Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Part 1: Separation of Church and Politics

Religion and politics should never be intertwined. Now this is not to say that the ethical teachings of your faith will never have an impact on your thinking. Because they will, I guarantee it. But there is an important point that should keep politics and religion very separated.

Religion is based on faith. You take a great many things in religion based on faith. You never ask for proof. You never ask for the priest or the minister to give you hard solid evidence to substantiate their claims. This is ok in religion as so long as some power mad jackass doesn’t abuse people’s faith. I’m not knocking faith it can be a beautiful thing in the right context. But faith has its limitations.

In politics you should never take anything on faith. You should demand facts and proof. You should never sit by and just because you like a politician or because they are a member of the same political party as you believe everything they spit out. You should always be willing to challenge them. That’s why we have the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. I sincerely trust that our Forefathers wanted the citizens to have available to them the information to be an active and vocal electorate.

As a whole the good old USA is neither active nor vocal. We tend to leave that up to the blowhards on the radio and, that most vile of Satan’s spawn, lobbyists. Don’t think this doesn’t make the politicians happy. You see gentle reader without the citizens to keep them in line politicians will do whatever they want without any real regard to the consequences. Oh sure there’s maybe 5 people in Congress with real ethics. They are unfortunately the exception to the rule. We have to, as a people never let the politicians forget who is the boss. We cannot sit idly by why the corporations and special interests run the country.

So get thyself to the library and read. Read newspapers and magazines and books. Go use Google and look for more information than that stupid TV will ever give you. You must educate yourself. It’s the only weapon you have against the lies and half-truths and spin doctoring that comes from the politicians.

Reason also has more weight to in an argument than faith. If you can prove something then you win. If you can substantiate your argument then you have an edge in the debate. If you offer nothing more than “I believe” then your argument has no weight.

Now there are people out there, a rather large number of them I fear, who don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut about reason. I don’t care how much evidence you can bring up to them their minds are made up and they just don’t care. These people are problematic because their religion is politics. You know whom I’m talking about, the guy who’s been a Republican for 60 years and doesn’t give a crap if Ronald McDonald is in the White House. If he labels himself a Republican then he’s his man indeed. Of course he fails to notice that the Republicans of today are nothing like the Republicans of even 30 years ago, but I digress. People also really like dogma. There’s a cold comfort in surrender that some people really seem to like. I won’t pretend to know their motivations. I’m not sure if they’re being polite or naïve or obedient. I do know however that it’s not good for a democracy.

I know why people don’t like reason. It might prove you wrong. A large part of trying to make a strong argument is to analyze the other side’s argument. Also you must attack your own stance, because if you don’t someone will. In this time of examination and critical thinking you might have to alter your opinion maybe even radically. That’s wonderful. See if in the course of your studies you arrive at some new truth that’s amazing. Good for you! You went on a journey that took you to some unexpected place. Aren’t you lucky? I’ve changed my mind a great many times as I’ve studied and thought and it hasn’t killed me yet. So be not afraid of river of miserable uncertainty that can be the intellectual journey it just makes the destination that you arrive at much more satisfying.


Blogger Aminah said...

Here here! The fact that many people are content just to sit by and go with the flow, or expect others to debate political policy and then tell them how to think is severely depressing...

People who mindlessly inherit opinions from their family or (perish the thought!) politicians make me want to scream. It's fine to let others inspire or shape your opinions, but the world doesn't need any more brain dead carbon-copies.

May reason and informed opinions always win over blind-faith and complacency.

4:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home