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deoxys121
September 19th, 2011, 07:57 AM
This thread is for discussing our views on religion coming into play when creating laws.

First of all, in the United States, it is deemed unconstitutional to set a national religion in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Therefore, I believe that since we do not have a national religion, religion should not take any part at all in creating laws. It's quite simple, really. Remember that when the United States was founded, the founders did so to find religious freedom of their own. I think that religious freedom should always live on today.

What do you guys think about religion coming into play when creating laws? Do you of other countries have different circumstances that would be reason to justify using/not using religion as a base for creating laws? Discuss! Remember, be respectful to everyone's views.

-ty-
September 19th, 2011, 09:12 AM
hmmm. Some issues are based more on morality, like abortion let's say.

I personally believe that abortion is not a choice for those who made the decision to have sex. Therefore, rape victims should have the choice. However, getting drunk or making a mistake just don't fly because it was the person's choice to engage in behavior that made them prone to pregnancy. Also, I believe that the child has the right once conceived to have the optimum health possible. So I believe that pregnant woman should face legal consequences for drinking and smoking while pregnant.

All right. Many pro-life people will say that it is morally wrong as ascribed in the Bible. But I do not think that is a good reason to outlaw abortion even though I do not like it being legalized. Also, rape victims would have to obey the laws of the bible and have abortions for actions that the did not commit. I think that with morality issues we have to take a pragmatic and secular take on how the legislation will affect others, rather than relying on scripture.

deoxys121
September 19th, 2011, 09:55 AM
hmmm. Some issues are based more on morality, like abortion let's say.

I personally believe that abortion is not a choice for those who made the decision to have sex. Therefore, rape victims should have the choice. However, getting drunk or making a mistake just don't fly because it was the person's choice to engage in behavior that made them prone to pregnancy. Also, I believe that the child has the right once conceived to have the optimum health possible. So I believe that pregnant woman should face legal consequences for drinking and smoking while pregnant.

All right. Many pro-life people will say that it is morally wrong as ascribed in the Bible. But I do not think that is a good reason to outlaw abortion even though I do not like it being legalized. Also, rape victims would have to obey the laws of the bible and have abortions for actions that the did not commit. I think that with morality issues we have to take a pragmatic and secular take on how the legislation will affect others, rather than relying on scripture.

My opinion on the issue of abortions is this: I do not believe in them, and would never do it if it was my child. But, as much as we might not like to admit it, what other women do for themselves is nobody's business but their own. I think it's legal due to sort of a perspective of "mind your own business." I always preach that I am for everyone having equal rights and freedom to make their own choices within the law, therefore I think if another woman whom I don't know wants an abortion, it's none of my business. Though, -ty-, under what I preach, your opinion also matters and I fully respect it.

Esper
September 19th, 2011, 10:20 AM
I've started writing a response to this question like 4 or 5 times now, trying to make it say something other than "Not everyone is religious so religion should have no place in government and laws" but when I break it down that's my view and I can't say it any better than that.

Religion ought not to have any direct influence on laws and/or government. Governments should be secular, democratically elected bodies and the laws they make should reflect this so that no religion becomes a dominant force. It should also not be the basis through indirect means, meaning that people (who are the validating force behind government and law) should not try to enact laws based on religion because it's undemocratic. If they do try this the government should step in and put a stop to it for the sake of people who would be forced by law to accept others' religious views.

-ty-
September 19th, 2011, 11:46 AM
My opinion on the issue of abortions is this: I do not believe in them, and would never do it if it was my child. But, as much as we might not like to admit it, what other women do for themselves is nobody's business but their own. I think it's legal due to sort of a perspective of "mind your own business." I always preach that I am for everyone having equal rights and freedom to make their own choices within the law, therefore I think if another woman whom I don't know wants an abortion, it's none of my business. Though, -ty-, under what I preach, your opinion also matters and I fully respect it.


I know what you mean. Abortion had been a difficult issue for me to deal with; I have gone back and forth on it continuously, but I try not to let my religious beliefs affect my decision.

But generally, I think that religion should not be used in order to make a decision as far a legislation goes. But I think that child abuse is wrong, and the law recognizes that, but is it child abuse if the child is not yet born? But, I would say that in most cases I believe that anyone should be able to make their own bad decisions, but i should have picked a more clear and distinct issue to use as an example like gay marriage.

