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  #541  
Old December 13th, 2009, 6:18 pm
Overdose  Undisclosed.gif Overdose is offline
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

The archbishop of canterbury has criticised ministers and the executive in general for marginalising their faith and spiritual beliefs. He says that despite the heavy Christian presence in Britain, many ministers treat religion as if it was something for the minority and the odd.

Blair famously in the press didn't 'do God' despite being deeply religious. Similarly both Gordon Brown and David Cameron are religious as are many of their cabinet whilst Nick Clegg is an atheist but this is rarely discussed in public.
So, does anybody think that religion has a particular stigma in Great Britain. We may be a 'secular society' but there is no doubt that a vast proportion of people are christian of some sort, not forgetting the heavy presence of Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and all sorts of other spiritual groups.


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  #542  
Old December 13th, 2009, 7:29 pm
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

If the Archbishop had anything useful to say in terms of public policy that he could rationally defend, he might get more credibility and widespread support.


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  #543  
Old December 16th, 2009, 12:58 am
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

Televangelist Oral Roberts died today.


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  #544  
Old December 16th, 2009, 11:34 am
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdose View Post
So, does anybody think that religion has a particular stigma in Great Britain.
No, but I do think there is an aggressive and orchestrated campaign by some Christians at the moment to try to overturn recent (IMO long overdue) gay rights' legislation by alleging they are being discriminated against.

Quote:
Blair famously in the press didn't 'do God' despite being deeply religious. Similarly both Gordon Brown and David Cameron are religious as are many of their cabinet whilst Nick Clegg is an atheist but this is rarely discussed in public.
Is Brown religious? I never knew that. I knew his father was a Protestant minister, but I always thought Gordon Brown claimed to have inherited the sense of social justice and the "moral compass" from his upbringing, but without the religious bits. And when Cameron has discussed his religion, it's always seemed to me to be a bit wishy washy and more based in tradition than any real faith, but I could be wrong about that. And maybe that backs up what you're saying - that they feel they have to play their faith down.

I think it's wrong if politicians can't discuss their fath publicly, but I do think it is dangerous if politicians form policy on the basis of their religious convictions alone (e.g. some people suspect that Blair's decision to invade Iraq was influenced by his belief that it was the "right" thing to do, "what God wanted" - which isn't good if you can't back that up with a pragmatic political and legal basis). I'm actually really glad that religion doesn't have as much influence over politics in the UK as it does in some countries.

Although I can also see that there are dangers if politicians who are privately making decisions on religious grounds are in public pretending that they're not, as they don't want to be branded "nutters" - it would be much healthier if we knew the true basis on which decisions were being made.

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Posted by purplehawk
Televangelist Oral Roberts died today.
Sorry, didn't mean to ignore your post, but I'm not from the US so I don't know enough about him to have an opinion.


  #545  
Old December 16th, 2009, 2:17 pm
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to ignore your post, but I'm not from the US so I don't know enough about him to have an opinion.
No problem. I left the post open on purpose. My opinion of televangelists probably wouldn't pass muster.


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  #546  
Old December 20th, 2009, 11:48 pm
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

If we ever needed a ringing example of why religion and government ought to remain separate, this video more or less proves it. Rachel Maddow takes a look at a "prayercast" organized by Family Research Council Action PAC to organize right-wing activists to pray for the failure of health care reform in the Senate.

On hand were Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN). I don't know this Lou Engle is, exactly, but I did recognize Dr. James Dobson, who phoned in his message, and Tony Perkins who heads the group that organized this thing. "Funding abortions, medical marijuana, and killing people?"

Oh.my.Gawd.



The Maddow clip doesn't cover everything. Right Wing Watch has some of the best coverage of the "prayercast," and posted some striking clips from the event, including this one in which Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) argues that the Bible should be a "blueprint" for American government, and this one in which James and Shirley Dobson ask God to "frustrate the plans of the Evil One."


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Last edited by purplehawk; December 20th, 2009 at 11:57 pm.
  #547  
Old December 21st, 2009, 7:26 am
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

Anyone who thinks religion isn't already playing a big role in our government should read Jeff Sharlet's The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. It's an eye opener!


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  #548  
Old December 21st, 2009, 9:56 am
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

I've read that book. Some of the people in the video, above, are current or former residents at the C Street house.


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  #549  
Old December 21st, 2009, 5:31 pm
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

That's a very disturbing video


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  #550  
Old December 21st, 2009, 6:34 pm
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

Rachel Maddow has been doing some Peabody-level reporting on The Family. She has been doing a fabulous job of connecting the dots. Although, she has been relying heavily on Jeff Sharlet's book and it is Pulitzer material.


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  #551  
Old December 21st, 2009, 10:16 pm
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
Rachel Maddow has been doing some Peabody-level reporting on The Family. She has been doing a fabulous job of connecting the dots. Although, she has been relying heavily on Jeff Sharlet's book and it is Pulitzer material.
Wish I could see that, but I don't have cable.

I'd been expecting the book to be just an expose of the C Street folks, instead it's an indepth history of the evangelical movement from it's beginning in the 18th century. That alone IMO makes it worthwhile reading.


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  #552  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 1:41 am
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Re: The Role of Religion in Politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
I'd been expecting the book to be just an expose of the C Street folks, instead it's an indepth history of the evangelical movement from it's beginning in the 18th century. That alone IMO makes it worthwhile reading.
You bet it does. It's an excellent book.


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