SHOULD RELIGION BE A PRIVATE MATTER?

Shortly before he formally converted to Catholicism, Tony Blair gave an interview in which he said the British people thought a politician who spoke in public about his religious faith was “a nutter.”

Once Blair wanted to end a speech with “God bless you all.” His advisors talked him out of it. They explained to the press, “We don’t do God.”

In the United States it would seem to be a far different story. On the day of the Iowa caucuses every presidential candidate has marked out his religious turf — again and again. We all know of Mitt Romney’s Mormon manifesto, Mike Huckabee’s Baptist ministry, Hillary Clinton’s formative Methodism and Rudy Giuliani’s cultural Catholicism.

For a country keenly committed to separation of church and state, the complex admixture of religion and politics in the United States fascinates and appalls Canadians.

We don’t get it because we have concluded that faith is a private matter, that its presence in the public square is a threat to social harmony and that past historical experience with religion’s political influence has been less than salutary.

Do you agree that a politician’s faith should be a private matter?

41 Comments »

  1. 1
    PB and J Says:

    i think it depends on what is meant by “private”. are we to have religion and state intermixed….i dont think so. the better question is whether a religious person should be open about their faith….

    if someone truly believes what they believe, wouldnt they desire to share that good news/insight with others?!! the problem isnt that religious people are open about their faith, but rather that they cram their views down others throats. our actions should speak much more about our beliefs than our words, because our words are often condemning. on the other hand, religious action (for most people) will be loving. so this will speak volumes more than rhetoric.

    as far as politicians go, there is a slightly different category for them, i believe. to me, most of them seem to be using religion (even their own personal religious beliefs) with ulterior motives. they desire to gain the votes of the religious right in USA and therefore pander to them through sharing about their religious beliefs in public.

    this i find appalling. they are using something that is intended to be loving to other people and twist it to be a mockery of that. instead, it is about them gaining and maintaining power. a far cry from religious beliefs that claim humility and selflessness as virtues.

    good question
    peter

  2. 2
    Barbara Says:

    Canadians are a more reserved bunch. Americans wear their hearts upon their sleeves and that can get rather messy at times. It takes all kinds in this world. There are many folks in the US who want to know the values upon which their politicians make their decisions and hope to elect someone with similar values to their own. That goes all the way back to the religious “nutters” who founded the nation centuries ago, when intolerant Europeans set them adrift. It is that demand out there in small-town America that drives this religiosity among political candidates. Values-driven voters actually do vote! Others judge a politician’s values by her/his track record. Do not imagine that all Americans are alike.

  3. 3
    Alex Thomas Says:

    Jesus himself said, “Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them…” You think God is impressed? Guess again, bubba. The Ten Commandments can be reduced to three simple admonitions: Be faithful. Be honest. Be kind. If I can make it any simpler, please to let me know how.
    Mr. Brown went to Church – never missed a Sunday.
    Mr. Brown went to Hell for what he did on Monday.
    Jesus spoke often, loud and long about the religious hypocrites of his time. He was not favourably impressed by them. Do the publicly religious of today figure He’s changed His mind in the meantime?
    My name is Alex Thomas. As we forgive those, who trespass against us…

  4. 4
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I think PB and J are right when they say what matter is what the politician wants to do with his religion. Establish his morality and ethc or make a power grab by enticing a particularly important religious group to vote for him. In other words being manipulative and devious or just stating that he will not indulge in shenaniggans because his morals forbid him to be dishonest. That can be done even by a non religious person invoking his/her spotless reputation.
    “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”, I also fear the Huckabees and Romneys of all stripes brandishing their religious banners. Look at the mayhem brought about by born again christians Bush and Harper.

  5. 5
    hokku Says:

    Personally, I want to know when a politician holds dogmatic religious beliefs, because I want to know just how gullible and subject to illogic the person is, and how his or her personal beliefs are likely to interfere with rationality and common sense in government, not to mention the extent to which he or she is likely to feel the inner compulsion to mix Church and State.

  6. 6
    Joe Agnost Says:

    Religion just leaves such a BAD taste in my mouth that I can’t look past it! I can’t stand when a cadidate starts talking about their religion because I find myself not trusting them immediately!!

    When GWB said that god told him to invade iraq it should have been the end to his time in politics! I mean – who can take such a man (after that statement) seriously!

    Oh – and during one of the debates (rep I think) the candidates were asked whether they believe (even though it’s a scientific fact) in evolution…. many said they did not!!!! How can such an uneducated person become president?? Well, I guess GWB did it…. sigh.

