Author Topic: Religion and Poitics  (Read 5498 times)

Steven

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2012, 10:22:12 AM »
Jeff:
  Cogent & coherent as usual.

"Basic needs" as things or services everyone should be able to access.

Hearing would seem to count, along with eyesight and dental work. But those are rarely in major medical insurance plans. Some offer them separately.

What about pro-creation?  I think some court ruled in favor of a man who had 8 or 9 kids by 3-4 different mothers, wasn't paying child support & was facing prison time. His attorney argued his right to procreate would preclude a vasectomy.   

Few insurance plans cover infertility treatments. Shouldn't that be as automatic & free as contraception?

I mean, where do you stop?  Now are these benefits on to Americans? Or are these rights all people of the world have?

 Nice idea, but how do you do it? Which is my question of legislation advancing principles I support. Rarely, will a bill be written in ways that will be cost effective and competent   without carve outs for "friends of the Speaker".

I could handle these topics with a bit more grace if Obama's supporters could say "we know we can't force people to be moral."   

Oh well, off to the courts we go.

Blessings!

 

I do not believe in miracles. I rely on them!

Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2012, 06:17:50 PM »
Steven,

Hearing, eyesight, dental, and infertility are all great example of healt care needs that some could define as so basic that it should be provided free of cost to the person needing it.  Why birth control and not all of these others?

I wonder how much of the support for Obama's mandate is driven by animosity and/or religiuos bigotry toward the Catholic Church (and other denominations that share similar views) or toward the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  I wonder how some in the U.S. can see the wrong in burning the Koran to the point that they would protest the intentional burning of a Koran by a private citizen, but can fail to acknowledge the obvious violation of religious freedom that occrurs when the Federal Government forces religious organizations that see birth control (or some specific forms of birth control) as inherently evil and contrary to their faith to provide health insurance that offers coverage for free birth control.   

Denise Goodman

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2012, 07:20:38 PM »
Another religion/politics issue:  Santorum recently said he disagreed with JFK's statements:

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Santorum — a former senator from Pennsylvania and a Catholic — made the case Kennedy was arguing that people of faith have no place "in the public square." A reading of Kennedy's address, however, doesn't show the then-senator saying that.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/02/27/147492306/santorum-defends-saying-jfk-speech-on-religion-makes-him-sick

I've not heard anyone argue that people of faith have no place in the public square.  I know -- just more hyperbole, but I wish the TV news people would not just replay his statements without asking him who has made the argument he cites.

Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2012, 08:41:40 PM »
Denise, I don't think Santorum is citing someone else's argument.  He is making his own argument about what he thinks Kennedy was saying.  Here is a quote of Kennedy's speech from the article you linked:
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    "Because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected president, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

    "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute —where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote — where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference — and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

    "I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish—where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source — where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."
I think the parts of Kennedy's speech about no Catholic prelate telling the president how to act, no Protestant minister telling his parishoner for whom to vote, where no public official accepts instructions on public policy from the pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source, and where no religoius body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, are all statements that could be seen as supporting Santorum's understanding, especially the statement about no religious body seeking to impose its will indirectly upon the public act of its officials.  That sure sounds like Kennedy could be wishing for a world where religious bodies are silent in the public square. 

BTW, here is an interesting thought from Kennedy: "where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all". 

Denise Goodman

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2012, 09:12:09 PM »
Jeff -- My point is that I have not heard or read anyone advocating that people of faith absent themselves from the public square.  That, to me, is a strawman.  What is worth discussing is to what extent is it OK, in our system of government, to have one's public position informed by one's faith and where is a line crossed in which a public position is dictated by a particular faith.

Denise Goodman

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2012, 09:18:36 PM »
And here's another example of this issue in the news:

Newt Gingrich Warns Of The Role Of The 'Secular Left' At Georgia Church (headline on a Huffington Post piece

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/newt-gingrich-georgia-primary-2012_n_1303597.html?ref=politics

Perhaps I am paranoid.  But why is any opposition to the "religious right" automatically "secular?"  As is clear in our denomination and a good many others, there are people of faith on the left.  And, I think one could make a case there are people on the right with a predominantly secular agenda.  I don't think either political faction holds a monopoly on religious faith.


Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2012, 09:56:26 PM »
Jeff -- My point is that I have not heard or read anyone advocating that people of faith absent themselves from the public square.  That, to me, is a strawman.
Denise, I don't think Santorum was arguing that anyone is currently advocating what you see as a strawman.  Santorum was simply responding to a question that was posed to him asking him to explain a comment he  made last year regarding his reaction when reading Kennedy's speech.

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What is worth discussing is to what extent is it OK, in our system of government, to have one's public position informed by one's faith and where is a line crossed in which a public position is dictated by a particular faith.
I agree, that is worth discussing.

Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2012, 10:08:14 PM »
Perhaps I am paranoid.  But why is any opposition to the "religious right" automatically "secular?"
Denise, I am missing where Newt (or anyone else) suggested that "any opposition to the 'religious right' is automatically secular".   In fact, I am missing anywhere in the link you provided where Newt mentions anything about "opposition to the 'religious right'". 

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As is clear in our denomination and a good many others, there are people of faith on the left.  And, I think one could make a case there are people on the right with a predominantly secular agenda.  I don't think either political faction holds a monopoly on religious faith.
Who was arguing that one political faction did hold a monopoly?

Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2012, 11:04:11 PM »
Here is some ecumenical reading for any who believe in an American "where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all": What are you going to give up this Lent?

Denise Goodman

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2012, 11:19:25 PM »
Ecumenical??? ???

To get off the contraceptive issue for a moment, aren't there other areas where religion and politics intersect that, for some, are controversial.  I'll start by posing some examples:  As a self-identified (and proud  :) ) liberal, I believe it is OK and even necessary to bring to the public square my understanding of the Gospel, especially as it relates to those on the margins.  How is that the same or different from a very conservative Christian who would enact laws to implement male primacy (limiting jobs women can get, women's financial roles in families, etc.)?

Steven

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2012, 03:24:31 AM »
Denise:

Wow, good discussion!

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I believe it is OK and even necessary to bring to the public square my understanding of the Gospel,

With that wording, I would say it is impossible for any person, unless cloistered, to avoid living their life in public according to their faith & understanding of the Gospel of any religion.

But, that is a long way from our General Synod or up-teen conference annual meetings making pronouncements as if any legislators regard our actions as having any authority.

I know some of our Justice Witness Staff personally.  I have high regard for them personally. However, I don't see that arm of our Church having any measurable impact.   I mean, when there is a disaster, you see our military, FEMA, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross & Pat Robertson's emergency aid teams. We never see Church World Service or the UCC or the Methodists being called or thanked in public. 

MY point? If we are going to go into the Public Square, let's do some good that folks will not be able to ignore. Let's do something & show others how to live & serve humanity by example. 

(Yeah, I take guff in the UCC for taking the Bible toooooo seriously AND get "Gibbed" by conservatives for wanting integrity and lives demonstrating our faith so the public can see. )

Got to run...

Blessings!
 

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How is that the same or different from a very conservative Christian who would enact laws to implement male primacy (limiting jobs women can get, women's financial roles in families, etc.)?

Well, as possibly the most conservative folk still in the UCC, those proposals have no support from a conservative reading of Scripture. No where did Jesus tell the Disciples to pass resolutions, start boycotts or in any way attempt to change the government or the laws of the land of His era.  A Conservative does not attempt to achieve by legislation that which can only be achieved with a change of heart, soul & mind.  A Conservative also pays attention to enforceability.  While what you are describing does occur in some households, those are not the sorts of things on the minds of Conservatives wish list of new laws.

Most of "us" want fewer government intrusions trusting the power of prayer over the power of the secular State. 

Sorry.  But, good try, anyways! :)







A "conservative" example would be passing laws against 5. Disrespecting authority 6. Murder in its various forms of lesser physical harm; 7, Stealing by any means irrespective of technology, this guarantees property rights which socialism disavows, btw; 8. lying whether by omission or commission. 9. Adultery and other forms of intentional violation of private convenants/contracts, if you will. 10 Conspiracy to defraud others as a result of "coveting" their possessions, and other forms of attempted theft.

