful program. cbayer May 2012 #34

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
1. Motivations designed and distributed by
Wed May 30, 2012, 12:22 PM
May 2012

an organization constitutionally prohibited from political activity.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
3. The First Amendment.
Wed May 30, 2012, 12:49 PM
May 2012

The civil rights of citizens are the purview of government, elected by the citizenry. Religious organizations are not people. Most of them, certainly the worst, most powerful and most dangerous, are little more than corporations. A religious organization that motivates and organizes public action for the homeless is no different from an organization that organizes for the right to keep and bear arms like the NRA (a Tea Party favorite).

The big difference is that most advocacy groups weren't founded on a sort of ideology that ripped cultures to pieces with sectarian bloodbaths for thousands of years. Religion deserves special attention in that regard.

cbayer

(146,218 posts)
4. I disagree that the First Amendment prohibits religious groups from engaging in political action
Wed May 30, 2012, 12:54 PM
May 2012

or civil rights causes. You may want it that way and you may be able to make an argument for why you think it should be that way, but it's not.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
5. How so?
Wed May 30, 2012, 01:20 PM
May 2012

Is there a difference between a Mega church and a media empire? Is there a difference between Thomas Nelson publishing and McGraw Hill? Don't they all have marketshare and capital investments to protect?

How do we distinguish between a commercial lobbying organization and a religious lobbying organization? And if we cannot, what will happen? Exactly what has happened. Liberal religious organizations are going to lose in the marketplace of ideas because they are playing conservative game on a regressive field. They cannot compete unless they profit, and to succeed they must become what they are fighting against. Never play another man's game, he's better at it and he'll win every time.

When what most people consider religion is seen as the guardian of civic virtue it establishes itself as a conduit through which people relate to government. That's what the establishment clause is all about.

eomer

(3,845 posts)
27. The establishment claause constrains the government, not churches.
Thu May 31, 2012, 07:14 AM
May 2012

What language in the Constitution prohibits churches from engaging in political activity?

The tax code does constrain churches if they want to be tax exempt, but of course the tax code is not the Constitution.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
32. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."
Thu May 31, 2012, 10:56 AM
May 2012
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Office_of_Faith-Based_and_Neighborhood_Partnerships

The separation of church and state was noted as one of major issues with the Faith- Based Initiatives laws. Critics have claimed that millions in government grants have gone to ministries operated by politica supporters of the Bush administration, or have been given to minority pastors who recently committed their[ 7][ 8][ 9][ 10][ 11] support.[ 7][ 8][ 9][ 10][ 11] support.

Established by executive order, which has the force of law. Surely no more controversial or potentially dangerous than the codification of corporate personhood using the fourteenth amendment. Which, in the true spirit of corporate synergy, would benefit large religious organizations as well.

This office was renamed and maintained by Barack Obama. Why? For political support from organizations representing people of faith. And in return for that support they get to attach themselves to the government teat.

According to ABC News, the office would seek "to expand the role of this office as it relates to policy ssues where religious and local leaders can be effective. DuBois will coordinate with faith-based and community organizations on social service outreach and will work to utilize these organizations' efforts to advance the administration's policies, with a primary focus on poverty."

It's just another example of the privatization of public services to the aggrandizement of organizations that have the right to call themselves people. And in a country where a great many citizens, especially poor undereducated citizens, can't name their congressional representatives, where do you think their loyalties will go when they see religious organizations contributing to their daily survival with their own eyes? Getting credit for food and shelter, not to mention emotional support - that's power.

If I could guarantee Barack Obama a million votes on election day I could sleep in the Lincoln bedroom tonight - and get rich doing it. That's because I will have established myself as a provider of aid to the poor on the one hand and a bundler of votes on the other.

Thats my opinion

(2,001 posts)
35. You forgot to include the free exercise clause.
Thu May 31, 2012, 01:18 PM
May 2012

You are entitled to your opinion, but in this land of laws, it is the courts which make the decisions.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
38. How do you feel about
Thu May 31, 2012, 01:35 PM
May 2012

religions that practice human sacrifice? Are they protected?