  7. 7
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Neil writes: “For a country keenly committed to separation of church and state, the complex admixture of religion and politics in the United States fascinates and appalls Canadians.”

    At least on the constitutional level, church and state is much more a reality in Canada than it ever has been in the States. For example, up until just 10 years ago virtually all publicly-funded schools in Quebec were either Roman Catholic or Protestant (then a constitutional amendment was passed). And up until the ’60s Jews in Quebec were, for the purposes of school assignment, legally classified as “Protestant” and, by and large, attended Protestant School Board schools.

    Yes, it’s true that Canadians pay less attention to the religion of its representatives than do Americans. But this probably has to do with the fact that there has always been a larger percentage of Catholics in Canada than the States and an unwritten “rule” of power-sharing in Ottawa between the English and French (who were predominantly Catholic) and alternating PMs. Not so in the States where Catholics were much more of a minority. A bigger deal was made when Alf Landon, a Catholic, ran for the Republicans as their presidential candidate against FDR (Landon lost) than would have occured in Canada. JFK, of course, became the first Catholic president in ’60.

    But today, policy (such as abortion) rules the roost in U.S. politics more than an individual candidate’s religion today. For example, I believe that more hard-line pro-life Catholic voters will more readily give their votes to a pro-life Baptist candidate like Huckabee than to a Catholic with a less-than-stellar record on abortion such as Giuliani.

  8. 8
    SUZANNE Says:

    Alex wrote: Jesus himself said, “Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them…” You think God is impressed?

    That’s interesting. Much of the time, Jesus practiced his faith for all to see. He prayed in public to raise Lazarus from the dead. He preached to thousands of people. He performed miracles in public.

    I think that it’s not a “public/private” issue. I think the way the question is framed is intended to silence people who are conservative and religious.

    I think it is entirely up to the individuals and to their tenets of their religion. Wearing your religion on your sleeve like some Americans do rubs people the wrong way, especially in Canada. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to say “God Bless Canada”. If you want to say “God Bless Canada” then say it. If people don’t like it, well, you and the audience will have to deal with the consequences.

    People are free to be religious. Others are free to disapprove. That’s the way it works. Who are these people who are saying religion should be entirely a private matter? Who are they to dictate to others what they should say, how they should act? If you want to say “God Bless Canada” then say it. If you want to disapprove, disapprove. But you have no right to say that a person cannot express themselves or act in a religious manner if it does not infringe on your freedom. And no, there is no “freedom from offense” in this country.

  9. 9
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “But you have no right to say that a person cannot express themselves or act in a religious manner if it does not infringe on your freedom”

    I agree that you can’t tell a person to keep their religion to themselves.

    My point is that as soon as they bring their religion into it they’ve basically lost my vote.

    I cannot vote for somebody that believes a fictional character performed magic 2000 years ago!! This idea is so completely ludicrous and absurd that believing it makes you unfit to serve as a public politician IMO.
    Or not ‘believing’ in evolution…. can you imagine how education could suffer with someone like that in office? What if the minister of education believed this way – how could we expect him/her to do his/her job properly?

    If EVERYONE believed in the same religion there would not be an issue -but since this isn’t the case, and since they are all simply beliefs (without evidence) we MUST keep these ideas away from politics.

    So feel free to tell the world you don’t believe in evolution and choose the literal genesis account instead (huckabee) – but don’t expect to get my vote!

  10. 10
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I’m always fascinated by the reactions each time Neil touches the religious nerve. Why is it that a word meaning “breathing toghether” generates so much almost aggressive responses? We supposedly are the product of 2000 years of “love thy neighbour and do unto others as you would have done unto you”!
    Come on live and let live wether you believe or not. As long as any candidate does not try to convert me let him say what he pleases.
    And yes Quebecers have rid themselves of their former clerical masters only to replace them by nationalist gurus just as doctrinal and a whole generation has been left without moral values. We have thrown away the baby with the bath water.

  11. 11

    Tony:

    Excellent comment. One emendation –

    The Republican presidential candidate, Alf Landon, was not a Catholic.
    I wonder whether you are thinking of Al Smith, four-time governor of NewYork who ran as the Democratic candidate against Herbert Hoover in 1928 and lost. Smith was indeed the first Catholic to run for the presidency.

  12. 12
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “We supposedly are the product of 2000 years of ‘love thy neighbour and do unto others as you would have done unto you’!”

