Sunday, February 7, 2016

Elections are Civic not Religious

A couple of recent posts on Patheos does a pretty good job summarizing and exemplifying a number of all too common ignorance laced misconceptions. The two major assumptions that pervade both "The Perfect Religious President" and "7 Ways to Prepare Spiritually to Vote" are:
1. Mixing religion and politics is a good thing;
2. Religion and Spirituality mean the same thing to every one.

Both are horribly misguided. The good that religion may or may not represent is highly debatable. Mixing religion into politics is less debatable but still tends to provoke arguments. There is far more to support the position that mixing religion into politics is a terrible idea. There is absolutely no legitimate debate that religion and spirituality are as amorphous as they are subjective. No one agrees on even a basic definition let alone a specific set of traits or characteristics.

By its very nature religion is divisive and riddled with all sorts of problems that tend to only unnecessarily complicate everything it touches. We are all best served when religion is kept away from public policy and governance. Religion should only be tolerated when it is kept to be a personal matter. Individuals should vote their conscience but I also hope that they examine their motivations before casting their vote. Everyone should ask themselves why they are voting and what they are voting for. I have yet to get the impression that "religious voters" ever do any such thing.

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