Religious Agendas vs General Public

Sonny Clark

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[ This is a piece that I wrote on 5/18/2006. ]

Religious Agendas vs. General Public


Religious groups and organizations, often times, will inject religious overtones into issues that are before the general public. This is in an effort to draw attention to their causes. By doing this, their objective is to make it appear as though these issues are exclusively religious concerns, and not concerns shared by the general public. Objectives shared by the public, in general, and the religious side, in most cases, are one and the same.


Some religious groups and organizations have made attempts to label issues such as abortion as being primarily a “religious” issue, though this is a common concern throughout the general public. If we omit the religious overtones from the issues concerning abortion, we find that both the general public and religious groups have the same concerns. The same can be said of gay marriage and prayer in schools, with little difference once the religious overtones are removed.


The U.S. Supreme Court and the ACLU have weighed many cases involving what can only be very loosely described as rights under religious beliefs and practices. Adding religious overtones to an issue, for the most part, doesn’t mean that issue carries any more weight than the same issue without the religious aspect tacked on. Most issues labeled as being primarily religious in nature, can easily be crossed over to the general public’s side (without religious overtones) and basically retain the same concerns.


“Religious Rights” is actually a misnomer, though the separation of church and state allows for freedom of religion, it does not grant explicit rights not given the general public. We have a right to practice our religion, but we do not have the right to impose our religious beliefs on others.


Such issues as abortion, gay marriage, prayer in schools, displaying the “Ten Commandments” in public buildings, and wishing someone a “Merry Christmas”, are all issues concerning the public in general, not concerns primarily of religious groups and organizations. Removing the religious overtones to these issues reveal the basic concerns we all have when it comes to civil liberties. Freedom of speech is not a religious right (again, a misnomer), it’s a constitutional right granted to each citizen, equally, without respect of religion.


Religious agendas are nothing more than issues that concern the public in general, but with religious overtones injected, to give them the appearance of being somewhat exclusively religious in nature. We can crossover from one side to the other, almost every issue labeled as being part of a religious agenda, remove the religious overtones, and have an issue which concerns the public in general.


When we see and hear politicians, candidates running for office, and other public figures align themselves with religious groups and organization, supporting and endorsing their agendas, it’s not religious causes they’re taking up, it’s causes the general public has concerns about, but with religious overtones injected.


The closer we get to elections, and the more we’re showered with campaign speeches, it’s a given that some candidates will align themselves with religious groups and organizations in an attempt to muster votes. Be aware that there’s very little difference, if any, between religious agendas and the concerns of the public in general.
 

Iceweasel

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Religious people have the right to vote and naturally they will vote their conscience. They vote for candidates with similar values to represent them. It's the American way. I don't see the issue here.
 
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Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark

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Religious people have the right to vote and naturally they will vote their conscience. They vote for candidates with similar values to represent them. It's the American way. I don't see the issue here.
You're absolutely correct. Everyone has the right to vote for the person of their choice, which is exactly how it should be. I have never ever said anything differently. The issue is the intentional injection of religion and religious beliefs into political agendas, for the purpose of self-gain. Also, many of the issues are just as strong, and carry the same weight without injecting religion into the issues. For some, injecting religion into an issue, automatically makes the issue stand out in a more pronounced way, with more meaning. Basically, religious injections appeal to targeted groups, so the thinking goes with politicians.
 

Iceweasel

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Religious people have the right to vote and naturally they will vote their conscience. They vote for candidates with similar values to represent them. It's the American way. I don't see the issue here.
You're absolutely correct. Everyone has the right to vote for the person of their choice, which is exactly how it should be. I have never ever said anything differently. The issue is the intentional injection of religion and religious beliefs into political agendas, for the purpose of self-gain. Also, many of the issues are just as strong, and carry the same weight without injecting religion into the issues. For some, injecting religion into an issue, automatically makes the issue stand out in a more pronounced way, with more meaning. Basically, religious injections appeal to targeted groups, so the thinking goes with politicians.
So there's no such thing as a religious candidate campaigning on his values?
 
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Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark

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Religious people have the right to vote and naturally they will vote their conscience. They vote for candidates with similar values to represent them. It's the American way. I don't see the issue here.
You're absolutely correct. Everyone has the right to vote for the person of their choice, which is exactly how it should be. I have never ever said anything differently. The issue is the intentional injection of religion and religious beliefs into political agendas, for the purpose of self-gain. Also, many of the issues are just as strong, and carry the same weight without injecting religion into the issues. For some, injecting religion into an issue, automatically makes the issue stand out in a more pronounced way, with more meaning. Basically, religious injections appeal to targeted groups, so the thinking goes with politicians.
So there's no such thing as a religious candidate campaigning on his values?
Sure. Almost all candidates, at one time or another, inject their religious beliefs into a campaign speech. I've heard many candidates over the years inject religion into campaign speeches. Jimmy Carter certainly did it. It's not unusual at all.
 

tipofthespear

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From OP: Religious groups and organizations, often times, will inject religious overtones into issues that are before the general public. This is in an effort to draw attention to their causes. By doing this, their objective is to make it appear as though these issues are exclusively religious concerns, and not concerns shared by the general public.
.......................................................

They are not injecting "religious overtones," rather they are stating Biblical beliefs, principles and morals. Perfectly their right to do so. They don't need to draw attention to their causes, those opposed to Christianity have been doing that for years. Rather, they are responding to the attention given them/their causes. Never heard a Christian say "this is exclusively a Christian issue. Just the opposite, Christians try to show that the public in general, regardless of belief, are affected by the issues being addressed.

As for being anti-abortion, Christians have been trying since the filing of the Roe v. Wade Suit that this issue was NOT just a Christian issue. This issue has an effect upon all Americans, directly and indirectly. Those trying to silence/discredit the Christian opposition of abortion on demand have "labeled" it a Christian issue.........and always in a belittling manner towards Christians.
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From the OP: Be aware that there’s very little difference, if any, between religious agendas and the concerns of the public in general.
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Have to disagree here, as Christians are in the minority, the issues they champion are not championed by the public in general. Some of the public? Yes. In general? No.
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From the OP: The issue is the intentional injection of religion and religious beliefs into political agendas, for the purpose of self-gain
----------------------------------------------------
What "self gain?" What "intentional injection?" Are you suggesting Christians should set aside their Faith/beliefs when they give thought to political issues? And what exactly is the criteria for determining what is and what is not a political agenda?

Just wondering.......
 
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Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark

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From OP: Religious groups and organizations, often times, will inject religious overtones into issues that are before the general public. This is in an effort to draw attention to their causes. By doing this, their objective is to make it appear as though these issues are exclusively religious concerns, and not concerns shared by the general public.
.......................................................

They are not injecting "religious overtones," rather they are stating Biblical beliefs, principles and morals. Perfectly their right to do so. They don't need to draw attention to their causes, those opposed to Christianity have been doing that for years. Rather, they are responding to the attention given them/their causes. Never heard a Christian say "this is exclusively a Christian issue. Just the opposite, Christians try to show that the public in general, regardless of belief, are affected by the issues being addressed.

As for being anti-abortion, Christians have been trying since the filing of the Roe v. Wade Suit that this issue was NOT just a Christian issue. This issue has an effect upon all Americans, directly and indirectly. Those trying to silence/discredit the Christian opposition of abortion on demand have "labeled" it a Christian issue.........and always in a belittling manner towards Christians.
------------------------------------------------------------
From the OP: Be aware that there’s very little difference, if any, between religious agendas and the concerns of the public in general.
----------------------------------------
Have to disagree here, as Christians are in the minority, the issues they champion are not championed by the public in general. Some of the public? Yes. In general? No.
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From the OP: The issue is the intentional injection of religion and religious beliefs into political agendas, for the purpose of self-gain
----------------------------------------------------
What "self gain?" What "intentional injection?" Are you suggesting Christians should set aside their Faith/beliefs when they give thought to political issues? And what exactly is the criteria for determining what is and what is not a political agenda?

Just wondering.......
I understand what you're saying. In some cases, you may be right.
 

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