    We are??

    In my mind we’re the product of millions of years of evolution…

    “Come on live and let live wether you believe or not.”

    A fine idea at first glance… but think about it a little more regarding politicians.

    When a religionist knocks on my door I politely inform them they’re barking up the wrong tree. When my in-laws try to get me to go to church I simply say no…… but if my in-laws tried to get my kids into church I’d freak out – they overstepped their bounds.

    When a minister of education goes to church on sunday it doesn’t bother me in the least… but when they try to introduce ID into science class I’ll scream bloody murder! If they want to ignore science in favour of mythology fine – but they are a public official in charge of educating our youth, and I doubt they can do an adequate job when they don’t respect science in the first place!

    “As long as any candidate does not try to convert me let him say what he pleases.”

    Conversion is the LEAST of my worries. It’s public policy that I’m worried about! GWB started a war because god told him to. Teen birth rates are increasing for the first time since the 60’s because GWB will only fund abstinence ONLY sex education – his religion tells him this is the only right way to go about it even though the stats say it isn’t working and many states are refusing the funding because they want to teach safe sex along with abstinence.

    Can’t you see how dangerous a religious person in office can be??

  13. 13
    Chimera Says:

    “Do you agree that a politician’s faith should be a private matter?”

    Oh, absolutely! And let’s not restrict only the politicians, either, hmm?

    “I think the way the question is framed is intended to silence people who are conservative and religious.”

    If that were truly the case, it’s not working.

    There’s freedom of religion and freedom from someone else’s religion. We need both.

    And it’s one thing to be open about having a religion/faith, and another entirely to use it as a tool to line up voters and issues in a game where the weight of numbers can get you a metaphorical pot of gold. Pimping your religion to garner votes is obscene. I automatically discount every politician who uses his religiosity in this way. And I don’t think much of the intelligence of people who vote strictly according to the “religious” mouthings of those pols, either.

    Religion has its place — church, mosque, sanctuary, temple, reading room, Old Spaghetti Factories, etc. And, like bathing, it should be kept in its place. Faith is always internal. It is also silent.

    There’s nothing wrong with religion, per se. But there’s a lot wrong with the idea that everyone else shares — or wants to share — your (generic “you” here) burning desire for the specifics of your personal “vision”.

  14. 14
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Joe,
    We could go all the way back to the Big Bang if you wish. I also believe that Education should not be sectarian and should give the children all the info they need to make enlightened choices as soon as they are able to do so. Leaving out whole controversial areas is not a solution and it only cheats the young ones of their free choice.
    I guess we all agree on how revulsive it is to see several pols prostituting religion as just another vote getting gimmick.
    As far as I am concerned, I refuse to be force fed anything by anyone andI tried to do the same withmy own children.

  15. 15
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Leaving out whole controversial areas is not a solution and it only cheats the young ones of their free choice.”

    That’s the point! The controversies are taught already – the problem is that there is no scientific controversy regarding the FACT of evolution, there are some controversies regarding certain aspects of it but these are discussed in good science classes already. You might be mistakely led to believe that there is a scientific controversy regarding evolution – but that isn’t the case.

    You mention cheating the young ones out of their free choice – but there is no choice! It’s like saying they should be able to choose whether or not to believe in gravity – there is no scientific alternative!! There is no SCIENTIFIC alternative to evolution – none.

    I.D./creationism has nothing to do with science.

  16. 16
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    My dear Joe you are just as sectarian as any religious man or woman. You are the almighty FATHER and you choose for your offsprings what they will consider controversial or not. Long live Pope Agnost the 1st.

  17. 17
    SUZANNE Says:

    Another concern I have with this issue is that I feel that “making religion religion private” as far as politicians are concerned– dehumanizes them. Politicians are not just voting machines. They are individuals with thoughts, consciences, etc. They have to be free to make decisions based on their personal convictions.

    If you do not allow politicians the freedom to make decisions based on their personal convictions– no matter how wrong-headed those convictions are– then you cannot have politicians of integrity. A person of integrity must first and foremost do what he thinks is right. That is the first rule of acting in a moral way.

    So what happens if the politician is a goof? Then vote him out. If the majority voted the guy in, it’s because the majority essentially agree with the general thrust of his decision-making– whether it’s secular, religious or a combination of both (or maybe neither). The point of democracy is that people can select their leaders, and if you happen to be in the minority that thinks your elected official is wrong-headed, then the way to deal with it is not to tell him to “keep his religion to himself” but to convince others that his thinking is wrong, and that your candidate is better.