I left out 1-4, as this is the last 6 of the 10 Commandments. 
I do not believe in miracles. I rely on them!

Denise Goodman

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2012, 07:50:12 AM »
Santorum said JFK's comments about the separation of church and state made him want "to throw up."

Just curious, Steve and Jeff.  Did JFK's comments send you reaching for the kaopectate?

Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2012, 08:47:03 AM »
No kaopectate here.  :)

Steven

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2012, 05:55:27 PM »
Denise:

Probably not. Lifted out of the 1960 context, I would be uncomfortable with parts of the monologue, if owned by an elected President today.  Then, I was but 6 when Tricky Dick took the high road & didn't challenge Daley's hoard of dead Chicago voters that may have given JFK the election. JFK's statement was reassuring to all & reflected the attitudes & values of the majority of Americans, Catholic & otherwise.

One of his key points is the separation of the institutions of Church & State. The Gov. has no business trying to influence or favor any denomination over another. Likewise, neither the Pope, nor the highest authority of any other religion or denomination should attempt to influence or control the US Gov.

This view runs counter to the spirit of dozens of General Synod resolutions which explicitly call for Gov. action on a seemingly endless list of "shoulds".  GS is our highest authority of the national setting of the UCC, as opposed to a Pope, who has considerably more discretion & power.

Which is not to negate your conviction Christians need to be outspoken & active in the public square. On the contrary, rather, out conscious attempts to influence legislation or administrations needs to be organized separately from the spiritual institution of our denominations.

When I browse through the OT Prophets, their critques & condemnations call both the King (legislative & executive authority) and the people to turn back & keep the Covenant faithfully as laid out in the 1st 5 books of the Bible.  That model can only work in the US IF we assume we are the 'new" Israel and that God has uniquely delivered "us" from the bondage of our immigrant parents' former lands of origin.  In the 1800's, this twisted view led to "Manifest Destiny", justifying the destruction of the native Indian culture.  It seems like a collective parallel to "the Divine right of kings", pre-Enlightenment. :( 

Later....

Blessings!
I do not believe in miracles. I rely on them!

Jeff Fairchild

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Re: Religion and Poitics
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2012, 08:17:54 PM »
Here is an article about the efforts of the Catholic Church when seeing a need and taking the burden on for addressing that need and the potential impact from the efforts of others who see a need and attempt to place the burden for addressing that need on others:  Obama Risks $100 Billion If Catholic Hospitals Close  Some interesting numbers from the article (emphasis mine):
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The Catholic Church has perhaps the most extensive private health-care delivery system in the nation. It operates 12.6 percent of hospitals in the U.S., according to the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., accounting for 15.6 percent of all admissions and 14.5 percent of all hospital expenses, a total for Catholic hospitals in 2010 of $98.6 billion. Whom do these hospitals serve? Catholic hospitals handle more than their share of Medicare (16.6 percent) and Medicaid (13.65) discharges, meaning that more than one in six seniors and disabled patients get attention from these hospitals, and more than one in every eight low-income patients as well. Almost a third (32 percent) of these hospitals are located in rural areas, where patients usually have few other options for care.

Compared to their competition, Catholic hospitals take a leading role in providing less-profitable services to patients. They lead the sector in breast cancer screenings, nutrition programs, trauma, geriatric services, and social work. In most of these areas, other non-profits come close, but hospitals run by state and local governments fall significantly off the pace. Where patients have trouble paying for care, Catholic hospitals cover more of the costs. For instance, Catholic Health Services in Florida provides free care to families below 200 percent of federal poverty line, accepting Medicaid reimbursements as payment in full, and caps costs at 20 percent of household income for families that fall between 200 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line.

Rather than attempting to force the burden onto others, wouldn't it be wonderful if  Rev. Black and the other supporters of Obama's birth control mandate would accept the burden themselves in a fashion similar to the Catholic Church's attempt to address the much broader need of health care in general? 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 09:18:44 PM by Jeff Fairchild »