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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Columns

Keep religion out of politics


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chocolate and bacon are great things, just not together — much like religion and politics.

Politics and religion can guide lives. They conflict with one another so much that mixing them is deadly.

The First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There is a good reason why the framers of the U.S. Constitution included the separation of church and state in the First Amendment: to protect the rights of everyone without the infringement of one religion in favor of another.

Take a look at countries whose politics are directly a result of a religious view. There, it is illegal to believe differently, which was one of the prominent reasons for the establishment of the U.S. Entwining religion with politics would be a return of the ideals the founding fathers were against.

Mixing religion with politics inhibits fairness. Often, topics that are seen as the most controversial, like gay marriage, are because of religion.

The main argument against gay marriage is it is wrong according to the Bible. However, refusing gay marriage is unfair and violates the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness for people who are gay and wish to get married.

Focusing on the candidates’ or the voters’ religion acts as a blinder. Rather than basing their decision on the topics that matter — such as the economy, foreign affairs, education and many others — some voters instead pick the politician who most resembles their religious views, even if that means disregarding their stance on important subjects.

The U.S. may have been a Christian nation once, but its current diversity no longer reflects that. People argue that by losing that title, it somehow means they lost their right to be Christian, but it is an invalid argument, based on the Constitution.

Though the morals instilled by religions are generally good — don’t kill people, don’t steal, respect your elders and so on — because their importance and subjects differ between groups and religions, they cannot be the basis of government.

While people cast their votes all over the nation today, they should set aside their religious beliefs and decide, which presidential candidate will fix the economy, protect civil rights and make the best decisions for such a diverse country.

Mónica Rojas is a journalism freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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