  18. 18
    Alex Thomas Says:

    The relationship between religion and faith is much as the relationship between clothing and food. Clothes may make the man, but you are what you eat. If God told Dubya to invade Iraq, then let’s impeach God. Why mess with the middleman?
    We are all free to believe what we will, and we are free to disagree with the religion of our neighbour. If you happen to believe in the Flying Spagheti Monster, good for you. But leave my parmigiana outa your pasta, paisan.
    The politicians of today believe in one thing: Power. Dress it up as you will, no amount of lipstick will make that pig prettier than Paris. They seek political office because they’re too dumb and too lazy to make anything productive of themselves. Let them preen on the steps of the local cathedral. Let them bless America / Canada / Pakistan / Kalistan / Berzerkistan/ Ollieandstan or whatever you wanna call the Parentland.
    Are they faithful? (Mr. Giuliani, call your attorney. It’s wife number three-and-a-half on line two) Are they honest? (I did not have sex with that young woman…or not so’s you’da noticed, it was all over so fast…) Are they kind? (Shag the pensioners, we gotta protect our buddies in the oil patch!) Do they set the example, or exemplify the cautionary?
    I don’t care if he or she wears a burka, a turban, earlocks, a “special garment”, shaves his head, bares her breasts or farts the opening to Beethoven’s Ninth in D Flat, can you trust him or her in small things? If not, religion is moot. Slap the big “L is For Loser” sign on the forehead of the candidate, and vote with your COMMON SENSE! If you would not have that person over for a beer on Hockey Night, why would you trust that person with YOUR MONEY? I’d rather put the difference in the collection plate than in the bottomless pockets of those jellyfish in charge, WHATEVER faith they may profess.
    My name is Alex Thomas. For the Muslims, Sabbath is Friday. For the Jews, Sabbath is Saturday. For the Christians, Sabbath is Sunday. By the time Monday rolls around, God is bloody tired. Can you blame Him?

  19. 19
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Long live Pope Agnost the 1st”

    Amen brother!!

  20. 20
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Yes, Neil, I was thinking of Al Smith. I stand corrected. I got mixed up between “Al” and “Alf”.

  21. 21
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “You are the almighty FATHER and you choose for your offsprings what they will consider controversial or not”

    Seriously (amens aside), I have some issues with this statement.

    As a parent, why shouldn’t I make educational decisions for my children??

    I might be missing your point about “controversy”. Are you suggesting that there is a scientific controversy regarding evolution? Are you suggesting that there is a scientific alternative that we should be teaching along with evolution? None exists that I know of….

    Teaching I.D. or creationism or any of the many world religions is a good thing. I’d love to take some of these courses… in the sociology dept! They belong in a science class about as much as astrology belongs in an astro-physics class! It’s just not science – it’s important to learn, but it’s NOT science!

    All hail pope agnost 1st!

  22. 22

    “There are many folks in the US who want to know the values upon which their politicians make their decisions and hope to elect someone with similar values to their own. That goes all the way back to the religious “nutters” who founded the nation centuries ago, when intolerant Europeans set them adrift.”

    Barbara what do you mean? Are you referring to the Founding Fathers because if you are this statement is inaccurate.

    We must preserve ‘church and state.’ But always remember: in the United States their society is far more dynamic than Canada’s. I know this is tough for us “reserved” Canadians (which I don’t buy for one minute. Travel and you will see what I mean) to understand but ask yourself why so many great political and religious ideals come from the U.S.

    As for religion itself, I have no problem with people speaking of it in public spheres. We have to tread carefully on how we reflect about religion. There are many types of religious people. From the “nutters” to the liberal. Billy Graham for example is a true evangelical. For great, superiour intellectual readings about religion, politics and culture I recommend ‘First Things.’ It is here you get a strong sense that people who are religiously spiritual actually have something interesting to say as opposed to the far right who are anything but Christians.

    In fact, I believe religion has a place at the table to discuss contemporary social problems. Shutting it out only marginalizes people with thoughts.

  23. 23
    thereisnogray Says:

    I think it has to be a public matter. You need to know where the candidate is coming from on all the issues and his/her faith is no exception. Especially if the candidate’s faith is central to their character.