Ron Paul has an admirable position on this.
He believes that marriage between a man and a woman is wrong from his religious beliefs; however, he respects that it is the right of the states to allow gay marriage and believes that his religious beliefs should not be forced upon his constituents. It's kinda scary that the rest of the GOP field has pretty much signed for a federal amendment to ban gay marriage.

Stormbringer
September 19th, 2011, 11:46 AM
hmmm. Some issues are based more on morality, like abortion let's say.

I personally believe that abortion is not a choice for those who made the decision to have sex. Therefore, rape victims should have the choice. However, getting drunk or making a mistake just don't fly because it was the person's choice to engage in behavior that made them prone to pregnancy. Also, I believe that the child has the right once conceived to have the optimum health possible. So I believe that pregnant woman should face legal consequences for drinking and smoking while pregnant.

All right. Many pro-life people will say that it is morally wrong as ascribed in the Bible. But I do not think that is a good reason to outlaw abortion even though I do not like it being legalized. Also, rape victims would have to obey the laws of the bible and have abortions for actions that the did not commit. I think that with morality issues we have to take a pragmatic and secular take on how the legislation will affect others, rather than relying on scripture.


So abortion is bad, yet executing people isn't.


Hmmm.


Freedom of choice is freedom of choice, regardless of any particulars. The government has no right to limit matters of privacy or the right to one's own body. Therefore the government cannot limit abortions because of people's misguided religeous sentiments. If people want to abort a fetus then be my guest. I really do not care what people chose to do with their own reproductive futures.

Guy
September 19th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Religion and Law should remain and be kept apart. To take religious views into consideration while authorizing a new law means you're forcing your religious views on others who may not initially follow them. One should have the right to keep their freedom of religion rather than be forced to believe and follow something they do not. Which is why in terms of abortion, it can become a touchy area. While some may be against the idea of abortion either because of moral or religious beliefs, it's still a matter of personal choice being that it affects that said person and not anyone else. While with gay marriage, to ban it seems more like bestowing your belief on others that it is wrong, when it should be a person's right to marry whoever they wish regardless of gender.

-ty-
September 19th, 2011, 12:10 PM
No, I don't believe in execution!!! It's barbaric in my opinion. Why did you assume I would think that???

That where I try to be consistent. I do not have religious sentiments with that decision. I mean, drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause the child to have severe birth defects, so in that case it affects both the woman and the child's bodies, not just the mother. So generally, yeah, allow people to drink as much as they'd like, I do not care unless they are driving, neglecting/abusing children, or somehow affecting more than just their self. Would you consider punching a pregnant woman's stomach as damaging both the child and the woman? however, if a woman does the same, would you consider it being damage to the just the woman? I think that there is a fundamental difference between whether it is the woman's choice or the fetus/child's choice, but I just wanted to make clear I do not use religion to back that decision as many others do - purely secular. I don't want this thread to diverge to much into this discussion.

Shiny Celebi
September 19th, 2011, 01:34 PM
Well I dont believer religion should have any say making laws for an entire Country. I belive Abortion is a private thing, Government has no right to be involved in that at all, it isnt their decision, as its not their body or life. I also think Government has no right to tell Gays they cant marry, as its forcing their beliefs on other people.

poopnoodle
September 19th, 2011, 01:41 PM
hNo, I don't believe in execution!!! It's barbaric in my opinion. Why did you assume I would think that???


his point seemed to be aimed at the pro-life crowd, the majority of which support the death penalty, which essentially contradicts the "playing god" arguments anti-abortionists so often use. in most states, the death penalty is accepted while abortion is frowned upon.

anyway, morals are subjective, and we all seem to agree that imposing your own morals on another is plain unfair. if you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married. if you don't like the idea of abortion, don't abort. freedom of speech is an active right in the US, i encourage you to peacefully spread the basis of your moral views to others if you feel so inclined; but to aggressively force others to adhere to your beliefs is a pretty insensitive and skewed way to propagate them. the longer religion continues to influence the law, the more limited our freedom will be.

Would you consider punching a pregnant woman's stomach as damaging both the child and the woman? however, if a woman does the same, would you consider it being damage to the just the woman? I think that there is a fundamental difference between whether it is the woman's choice or the fetus/child's choice, but I just wanted to make clear I do not use religion to back that decision as many others do - purely secular. I don't want this thread to diverge to much into this discussion.

it entirely depends on how the arguer defines the fetus, and which (between the human and the fetus) gets the upper hand in decision-making. one would argue for the woman's choice: perhaps that to force a woman to carry a bundle of cells is imprisoning her in her own body; another would argue for the fetus's choice: that taking a potential life is still taking a life, which from a black and white perspective, is inherently bad. so you've got a two-sided situation, which is common in social politics. the option to abort is fair and should satisfy both sides, as no one would be forcing the opposing side to have abortions. to take away the option would satisfy only one side, which is unfair and unreasonable.

-ty-
September 19th, 2011, 05:10 PM
his point seemed to be aimed at the pro-life crowd, the majority of which support the death penalty, which essentially contradicts the "playing god" arguments anti-abortionists so often use. in most states, the death penalty is accepted while abortion is frowned upon.

anyway, morals are subjective, and we all seem to agree that imposing your own morals on another is plain unfair. if you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married. if you don't like the idea of abortion, don't abort. freedom of speech is an active right in the US, i encourage you to peacefully spread the basis of your moral views to others if you feel so inclined; but to aggressively force others to adhere to your beliefs is a pretty insensitive and skewed way to propagate them. the longer religion continues to influence the law, the more limited our freedom will be.



it entirely depends on how the arguer defines the fetus, and which (between the human and the fetus) gets the upper hand in decision-making. one would argue for the woman's choice: perhaps that to force a woman to carry a bundle of cells is imprisoning her in her own body; another would argue for the fetus's choice: that taking a potential life is still taking a life, which from a black and white perspective, is inherently bad. so you've got a two-sided situation, which is common in social politics. the option to abort is fair and should satisfy both sides, as no one would be forcing the opposing side to have abortions. to take away the option would satisfy only one side, which is unfair and unreasonable.

Yes, on issues like this, the stances are very subjective either way. But I do not agree with the death penalty nor ending the lives of fetus', I try to be consistent. As I said before, i regret bringing up this issue because of the distinction between whether the fetus or woman has the choice. Like it should be your choice to get drunk, but once you step behind the wheel it affects others. So it can be argued that abortion affects others, but it is subjective whether or not you believe a fetus has rights. But, I am saying that you can be pro-life and pro separation of church and state. gay marriage is a much better example, because the controversy lies within religious scripture; well, except for the false statistics that the family research council provides, but that is blatantly religious propaganda that has been discredited by the real medical community, haha. "Gays will be married and committed and have kids and settle down, society will be doomed!!!" lmao.

Yep I am not a good person to stereotype,lmao. I am gay and support a Republican candidate. I am pro-life and con-death penalty. I am for fiscal conservatism and against war. But, I think our country has been split down the middle more than most other countries. You are black or white. Right or Wrong. Left or Right. Republican or Democrat. England has how many influential parties? (rhetorical)

Here is another question we must ask ourselves.
What were the founding fathers' intentions with the 1st Amendment?

Many argue that the founding fathers were pioneers for Christianity, but all logic and reasoning points otherwise. They came over from England, the church had too much power and was entangled with the government. I think it is clear that they did not want our nation to suffer despotism, but rather limit religious power.

Stormbringer
September 19th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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What were the founding fathers' intentions with the 1st Amendment?

Many argue that the founding fathers were pioneers for Christianity, but all logic and reasoning points otherwise. They came over from England, the church had too much power and was entangled with the government. I think it is clear that they did not want our nation to suffer despotism, but rather limit religious power.


The framers intended for a flexible, balnced and adaptable system, this goes for everything they did. A system that can adapt and change with the times, they obviously knew this. They would have wanted a first amendment that protects the individual freedom guaranteed by the constitution, however, it would also realize the impracticality of that and provide for some guidelines to its limitations. Balance.

poopnoodle
September 19th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Like it should be your choice to get drunk, but once you step behind the wheel it affects others. So it can be argued that abortion affects others, but it is subjective whether or not you believe a fetus has rights. But, I am saying that you can be pro-life and pro separation of church and state.

how about who it affects when a woman doesn't have an abortion because she's limited to childbirth? let's say she's a young and single college student. she undergoes the physical pangs of pregnancy, ends up having to quit school and score two menial jobs, all the while losing the support of her family. so the child is born unto her and faces a life of hardship (either through a string of foster homes or under the care of a parent who wasn't prepared and doesn't have time to nurture a child). obviously every case is different, the outcome of a pregnancy under any circumstances has its downsides. but that's why the option of abortion is there, so, morals aside, you can gauge which course of action is better for you/your potential child based on your situation.

anyway, it's illegal to drink and drive.


As I said before, i regret bringing up this issue because of the distinction between whether the fetus or woman has the choice.

no harm done, it's a prime specimen in the church/state debate. if you want a real outcome in this discourse, complex and two-sided topics have to be explored.

Esper
September 20th, 2011, 07:17 AM
Here is another question we must ask ourselves.
What were the founding fathers' intentions with the 1st Amendment?
Why must we ask ourselves this question? (Especially since some of us aren't Americans.)

It doesn't matter what the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended. They weren't kings, saints, or gods. They aren't the absolute authority on what's the best way to run a country. It's the ideas that we value which are important. If some new document surfaced that said John Adams thought women shouldn't be involved in government would we take this value as our own or would we discard it and think for ourselves?

Shining Raichu
September 20th, 2011, 03:43 PM
Religion and law should of course be kept separate, however the fact that religious institutions have unacceptably large amounts of money means that this is not always a practical expectation. The obscene sum of money that the Mormon Church put into Proposition 8 is just one example of this. There should be a law to prevent that sort of thing; how dare any religious institution be so presumptuous as to dare try and actively influence the way the world outside of their religion works.

As for the abortion issue, which has sort of become a theme of this discussion, I'm very much pro-choice and I do believe it's generally a very religious argument for why it shouldn't be legal. Of course, this is not always the case, but the fact stands that the law should not have the power to tell somebody what they can or cannot do to their own body for any reason, religious or otherwise. Besides that, the only thing achieved by making something illegal is creating a black market for it, which in the case of abortion is far less safe for the woman as well. Lets learn from the past, shall we?

Snow Phoenix
September 20th, 2011, 05:01 PM
I felt this a bit one-sided so I thought about thinking of things from the opposite perspective. Please don't hate me ;.; I just wanted to bring something new to the table.

I would first like to claim that it is impossible to completely exclude religion from law. “Thou shalt not kill.” One of the ten commandments, if I remember correctly. That sounds pretty similar to laws against murder. That is because our law was founded on the cultural beliefs that emerged from the various religions (the founding fathers were most likely deists who believed in god as a clockmaker and nothing. Ben Franklin, for example, was one). It would be impossible to completely separate religion from law without basing it around something else and even then it would still be a mirror of whatever we based it around. That is not to say that there is some truth in a secular government. We can make choices that deviate religion in an attempt to be inclusive of all peoples. And that is where our argument starts (at least in my opinion). Should religion, today, still persist when making government policies?

Directly, no. Indirectly, yes. Government in a democracy is supposed to reflect the consent of the governed. Meaning that it needs to reflect the beliefs of the citizens. We are influenced by the world around us and our own culture that is constantly evolving over generations. For instance, the majority of us here on PC believe that religion should have no part in how government should be ran. Have you ever questioned yourself as to why you believe that? Something probably… no must have… influenced you to believe that way. For some people, this comes from religion. It is what they believe in and it helps them decide the policy implications that they want. What we often call religion, is just a mass of voters who share the same beliefs. Can religion truly be called an entity on its own that threatens government? Keep in mind that government as well is just a mass of people. I think that we often forget that religion and government are nothing without the people who form it. And government especially is something that can be controlled by who we elect into office.

Religion and law should of course be kept separate, however the fact that religious institutions have unacceptably large amounts of money means that this is not always a practical expectation. The obscene sum of money that the Mormon Church put into Proposition 8 is just one example of this. There should be a law to prevent that sort of thing; how dare any religious institution be so presumptuous as to dare try and actively influence the way the world outside of their religion works.

As for the abortion issue, which has sort of become a theme of this discussion, I'm very much pro-choice and I do believe it's generally a very religious argument for why it shouldn't be legal. Of course, this is not always the case, but the fact stands that the law should not have the power to tell somebody what they can or cannot do to their own body for any reason, religious or otherwise. Besides that, the only thing achieved by making something illegal is creating a black market for it, which in the case of abortion is far less safe for the woman as well. Lets learn from the past, shall we?
How is a religious group different from let’s say… an equal rights group (other than that the religious group stems from religion). The mormon group wished to have what they want brought into policy, just as the women had campaigned for what they had wanted to be brought into policy. It’s completely fair for them to form their own group and call it a political party. You just don’t agree with their policy and the fact that they are a religious group which is also completely understandable. It all depends on what you believe in from a cultural perspective.

I prefer to stay out the abortion thing. I don’t actually care about politics one bit o.o That one is also a preference on what you personally believe.