The establishment clause is a wall between religion and the exercise of power. When a government claims the right to tell people what to believe, it is abusing its power of leadership. When a religion tells people how to run the country, even if the issues involved are legitimate and the methods for progress wise and prudent, religion is abusing its power to lead its believers.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
6. I feel i should add...
Wed May 30, 2012, 01:42 PM
May 2012

I'm not "anti religion" and I don't think religious people are crazy because they believe. It's just that there is no justice in politics. Kindness and compassion have nothing to do with it. Politics is the art of who gets what. Make no mistake, it's about resources, plain and simple. When it comes to politics working people cannot afford to divide our loyalties or lose sight of our objective. I'm not trying to pick on you or TMO but I see no reason to sub contract my understanding of civic duty to an organization that exists to produce ideology for profit. And they all do or they won't last long.

cbayer

(146,218 posts)
9. Appreciate your responses here and I see your point about the difficulty
Wed May 30, 2012, 01:56 PM
May 2012

in distinguishing what kind of organization one is dealing with.

I think, but I am not sure, that this class is composed of individual students who are developing projects based on their religious beliefs or motivations. Again not sure, but I don't think they are doing it in the name of any particular organization or religious institution.

Would that change your perspective?

 

daaron

(763 posts)
12. Forgive the intrusion -->
Wed May 30, 2012, 02:31 PM
May 2012

but I think between the two of you, the issue was pretty well nailed. Individuals acting politically on the basis of religious belief, without overtly inserting that belief into a policy or promoting it as a policy position, is not just fine, it's exactly the sort of thing the Free Exercise clause was intended to protect... NOT the organized politicking of religious institutions or organizations (e.g., the Council of Catholic Bishops), which is banned, perhaps not strenuously enough in practice, by the Establishment clause.

cbayer

(146,218 posts)
13. Well said. Again, I think, but am not certain, that the projects of these students
Wed May 30, 2012, 02:39 PM
May 2012

fall within your first definition.

 

Leontius

(2,270 posts)
15. Could you explain how the Establishment clause bans organized polticking of religious institutions.
Wed May 30, 2012, 03:08 PM
May 2012
 

daaron

(763 posts)
22. By "organized politicking" I'm referring to endorsing or opposing political candidates -->
Wed May 30, 2012, 04:43 PM
May 2012

from the pulpit, since that is the behavior that is banned. Clearly I'm not talking about issues advocacy, since that behavior is not banned (seeing that it falls under the freedom of speech clause).

The interesting point made in this thread is that if corporations are not people (as I suspect we can all agree is the case), then neither are other organizations and institutions. In which case, if Citizen's United is wrong (which I suspect we can all agree it is) then Churches (not individual believers) aren't protected by the Free Speech clause. I wonder if that's not one of the reasons the SCROTUS decided the way they did.

 

Leontius

(2,270 posts)
23. What I want you to explain is how you reach the conclusion that
Wed May 30, 2012, 07:49 PM
May 2012

the political organizing of religious orgs. is banned by the Establishment clause. Where in those eleven words do you find the intent for govt to act in this manner? We do I think agree that campaigning from the pulpit is a misuse of freedom of religion.

 

daaron

(763 posts)
24. Campaigning from the pulpit is banned according to SCOTUS decisions.
Wed May 30, 2012, 09:32 PM
May 2012

It's not in the text of the Constitution, but it's certainly enforced (not stringently enough, IMO) as the law of the land, as interpreted by past SCOTUSes. My quickly laid brushstroke was over-broad, but that's all I was actually referring to.

eomer

(3,845 posts)
28. The law that constrains churches is the Internal Revenue Code, not the establishment clause.
Thu May 31, 2012, 07:19 AM
May 2012

The establishment clause constrains only the government.

 

daaron

(763 posts)
30. The tax code that constrains churches stands only because SCOTUS -->
Thu May 31, 2012, 08:25 AM
May 2012

determined that to do otherwise would be an unconstitutional establishment.

 

Leontius

(2,270 posts)
42. The problem is when you start playing so fast and loose with the Constitution
Thu May 31, 2012, 06:44 PM
May 2012

you destroy its value as a foundational document. I can just as easily make the argument that the use of the tax code to punish churches for actively campaigning for candidates violates both the Establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. Too many people have forgotten that the Bill of Rights was included as an added protection for the "people" against the actions and power of the government.

 

daaron

(763 posts)
31. Here is some -->
Thu May 31, 2012, 08:55 AM
May 2012
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/04.html

Looks like the tax code was set up to apply to all non-profits including religious bodies in order to apply a secular standard. That is, to give the exemption only to religions would violate the Establishment clause, so we don't do that. The entanglement doctrine applies here, too.

...termination of exemptions would deeply involve government in the internal affairs of religious bodies, because evaluation of religious properties for tax purposes would be required and there would be tax liens and foreclosures and litigation concerning such matters. 135

While the general issue is now settled, it is to be expected that variations of the exemption upheld in Walz will present the Court with an opportunity to elaborate the field still further. 136 For example, the Court determined that a sales tax exemption applicable only to religious publications constituted a violation of the Establishment Clause, 137 and, on the other hand, that application of a general sales and use tax provision to religious publications violates neither the Establishment Clause nor the Free Exercise Clause. 138

eomer

(3,845 posts)
33. The question decided in that Supreme Court ruling is whether the government is permitted...
Thu May 31, 2012, 12:23 PM
May 2012

to grant a tax exemption to churches. In other words, it is a question of how the Constitution constrains the government, not how or whether the Constitution constrains churches (which it doesn't).

And getting back to the original point, churches are not prohibited under the law from engaging in political activity or even from campaigning for a candidate. The Constitution doesn't prohibit them from doing that and statutory laws passed by Congress don't either. The are free to engage in that but their tax exempt status will hinge on exactly how they do or don't.

So a church is free to campaign openly and directly for or against a specific candidate. If they do so then they will not qualify for tax exempt status. But they will still be a church, just a taxable church.

A church is also free to refrain from campaigning and in that case they will qualify for tax exempt status.

The above rules are part of the Internal Revenue Code. They are permitted by the Constitution but they are not required by the Constitution. There is no Supreme Court ruling saying that a government (state or federal) is required to provide tax exemption. The rulings merely say that they are permitted to provide tax exemption (but only in limited ways). The Constitution's role in this matter is one of limiting government; it does not limit churches.



 

daaron

(763 posts)
39. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other.
Thu May 31, 2012, 02:10 PM
May 2012

The government constraining churches via tax code to engage in only certain types of politicking has the same effect as banning other types of politicking. The Establishment clause is the constitutional law that allows the government to limit the types of politicking that Churches engage in, with the terribly lax 'punishment' of tax exemption revocation to fit the 'crime' of engaging in prohibited political activities by a non-profit (including churches). By applying the standard to all non-profits, the gov't doesn't violate the Free Exercise clause.

You say that the government doesn't limit churches in this way. I'm saying it's 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other.

eomer

(3,845 posts)
40. No, I didn't say the government doesn't limit churches, I said the Constitution doesn't.
Thu May 31, 2012, 02:19 PM
May 2012

And the distinction has substance. If the Constitution limited churches then the only way to change or remove those limits would be by a constitutional amendment or by buying Supreme Court justices. If it is merely laws passed by Congress that limit (or I would say attach tax consequences to) the activities of churches then those limits (consequences) can be changed by the Congress passing new laws.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
14. Sorry, nope.
Wed May 30, 2012, 03:04 PM
May 2012

Somebody made a living generating and promulgating those ideas. They have university chairmanships, publish books, and speak at conferences.

If those kids want to make a difference they should be doing it as red, white, and blue United States citizens. That is the only acceptable religion to associate with one's civic duty.

There is a saying in psychology circles that goes, "you can't tell people how they feel". Any number of studies seem to indicate that the more strongly someone feels about something the more they dig in their heels to defend their beliefs then presented with contrary evidence. Faith and religion are emotional experiences and any organization that becomes the facilitator of that experience has considerable control over its followers. It's very difficult to separate oneself from that control - and that dynamic is the same for religious belief and simple brand loyalty. The most unscrupulous religions are those who most exploit the latter, and in a capitalist society any organization has to depend on the profit motive at least a little. The emotional bonds we create with shared ideas, including the profit motive, are at the root of all human civilization and has ensured the survival - and tragedy - of our species.

The latest and best effort to foster cooperation and support among groups of people has been a nationalist form of government, which replaced religion in that role. The transition has been a barbaric and bloody one. And it will never be complete if we allow civic activity defined by faith in anything other than ourselves.

Having said all that, I'm sure those kids will do just fine. There is a big difference between a specific situation and an overall cultural trend. I'm the first to admit that I don't know how to parse the role of religion in government - because I can't tell people how they feel. But I know people are only human and I don't think there's any reason to believe any religious organization or leader will judiciously exercise the considerable power that the faith of believers will give them. I haven't seen one succeed yet.

Thats my opinion

(2,001 posts)
19. Take a look at #16.
Wed May 30, 2012, 04:20 PM
May 2012

As to your post 14, I'm unclear as to what the "nope" refers to.

You cannot tell these young adults that they are not allowed under your system to have a religious motivation for wanting to make the world a bit better. There are absolutely secular states where no religious motivation is tolerated, but that is not what the Constitution or the history of this nation has decreed. (A nationalistic form of government which has replaced religion?) Brrr. That is a chilling ideas. I was in China just after they tried it, only to realize that the tyranny created was destructive. The "cultural revolution" was terrible,and they knew it. So they opened the churches again. As a totally secular state they realized that they could not develop any serious ethical response to large problems. I was there as a consultant when this happened. I was part of a group which called ourselves, "the old friends of the new China."

I do understand the thrust of your third paragraph. You have demonstrate its truth over and over again in what you have often posted. No mater the subject, you are impelled to take a shot at anything religious.

And I just don't understand the past paragraph. I fully realize you don't believe religious persons, institutions or motivations can ever do anything good. But I wonder if that blind spot is really self-induced. If you have never seen religious power judicially at work, I'd be glad to show you a large collection of them.

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
21. Hey,
Wed May 30, 2012, 04:40 PM
May 2012

You can't tell me how I feel either. I'm being nice, but I don't have to continue to do so.

I feel impelled to speak out against religious involvement in government. Like I said I dont have a problem with religion or its adherents. In fact, as I've said before religion is unavoidable if not indispensable to human survival. Some religions, most notably Christianity, are much too powerful and given its history and current role in society I don't see how it can survive as a viable faith. I expect we are in for another axial age and when that happens the Abrahamic religions will go the way of the dodo.

Ease up with the accusations before this gets ugly.

Thats my opinion

(2,001 posts)
16. Help me understand.
Wed May 30, 2012, 03:40 PM
May 2012

I'm at a loss to understand what you are complaining about in this post. What is the violation and who are the violators? We have often commented on the two diverse clauses in the First Amendment.

If kindness and compassion have nothing to do with public life, then we are in worse shape than I have even imagined. If these twin attributes of the good society are in themselves a violation of the First Amendment, then we are reading different Constitutions. Please specify.

What are the sub-contractors you mention? No church or any religious organization was part of this class.

And who is it that produces ideology for profit, and where do they appear in this post?

rrneck

(17,671 posts)
20. No society can last for long
Wed May 30, 2012, 04:24 PM
May 2012

without compassion. Certainly no society that calls itself civilized.

Did you know that you can patent an idea? In this culture ideas - thoughts - are property. We can, and do, profit from the production if ideas. That profit comes from consumers and investors. Those ideas are distributed through various forms of media. It is the oldest and easiest way to get rich. There is very little capital investment and the unlimited market of human desire for self validation as the source of a revenue stream. And all you have to do is tell people what they want to hear. It kept preists in a good living a thousand years ago and it keeps scholars, pundits, preachers and publishers in air conditioning and iced Scotch today.

Those kids, the value of their work notwithstanding, got their religious convictions from someone who made a living producing and distributing them in a very competitive marketplace of ideas. They bought books, listened to presentations, and paid tuition for those ideas and did so because they liked them. They made an emotional investment in them.

There is no difference between Christian compassion and Muslim compassion. The difference to the believers is who gets credit for fostering those feelings. I think civic duty, which includes compassion and justice for every member of society, should be nationalist inspired compassion. Because when we share, on that most basic and human emotional level, compassion for one another from a common source we will be able to exercise political power to make this a better country in which to live.

Religions gain power by bundling votes. If a religious organization can command enough followers to impact society any politician with half a brain will court the organization rather than the voters it represents. That gives the religion political power, and that relationship always ends badly.

patrice

(47,992 posts)
7. To the extent that political action or causes are more than 50% associated with a certain candidate,
Wed May 30, 2012, 01:55 PM
May 2012

, or certain kinds of candidates and not other kinds of candidates, is that not engaging in candidate advocacy, i.e. campaigning for office, whether they mention a candidate(s) or not?

cbayer

(146,218 posts)
10. None of these projects appear to be supporting particular candidates.
Wed May 30, 2012, 02:09 PM
May 2012

And it is unclear whether they are even being sponsored or done in the name of specific religious organizations, so I'm not sure that is an issue in these cases.

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
11. "While most of these young adults have a religious motivation which impels them on their journeys"
Wed May 30, 2012, 02:29 PM
May 2012

So do the people who instituted the policy. In fact, given America's demographics and relationship between religiosity and political beliefs, that group is far more likely to have been motivated by religion than the students.

"inherent racism, selfishness, bitterness and support of inequality" - You've just summed up a huge chunk of the history of religion.

Thats my opinion

(2,001 posts)
17. Other than using your response as just another way to take a swipe at anything religious,
Wed May 30, 2012, 03:44 PM
May 2012

I don't know where you are coming from.

Who are those who"instituted the policy"?
And what policy are you talking about?

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
26. Nope, your attempt to smear me is misguided.
Thu May 31, 2012, 06:05 AM
May 2012

This is not to "take a swipe at anything religious" but to remind observers that while you gush about how wonderful it was that the people who opposed the policy (of putting locks on the bathrooms in the library - did you not read your own post?) were most certainly motivated by religion (do you have proof that they all were, BTW?), people who do bad things are also motivated by their religion.

Thats my opinion

(2,001 posts)
36. If
Thu May 31, 2012, 01:25 PM
May 2012
"inherent racism, selfishness, bitterness and support of inequality - You've just summed up a huge chunk of the history of religion." is not taking a swipe at anything religious, you had better offer a different interpretation.

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
37. Actually, it's honest commentary.
Thu May 31, 2012, 01:34 PM
May 2012

Or are you denying religion's role & responsibility in perpetuating all of those?

Look, if you're going to start a thread trumpeting how wonderful religious faith is to motivate people, be prepared to discuss the flip side of that coin, how it inspires and motivates people to do plenty of nasty things too.

I'm sorry that you don't like that side of the discussion and wish those opinions could be silenced, but you aren't going to silence anyone.

MineralMan

(146,025 posts)
29. Religious groups often engage in things that benefit society.
Thu May 31, 2012, 08:21 AM
May 2012

Equally often, they engage in things that have the opposite effect. As an example, I would mention the opposition to marriage equality from both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Opposition to a woman's right to choose is another example.

Money is used in some of these cases to influence churchmembers' opinions and even to influence others, through the purchase of advertising and other publicity. Similar campaigns are done for issues we might consider beneficial as well as for issues that we might consider to be detrimental.

Who decides what is beneficial and detrimental? That is the primary difficulty. So, we try to prohibit political activity by religious organizations, to the extent that we don't allow them to campaign for specific candidates.

No religious group should impose its particular viewpoint on anyone who is not a member of that group. That is the reason for the separation of church and state. It is a wise thing we do to keep the two separate.

cbayer

(146,218 posts)
34. Sounds like a wonderful program.
Thu May 31, 2012, 12:31 PM
May 2012

Kudos to you for participating and to the students who are doing what they can to make the world better.

Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Religion»Check out the motivation!