    What really hacks me off about this debate is the mis-information being spewed around. For example, Joe Agnost says: “Teen birth rates are increasing for the first time since the 60’s because GWB will only fund abstinence ONLY sex education – his religion tells him this is the only right way to go about it even though the stats say it isn’t working and many states are refusing the funding because they want to teach safe sex along with abstinence.” But that comment is totally wrong and only designed to smear one’s character and morals. If you see http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2006/09/12/USTPstats.pdf or http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0193727.html you will clearly understand that teen pregnancy and teen birth rates are declining and have been in a constant state of decline since 1991. I don’t care about your politics, but at least be honest.

  24. 24

    Interesting thoughts, and even more interesting comments posted.

    In pondering my own response and reading some of the thoughts here, I couldn’t help but think of the difference between “private” and “personal” would play into this discussion. There are many other things that are personal preferences or convictions that nobody would argue don’t need to be made private. I don’t think religious views should be one of them or Canada and the USA would cease being lands of freedom.

    One of my friends locally went to get his license plate renewed because it was rusting and getting old. It read HV F8TH (Have Faith). At first, the ministry of transportation or whatever department it would be exactly, refused to renew it even though they permitted it 20 years earlier. They were afraid it COULD have the potential to offend people. What if I saw someone with a license plate that had some clever way of broadcasting their love of a favorite hockey team that I personally dislike? I doubt the plate would be banned just because of the potential to offend Senators fans!

    Like I said, I don’t think personal has to be private. Personal expression is one thing yes, but I too AS a born again nutter have a strong distaste for watching in the recent US election primaries how touting one’s religious views with obvious alternative motives (getting elected!) and don’t buy it when someone says they are this or that religious persuasion. Let me watch you in office for the next 5 years then I will tell you how persuaded I am about your convictions.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Thanks for the post.

  25. 25
    Dezertlady Says:

    Yes religion matters-for two reasons.
    First is that I wouldn’t want a voodoo practicing or witcraft practicing person as the head of my government.
    Second, if we can’t practice or faith everyday and bring it into all that we do, (basically LIVING it), then what good is our faith?

  26. 26
    Barbara Says:

    The Commentator, I was not referring to the Founding Fathers who were deists, if I recall. I was referring to the Puritans, the Catholics who were sent to Maryland, Roger Williams in Rhode Island and the Quakers in Pennsylvania. They each ran afoul of the establishment in England and fled to establish their own societies based on their cherished set of values.
    While Canadians can “kick up their heels” at societally-sanctioned moments, I do find Canadians are decidedly more reserved than Americans. This is a big generalization and, as such, is not true in all specific cases. I still find myself censoring my natural behaviour and my response to things to fit into more reserved Canadian norms. When I forget myself, the discomfort around me is palpable. And that is after more than 30 years in Canada!
    “First Things” does have a certain point of view. It is a good idea to balance it with dotCommonweal, though, and then to decide what convinces you.

  27. 27
    Alex Thomas Says:

    To quote Andrew Greely:

    “The separation of church and state as enshrined in the Constitution does not mean that faith has no place in public life. It means rather that a candidate’s religious perspective should have a cautious, discrete, nuanced influence on his political orientation.

    “A wise voter does not trust a candidate who proclaims that God has told him what to do and there is no room for disagreement with him.

    “Rather, the voter is inclined to trust a candidate — and a president — who can say honestly, ”I might very well be wrong.” ”

    My name is Alex Thomas. I like quoting my heroes. See you in court.

  28. 28
    Chimera Says:

    “Yes religion matters-for two reasons.
    First is that I wouldn’t want a voodoo practicing or witcraft practicing person as the head of my government.”

    Why not? What do you fear?

    “Second, if we can’t practice or faith everyday and bring it into all that we do, (basically LIVING it), then what good is our faith?”

    Let’s see…it’s okay for you to practise your faith in all that you do, but it’s not okay for anyone of a different faith to practise his faith in all that he does?

    That is the very reason why politicians should keep their religion/faith to themselves. Elections are nothing more than job interviews. When I hire someone, I don’t care what they do when they’re not working for me. All I care about is how well they intend to do their job!

  29. 29

    Barbara, thanks for the clarification. That was a close one. Yes, they were among the “Americans” to come but in the end the founding principles of America are with the likes of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin and the others – as you know. I will make note of that site.

  30. 30

    Just a couple more thoughts:

    members.aol.com/TestOath/deism.htm

    You can check that link regarding whether the FF were deists or atheists for that matter. Personally, I don’t think they were in the strict term. They may have been products of the Age of Enlightenment and reason and therefore rejected the bible, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t believe in God or the relevance of organized religion. They were waaayyyy too smart to be strict on those terms.