Shining Raichu
September 20th, 2011, 05:27 PM
How is a religious group different from let’s say… an equal rights group (other than that the religious group stems from religion). The mormon group wished to have what they want brought into policy, just as the women had campaigned for what they had wanted to be brought into policy. It’s completely fair for them to form their own group and call it a political party. You just don’t agree with their policy and the fact that they are a religious group which is also completely understandable. It all depends on what you believe in from a cultural perspective.

I'd rather not have words put in my mouth, if it's all the same to you. A religious group is different from an equal rights group in that equal rights groups are created for the specific purpose of fighting for equal rights for everyone and changing laws. Religious institutions are not intended for this purpose, and are trying to press the views of their religion onto the masses, not all of whom believe in their ideals - and they're abusing their immense power to do so. Now perhaps you're right in that I don't agree with their policy, but if they were fighting to grant equal rights to all (as a religion which is meant to be all about love should) rather than oppressing the rights of others, it would be a different story.

Snow Phoenix
September 20th, 2011, 06:14 PM
I'd rather not have words put in my mouth, if it's all the same to you. A religious group is different from an equal rights group in that equal rights groups are created for the specific purpose of fighting for equal rights for everyone and changing laws. Religious institutions are not intended for this purpose, and are trying to press the views of their religion onto the masses, not all of whom believe in their ideals - and they're abusing their immense power to do so. Now perhaps you're right in that I don't agree with their policy, but if they were fighting to grant equal rights to all (as a religion which is meant to be all about love should) rather than oppressing the rights of others, it would be a different story.
I apologise :3 That was wrong of me and completely accidental. I only assumed, although, I do believe that your point was clear in your first post that you did not agree with their policy and that you did not like them because they were a religious group ^-^' Equal rights groups generally focus on improving the conditions for one specific group, for instance women's suffrage really only focused on the rights of women. It's not normally just for everyone unless you mark the change in culture as a benefit for everyone, however, I'd like to ask how changing the cultural norm is different from changing a person's beliefs? Is it fair to label and try to change someone who is sexist or homophobic (for example) because they are "wrong" just because they don't follow the changing cultural norms around them when most people themselves wouldn't want to have themselves changed?

And I can't really say anything about the religious groups being forceful or anything because I wouldn't really know. But, I'll leave that open and consider it from both points. In other words... religious groups are both innocent and guilty of trying to force their ideas on people.

Remember. I'm not really trying to push any ideas on people o.o I'm just trying to stimulate thought :3 I'm curious xD

Esper
September 21st, 2011, 09:33 AM
Is it fair to label and try to change someone who is sexist or homophobic (for example) because they are "wrong" just because they don't follow the changing cultural norms around them when most people themselves wouldn't want to have themselves changed?
Yes, because some things are universally accepted as intrinsic to human values and human dignity therefore anything which denies us human dignity is inherently wrong and any attempt to correct this is fair. So I suppose you could say they amount to the same thing - fighting for their view of truth - but with rights groups I see them as trying to put into practice something that's already accepted among the vast, overwhelming majority and, moreover, has shown to be beneficial to all peoples even if some segments of society find them distasteful. (Think of abolishing slavery, which did make some people quite unhappy.) So like with gay rights groups for instance. We already accept that people should have certain freedoms by default (e.g., pursuit of happiness) and many others by extension (e.g., marriage) so campaigning to ensure that we actually stick to our accepted values isn't the same thing as a religious group campaigning to have their non-universal, questionably beneficial ideas made into laws.

poopnoodle
September 21st, 2011, 01:28 PM
@ snow phoenix: what you said about the root of social laws being religious moral codes is a really good point. although, the ten commandments were established 'back in the day' for reasons other than social safety for humans, and social safety seems to have become the basis of modern society's principles. when a faith-based belief is incorporated into the law that singles out a mass of people, their social safety is jeopardized.

anyway, you asked for the root of the belief that religion should be kept separate from state. there's no concrete evidence that we have specific inherent rights, but the basis of morality is human emotion. so i think your question can be pretty simply answered: it's just an unpleasant feeling for your life to be imposed upon. on a larger scale, social insecurity can impede on humanity's growth and development. when someone is taking away your choices, you're forced to act in accordance with theirs. the beauty of choice is that people can have clashing beliefs but not be obliged to one path, which is harmonizing. that's what people who support the separation of church and state are fighting for.

anyhoo thanks for sharing snow phoenix, don't be modest, your points are thought-provoking.