Why Progressives Can’t Ignore Religion

Jesus Rode A DonkeyThe intersection of religion and politics in America today from Mike Lux on Alternet:

Wall or no wall, politics and religion have always been inextricably intertwined, and we won’t win until we recognize and deal with that fact.

In this fine country of ours, there is “a wall of separation between Church and State,” as Thomas Jefferson once put it. And thank God for that (at least, if you’re inclined to believe in it). Our country has been so much stronger and more free as a result of having that wall.

Here’s the thing, though: having that wall doesn’t mean that the cord linking politics and religion can ever be severed, at least not in this country where religion lives so fervently. The fact is that the USA remains, by a considerable margin, more religious and more Christian than any other Western nation, with close to 80 percent of us still calling ourselves Christians (in spite of somewhat falling percentages on that number in recent years) …

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  • DeepCough

    It is impossible to ignore the relationship between religion and government, because time was that religion was the governing basis of societal authority. Basically, theocracy was the original form of societal government in agrarian societies, and it’s still with us today, only it’s been mitigated by policies invented over time to disseminate that theocratically monarchic authority (e.g. Magna Carta and the “Social Contract”). But, alas, in the U.S., a tragic irony has occurred: a government that is supposed to be against the collusion of churches and the state in enforcing laws and policies has devolved back to its primordial state, and it’s all because Americans forgot the reason why: “God” is the oldest excuse for tyranny in the world, especially in “The Good Book.”

    • Anarchy Pony

      That’s why the pilgrims came to the new world in the first place, to establish their own theocracy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7L7TC42A7F5GCGGQXPATUCNUGA Mark

    Religion is a cause of poverty.   Whether in the USA or around the world, the more religious a society is, the poorer it is.   Religious people are more likely to use myth (creationism) instead of science (evolution) to explain the natural world.
    If progressives want to help the poor, they need to liberate the poor from religion, and stop romancing Islam and the black church.  Some 70% of African-Americans are Biblical literalists. 
    The days when one could be scientifically illiterate and get a good paying factory job are gone forever.
    Science is the key to a good paying job.  Religion will get you a job at Wal-Mart.  

    • Eric_D_Read

      “Science is the key to a good paying job.  Religion will get you a job at Wal-Mart.”
      Try telling that to Joel Osteen and the Pope. 

      • Butter Knife

         A young child living in poverty genuinely has a better chance of making it as a professional athlete or musician than as a televangelist. That’s actually frightening.

    • Andrew

      Ad hoc ergo propter hoc.  It is possible that poverty causes religion, and not vice versa.  Or, they could be both caused by some other thing.

      • DeepCough

         I’ll grant that religion is not a direct cause of poverty (unless the religion itself extolls it as a virtue), but religion sure can maintain economic disparity.

    • Jin The Ninja

      racist, ahistorical, hysterical, anti intellectual nonsense.

      your far more ignorant than those you are denigrating, and far more entrenched in your beliefs than most x’tians.

  • brian mccabe

    In a post on Liberaloutpost entitled Religion
    in politics, a line in the sand, I offer this test to determine
    whether ideas are suitable for political debate: when
    ideas cannot stand apart from the faith-based belief set from which they
    spring, especially when those ideas can influence domestic and foreign policy,
    they must have no standing in the public square debate.

    • DeepCough

       What, “Separation of Church and State” not good enough for ya?