    I suppose when the Christian right says they want “America to go back to its Christian roots” they mean the time before the Constitution.

    I like the following explanation by Professor David Holmes:

    Holmes described the Founding Fathers as “remarkable, even noble men” who respected the teachings of Jesus, whose beliefs were far from atheistic and who, except for maybe Monroe, believed in a life after death. Yet, he noted that their thinking may not be what Christians today expect. “These men fit the category of men of faith,” he said, “though that faith is different from the faith of most Christians today.”

    They truly were remarkable individuals.

  31. 31
    Joanne Nicholls Says:

    Politicians are welcome to have faith–or not have it, whatever the case may be. However, what a politician cannot do is to tie his or her faith in with his or her policy.

    However, in the US, it seems to be the opposite. I don’t quite get why Americans feel compelled to attach faith to political office. It seems that that is what gets them into trouble in different places throughout the world.

    I like the separation of Church and State in Canada. There should be more of it throughout the world. Perhaps fewer conflicts would exist.

  32. 32

    We’re acting as if only Canada is secular.

    Anyway, I think a lot has to do with the fact that many politicians are cynically chasing the “religious” vote. In reality, many of the candidates running are anything but religious – or at least religious enough for the right. I think secularism will live to fight another day. Though the rise of the religious right will pose major problems.

  33. 33

    …or at least NOT religious enough. Sorry.

  34. 34
    Phillip Longmire Says:

    I cant speak for other countries, but i am glad in USA it is a not a private or personal matter. Whether you like God or not, or think all christians or people of faith are whacked…

    It is hard to dismiss what happens around the world and in the streets when it comes to religion. Walk through streets and people that are addicted and broke those cycles in life. Almost all of them give credit to God.

    The amount of life change that occurs through faith is mind blowing…and I am skeptical of the church and where it is going…but I can not deny and am thankful that people are not ashamed of what they believe and go to extreme lengths to share that faith with those who do not have a voice in this world.

  35. 35
    Barbara Says:

    The separation of church and state in the US constitution exists to protect the right of individuals to worship (or not) as they wish, to stand against religious prejudice, to prevent the establishment of a state religion and to assure that no religious faith is privileged by the state. Freedom of speech allows anyone to speak of their faith (or antipathy for faith). Why don’t you let people solve their own problems? All this current spake of religiosity in the States may well die down or lie dormant like separatism in Quebec. It is already changing in tone.

    It seems Canada does have an established religion. It is called secularism.

  36. 36
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Please remember, all, that the U.S. “separation of church and state” was originally intended only an instruction for the FEDERAL government not to establish a state religion (state meaning the country, not the individual states). The constitutional provision says that “…Congress shall make no law…”. Although subsequent Supreme Court decisions have changed it, the original intention was that the individual states were free to have any kind of state religion that they liked.

  37. 37
    Peg Says:

    “Should Religion be a Private Matter?”

    Don’t see why… nothing else is these days…

    😉

  38. 38

    Peg:

    Welcome aboard. Glad to have your comment.

  39. 39
    Alex Thomas Says:

    Comparitive Religion 101:
    Christianity: “Become a Christian, or God will send you to Hell!”
    Islam: “Submit to the will of Allah, or this AK-47 will send you to Hell!”
    Judaism: “You want to be Jewish? What the Hell are you thinking?”
    Atheism: “Thank God I don’t believe in any of that!”

    Um, isn’t one’s religion supposed to make one a better person — you know, kinder, more honest, more faithful? If you remember the parable, in Jesus’ estimation (considerable, to say the least) the publican went home, more justified in the eyes of God than the Pharisee or the Scribe.
    Does anybody see that happening? Anybody? Don’t all speak up at once, now…

    My name is Alex Thomas. I can only pray that I’m wrong.

  40. 40

    The public/private binary, like all binaries, is insufficient in conceptualizing all positions, alternatives, and angles.

  41. 41
    Chimera Says:

    Alex: Add to your list…

    Pagan: “YOU are God; Hel is a Norse diety.”
    Rastafarian: “Let’s smoke this…*oops! wrong list*…”

    And I see that the Dezertlady isn’t up to answering direct questions. Oh, well. Noted that she’s anti- all religions that don’t conform to her standards of acceptability (whatever they are).


RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: