Religion and Politics

I was having a conversation with a guy at work, a Trump voter, where I was being critical of Trump on conservative ground. I am a conservative, who believes that government should stay the fuck out of how people live their lives and use their own damn money. I also believe that that includes leaving people to believe whatever they want to believe. If people of the same sex want to get married then let them- under the state.As far as the State is concerned-- The Church has its own view on marriage and the right to impose that on member that freely join their ranks.
To have the State attempt to regulate what marriage should be is to combine the spheres of religion and politics in what amounts to an American Evangelical version of Sharia-Law.
At this point of the conversation, the fellow reminded method this was a State founded on Christian principles. I don’t know if a Trump supporter even know what those principles are…but anyway, I mentioned that the founding fathers where more deistic, which is reflected in the imagery behind the dollar bill. Still he persisted, so I brought up slavery. How seriously can we take the christian principles of a slave-owner. I was amazed that even in this day and age people in the Christian faith still defend slavery, christian slave-owners. How hard is it to throw out the filthy water surrounding the baby???
My point is that I don’t trust people. People make honest mistakes, or act on their own self interest that they code in “christian principles” thoroughly cherry-picking the Bible to do so.Pisses me off that he had the gall to tell me to read the Bible where he says that it condones slavery.

Am I alone on this shit? Is anyone else concerned about the lengths Trump supporters are prepared to go to condone the indefensible?

according to a list I found, there are over 120 sins listed by name
in the bible……….

if we are following the path of the bible, then for example, we must stone
adulterers, and by that logic, we must, must stone IQ45 for he has commited
adultery too many times to count, by his own admittence…

also for example, anyone not “keeping the sabbath holy” is sinning,
you are not suppose to do anything on the sabbath, nothing…
to do so is a sin…and putting anything above god is a sin,
so love of money or family or house or car, love of anything above
god is a sin… and some of the other listed items as sins, in no
particular order, greed, disobedience, sloth, laziness, murder, lying,
hate, fighting, strive, stealing, bribery, dishonesty, cheating, hyposcrisy…

these are sins listed in the bible, if we were an actual nation of religion
instead of laws… the case that proves we are not a nation of religion is
the famous treaty in 1796, the Treaty of Tripoli, which is a legally binding
document having passed the senate without dissent and signed by the president,
in which article 11 says, “The government of the United States is not, in any sense,
founded on the Christian religion”.

we are not a Christian nation, not legally, it isn’t in the declaration of independence,
nor is it in the Constitution…………

when people quote religious crap to me, I only say, “he who is without sin,
cast the first stone”

as for slavery, it is in the constitution, much to the horror of the founders,
northern ones anyway, and that came back to bit the U.S in the ass a few years

there is much to go, but I must go to work……
so I will return later…


Hey Peter
Thanks for taking the time
I agree with you, but this isn’t the first time that I have seen this argument being forward–that the US is a nation built on christian principles–thus the State defending christian morals is not an outrage.
I served twenty years in the military, not for the advancement of christian values, or principles, but to help protect freedom-- that’s it. And our society reflects that. Just walk through Brooklyn one afternoon. You want to change your name from Bruce to Kaitlyn? That’s your business. You want to protest police brutality during the anthem in a respectful manner? Be my guest. Freedom is to be valued and protected in accordance with Law.

My problem is that Trump is passing from a hard-pill-to-swallow for American evangelicals to the next Cyrus coming over golden hills to enforce God’s will. They defend everything and when they cannot, they feel that they have to explain why and temper their criticism of Trump as to avoid being nasty to him.

I said to him that one of the things that worry me is that the majority of those that are critical of Trump within the GOP do so because they are no longer seeking re-election, many others loose to those promoted by POTUS and the few others can only afford the luxury of speaking truth to power from the safety of their gerrymandered districts.

This is the sad state of the GOP and of the conservative as I used to know them.

Some random people saying that it’s built on christian principles doesn’t trump the part of the constitution that separates church and state.

When someone says that just say, “then why is there a constitutional separation of church and state”?

No separation of church and state so long as churches get tax breaks …

All of us are smart enough to be preachers who make millions… why don’t we do it? Because we care about people.

As a matter of principle, for the sake of the well being of humanity, religion MUST be totally separated from politics. Preferably ALL religions should be weaned off and replaced by fool proof spiritual self-development techniques in the future ASAP.

However in our current psychological state of the majority of people, religions are a critical necessity to deal with an inherent existential crisis. If is unfortunate humanity cannot wean off all religions in the present and near future so we have to bear with religions.

Given the current psychological state that we have to bear and tolerate with religions, if a choice between Christianity and Islam [the two most popular religions at present], I would prefer the principles of Christianity [shalt not kill, love thy enemies] to prevail anywhere over Islam.

Though Christianity has its share of evil [lesser] at present, given the majority of Americans are Christians [fortunately] we should allow the Christian principles [at least in the short term] to dominate [as far as the laws allow] the political scenario [even though this is not recognized in the Constitution]. This is a compromise to suppress the charge of evil laden Islam.

Hey Prismatic
I believe it fricking doesn’t matter what religion one professes and history bears that through. Constantine, Charlemagne, every American slave owner, W. Bush-- and a few more good christian men and women-- have done nothing but express their human, all-too human brutality through the prism of Christianity. Same with Islam. Same with The State, The People, The Will of the People—everytime just a mask to legitimize and reduce the chance of friction against one’s will.

I am a freedom-loving guy. I agree totally with you that religion should be separate from State. And while that separation is imperfect, as Mr. Reasonable points out, I still believe that it is the goal that should be pursued with earnest.

The current tendency among white evangelical christians who make up a large block of Trump supporters to defend what is indefensible according to their Bible pisses me off. The Perfect Book—until it might say something critical of Trump.
They would say, for example that slavery was ordained by God. This has been done before…back in the time of slavery, but why do we use that shit now? Haven’t our interpretations evolved, become more humane? Apparently not.

Thank you–I forgot about that as a come-back

Personally I don’t believe Trump is a sincere religious person in heart but he is merely an opportunist to side with the Christians [the majority] for votes.

I believe Trump’s pseudo moral support for the Christians has given the leeway [implied agreement] for them exploit Trump’s support to do their bidding, i.e. abortion, slavery, creationism and whatever. Since Trump has bought their votes, he will have no choice but to side with them in some ways. The Christians will exploit whatever they can, but there are limits to their claims and I am sure they will not be able to demand for any concessions on slavery at all.

The Muslims are doing the same with the Democrats in exchange for votes.

Fact which must be recognized is, Islam is the greater devil than Christianity being the lesser evil.
Note Islam [inherently political] overriding maxim is ‘kill non-believers’ while Christianity overriding maxim is the extreme pacifist ‘love your enemies’.

And yet one is fooled if one simply goes by what is in print rather than what was written in history. Christianity was, is, and will be, political. Let us not forget that the Office of “Messiah” is a political and thus, in principle, no different than the successful political religion of Islam. Muhammed recited in a way that was akin to the Bible’s Old Testament–he might be said to have been influenced more by the jewish ideas about God than by Christianity’s.
The most successful integrations and tolerance actually occur in Muslim cities, perhaps precisely because it was given as a political religion rather than as an apocalyptic vision for the world.

White Evangelicals have made a political decision about Trump, which is fine, but what bothers me is that there is no owning-up-to-it. Second it bothers me that they dare ask people if they are saved when in fact it is their souls that look lost. Maybe they just want God’s fame to drive that point home that one is not saved by works but by God’s grace, but I tell you that it is becoming hard for me to note the differences between those from these world and those who are “born-again” (belying such moniker).

The most solid objective ‘empirical’ ground for any theistic religions is the empirical evidence of words of God in its holy text[s].

What has happened and written in history are merely interpretations of the texts and many are wrong in their interpretations. We cannot rely merely on history per se.
What we can get from history is whether believers in acting had conformed to the right interpretations of the holy texts.

The fact is most of the imperialistic invasions and killings of non-Muslims are claimed by most Muslims to be based on the words as sanctioned by Allah in the Quran, which is true.

However the wars [in defense or unilateral initiatives] by Christians are in counter to its abrogating pacifist maxim, i.e. ‘Thou Shalt not kill,’ and ‘love thy enemies’. These Christians are acting on their own and not commanded and inspired by Jesus and God.

Islam is intrinsically and inherently evil.

I think you go too far in labeling Islam as evil. Your rationale for such label can be applied to the United States, to Communism, Judaism, and even Christianity.
As far as the Bible-- if that is your classification of the Bible as empirical…it is a contradiction of terms. The Bible was used, during that conversation I had with my coleague as justifying slavery. He said that it was there in the Bible–so let me question you: Doesn’t this make it evil? And he was not depending on his interpretation, no, he, like you, thought of this as an empirical fact.

No such thing.

I say that to you as I told him. The Bible, like the Quran is a work of many moods, by different authors in different eras. The editing of such stream of consciousness requires the matching of contradicting verses, whether from one man or a collection of authors. The reality on the ground, in their lives, drives the lucid dream of their interaction with the Divine. Because man cannot detach himself from life (regardless of his ideals), these works come to have different moods, so that at one point there is mercy and love for all and on another there is vengance and hate palpable in every word.

The reason why I rely much more on history than in the written word of holy books is because at their inception the religions of the Book often emerged in mostly illiterate societies, in a world devoid of the technology to disseminate adequate quantities to the lucky few who could read. Thus, while these religions spread quickly, the “Christians” and “Muslims” created were only so in name and not in practice.
Understanding was not even sought. All that was required was agreement on a few basic ideas, and PRESTO! You are X.

The Christians of this world (The Spanish, the English, the Germans, the Americans…) have fucked a larger number of people they have met and quite often with a clean conscience for they did it in the name of the Church. It is the Church that gave us Torquemada–not Islam.

You have your own path to travel I suppose, but mine has left me empty of certainty–even that is not certain. Are religions mostly stupid? Sure. But I give each person the right to do with their mind whatever their want. After all, their human nature is what will fuck everything in the end, no matter how lofty and well-intention, their religion, or ideals, happen to be.

I have done very thorough research [empirical texts] to arrive at the conclusion, Islam is inherently evil.

I have not absolved Christianity of all evils [as defined] and I am aware there are still evil laden elements in the NT of Christianity.

When dealing with evil elements we have to assign degrees and criticalness to the range of evil elements and acts.

I understand there are verses relating to slavery in the NT and Quran but note Chattel Slavery is now banned in all recognized nations. People will still try to practice slavery against the imposed laws but the point is illegal slavery is not prevalent in Christian dominated countries in comparison to Islam dominated countries.

However the Quran and Bible are written, both are taken as words of God and more so for the Quran which is claimed to the the perfect unadulterated immutable words from Allah.

Since the Quran is the immutable words of Allah, as covenanted [contracted] all true Muslims must adhere to the Quran to the ‘t’ and that include the commands to kill non-believers if there are to secure passage to eternal life in paradise.

The reality is if we have 20% of Muslims striving to be truer Muslims [which is natural] then we [humanity] have a problem and this is reflected glaring in the following;

As for United States, to Communism to whatever that promote any element of evil, they should be condemned accordingly. Note such is off topic if not related to this “Religion and Spirituality” section.

What counts in the present for any religion is grounded on what God commanded as in the Holy texts. Historical events in this case do not count at all if they do not have any divine authority on current believers.

Yes, the Christians of old did fuck up large number of people but objectively such evil acts were not grounded on Christianity per se. Those evil acts were initiated by the Christians own human nature of evil and not because Jesus commanded it.
The final authority of Christianity is the NT. Did Jesus in the NT commanded Christians to kill in the name of Christianity? Have you heard of any Christian shouting Jesus-U-Akbar as expressed in the NT?

Point is humanity must prevent and resolve ALL potential evil acts.
To resolve any problem, the most effective strategy is to deal with the ultimate or proximate causes.
For religious related evil, one of the proximate cause are the evil laden elements in the holy texts.
Therefore attention must be given to such evil laden texts in the Quran [most critical] and other religious texts without biasness.

I have been thinking about this, the combination of
religion and politics…….

what is the value of either one? for example, the value of religion is to
allow someone to know their place in the universe………

for example, by religious means, you can know where your position in the
universe is…… either you are part of the “saved” and if you are not religious,
you are not “saved”… that creates a place in the universe for people…….

you know where you “stand” in regards to the universe…

that is the true value of religion… it creates a understanding of
where you stand in the universe. This is very helpful in a confused
and chaotic universe… this is another way of saying, in the “modern world”

we have lost the guidelines, the milepost that people have used for centuries
to create an understanding of where one fits into society and in the universe…

people now hang on to religion even more then before because of this
loss of the guidelines/milepost that people have used before……….

and the use of political terms, “liberals” and “conservative” is another
means to create “certainty” in our understanding of where we fit into
the universe…….

think of it like one of those line graphs we see, a box that has the center
line, vertical, and a center line, horizontal, and we can then graph
where we are… this is basically what our political and religious
personal understanding does for us… it creates a box where we
can understand where we are in the universe… with line graphs,
we can center where we are or where we exist in the universe…

it creates meaning in our own personal understanding of who we are…
we are “liberals” or we are “conservatives” or we are “god-fearing” people
or we don’t believe in god… all of which creates an understanding
of where we fit into the universe…….

so let us return to the problem at hand, people are dammed and determined
to hold on to their political/religious beliefs because it creates an understanding
of who they are………………. so this explains why the “trump” supporter is so dam
and determine to proclaim themselves “MAGA” supporters because it creates
a place in the universe for themselves……………. if they change positions,
then where would they exists in the universe? their political/religious positions,
are the means they identify themselves……… Take that away and by what means
would people identify themselves? It is a cheap and easy way to create identity
in people……. by labeling themselves as “conservatives” or “liberal” or “religious”
or “not religious” they create an understanding……a worldview……

so is “Islam” or “Christianity” or “Buddhism” or “Hinduism” evil?

No, because the label of being Muslim or Buddhist or Christian,
is to create a place in the universe for the believer…….

it is the adaptation of values used to create a worldview of the

and like any value, the person who clings desperately to such values
is the person who is in fear and desires a place in the universe……

almost any value could be used to create a home in the universe
especially values, myths, habits, prejudices and superstitions of
our childhood…… they are comfortable for us because we
have had those worldviews since childhood…

so the Christian who desperately clings to his god, is someone
who needs that belief, that worldview, to allow them to
understand their place in the universe……………

it is not the need for the religious belief as much as the need
to know one’s place in the universe that is important……

the belief is less important then the need for the belief…

the belief is just a means to allow one to be able to understand their
place in the universe……………….

this explains the desperate need for people to claim a religion or
a political belief as it creates a understanding of the universe………

so what beliefs do you have that help explain your understanding
of your place in the universe?


That Abraham was willing to go to the extent of killing his own son as sacrifice to God is not about ‘understanding one’s place in the universe.’ The CRITICAL basis is more about fear, i.e. an existential fear pulsating subliminally as angst which is inherent within humans and is DNA embedded and thus unavoidable.

All religions provide relief and therefrom psychological security to that pulsating but indeterminate angst. The relief from that terrible uneasy angst is almost immediately especially from the promises offered by the Abrahamic religions.

In general, once a person is secured by the promises of a religion, s/he will cling to it like there is no tomorrow and s/he will be willing to do anything to maintain that security. This is why believers are willing to kill and commit other evils to sustain that psychological security.

Politics is about governance and power, i.e. the highest possible power any group can grab up to the extreme of nuke power that can exterminate the human race.

It is the great potential power of politics that politics should not be mixed with ‘the willing to do anything and die for’ of religion’. What is worst is for theistic religions the abuse is grounded on the immutable commands of an illusory God.

Religion MUST NOT be mixed with politics.

Preferable all religions must be weaned off gradually from humanity ASAP and replaced with fool proof spiritual self-developments approaches to deal with the inherent unavoidable angst.

Hi Omar,

the problem is that religion has to go through a difficult process of assessing its inherent values and at the same time learn from outside sources. Of course, you get people like me who say that we must learn to stay with the standards of education and embrace the discoveries of the enlightenment age, but there are enough people who are scared of this and want to board up against influence from outside. It is also difficult because there are so many people warning against the dangers of “mixing” with atheists etc. and you have a lot of people who, instead of moving out, dig themselves in and take up positions that have been overturned for centuries. In doing this, they knowingly ignore what is taught in school, they reject science and reason and accuse humanistic values of being evil.

In a way, it is what I have in the past called the “Grimm Effect”. Grimm’s fairy tales were written down and conserved in a way that we now are horrified by modern standards at the pedagogical methods taught in those fairy tales. Had they not been conserved, many would have adapted to common opinion or fallen by the wayside as time goes on. The Bible is similarly conserved and presents a worldview that is clearly antiquated. I believe that as a historical record of how people developed spirituality, we can learn from the insights and also the mistakes of the Bible. We know now that the Bible was probably put together from various sources at the time of the return from Babylonian captivity, but the Bible suggests it is a narrative from the genesis of the earth. But that was the way people explained their lives in the past. Some civilizations saw themselves as offspring of the gods, or demi-gods, and there was a number of traditions to plagiarise from.

Our biggest problem today is that we have a movement of people trying to overthrow science and evidence-based reason, including politicians like Trump. Hearsay and vague memories of stories from the past, suspicion, and tribalism is what has more bearing on their policies than ever before. The scientific method is criticised as an “opinion” and set alongside other opinions. This means that people are systematically making themselves ignorant in the interest of their religion, and teaching others to do the same. Steven Pinker’s book “Enlightenment now!” is an important reminder of how the Enlightenment has brought us forward in nearly every area of human life, even taking the mistakes into account. It would be a grave mistake to ignore these achievements.

Hi, Bob,
I just finished Pinker’s book you referred to and thoroughly agree with your assessment of it. It’s a sane work about the social contributions of science and technology over the past few centuries.

yes, I agree, but I accept one point from Petersen that it is one thing to ascertain these accomplishments, but it is another to control the rate of assimilation of ideas and not just push them as self-explanatory onto the public.

There is a need to accept both sides, the progressives who develop new ideas and the conservatives that protect values. There has to be an exchange between these two for the common good, just as politics and religion must speak to each other and approach a consense to the same goal.

Conservatives typically pride themselves on strength of will rather than strength of mind. You cannot argue with dogmatic people because faith is not predicated upon reason.

Then you’re a vanaprastha who must leave society. You cannot live within society and accept the benefits of that society without giving back in a symbiotic relationship or else you’re a leech or a pirate.

Sure, if you want to believe for instance that the earth is flat, more power to you, but keep your dogma out of the voting booth or else you’re affecting my life with your nonsense. If IQ tests were required to vote, there would be no such thing as a republican party.

Marriage itself is a religious concept and I can’t imagine why gays would want to marry.

Slavery is biblical. Servitude is the whole premise of the religion. … t-slavery/

It’s not Trump supporters, but conservatives.

That’s it really. If you are not talking about the same thing, there will be no understanding. To argue means “to present reasons for or against something“.

I’m not sure that Omar is willing to hand over household responsibilities to the next generation, take an advisory role, and gradually withdraw from the world, so he’s probably not a vanaprastha. As for a leech or pirate, I don’t think that fits either. He’s probably the opinion that the regulation and control that the state exerts is too much. The fault in his thinking is of course that they don’t have “their own damn money”, it is always ours.

That seems a bit harsh, but then again I’m a Brit living in Europe – what would I know. However, the more people who fight against the scientific method, the faster we’ll drift into the middle ages again. The amazing progress we have made is often forgotten, and the suffering that people went through in the past is underrated.

That isn’t quite true, because marriage is an interpersonal union that is recognized legally, socially (and religiously) granting the partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities.

The Bible is ambiguous in some places towards slavery, but Paul regards the freedom in Christ as larger than freedom from slave-owners and in the light of the second coming, it would be a useless conflict and contra-productive. Otherwise, slave-traders are named among the sinners.

Now there’s a statement! Trump supporter?