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athgarvan

Politics and Religion

The Republic of Ireland has dissolved its government and taken to the hustings. I ask myself, has the Church anything to say in a national election?

Many Catholics entirely separate their faith from their politics. Is this not a very strange move. It’s as if they believe the Gospel has nothing to say about the just ordering of society, which is ultimately what politics is about, or at least is supposed to be about. Can it really be that Christianity has nothing to say about justice or about the common good? Popes, bishops, and Religious Orders have devoted themselves to the pursuit of  'social justice'.

And yet many Catholics separate their faith from their politics. Does not this make their faith a purely private thing and leaves it up to others to decide what justice and the common good is?

Or more peculiar still, to agree that the Gospel of Christ has nothing to do with justice. But the New Testament, like the Old Testament, devotes a great deal of time to how we should treat each other and not just on a personal, one-to-one basis, but on a societal basis as well.

Is this the powerful weight of the modern secular voice in society, or is it because they think that what Christianity has to say about justice and the common good is divisive, that is to say, not everyone agrees with it? But no vision of justice and the common good has universal agreement. This is why we developed democracy. A functioning democracy allows all of us to put our vision of justice and the common good before the voters and lets the voters decide which one to opt for.

Comments

Actually, that's kind of refreshing that they do separate their faith from politics. In the US we're going through a divisive election season with one party all but trying to cram their own version of right-wing "Christianity" into the election process and has done so for most elections in my lifetime.

Many Catholics and Christians here in the US also disagree with the Church on various "political" issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage (in fact, most polls I saw even early on seemed to say that Catholics in the US were among most supportive of same-sex marriage even early on among the major religious branches here.)

I think we're conflating two issues here. I think candidates should separate their faith from their politics, but voters should use their religion to inform their political choice.
What I am on about here is how individual Christian voters seem to separate their own religious values from their own political stances.

Can this really be done honestly - especially in party politics?
Can you give examples of how individual Christian voters seem to separate their own religious values from their political stances?

I guess it is fairly common here...or possibly it is just that people are a bit more "Cafeteria Christian" with their voting? The Republican party here (our right-wing party) is a tremendously "pro-life" party; however, they're also the party that is more in favor of the death penalty and their largely Christian supporters seem to agree with them on that.
Thank you.
There are good reasons for the separation of Church & State, but it doesn't mean that one's religion doesn't or can't inform one's politics.

Contrast that with The Maldives which requires all citizens to be Muslim. It's an extreme example, but I can't see how such a scenario being a good thing.
Thank you for your contribution.
In the US of A religion is very involved in politics. This may or may not be a good thing for churches and some Christians, but it is hell for followers of Jesus.
IAWTC
:)
Thank you for your contribution.
I meant no offense.

Of course, i believe that everyone should participate in politics according to his or her conscience and consciousness and our consciences and consciousness ought to be spiritually informed.

In the USA the majority are Christians; the majority of Christians are Protestants; and the majority of Protestants are right wing evangelicals who tend to be ultra conservative in both economics and politics. What they imagine to be their "rights" are stated in such a manner that they can deprive other citizens of their normal and inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of "happyness."
? Thank you for your contribution.
It does not matter what country you live in, the electorate is comprised of people of many faiths, and many who profess no faith at all. Government must represent all the people and cannot do so if it determines its actions based upon one religion. That is, by definition, a theocracy, similar to the one which governs in Iran or Saudi Arabia. The US is quite possibly the most religious democracy outside of Iran at the present time, but when Americans speak of religion, they invariably are referring to an evangelical form of Christianity, certainly on the Republican side.

Canada has never made religion an aspect of politics although during the Harper administration, he allowed his evangelical beliefs to colour many of his governmental initiatives - and I don't mean in a good way. The belief that the State of Israel is an essential prerequisite for triggering the apocalypse plays far too great a role in the minds of too many evangelicals in North America.
Thank you for your contribution.
what has been said here covers my feelings
a note: the US constitution says that there shall be no religious test for election to office

however, radical christian voters often make open profession of faith a requirement of getting their vote and some politicians pander to that

the problem arises in voting a particular brand of faith that those who do nor share that brand can have their rights limited

it is our civic philosophy that the wishes of the majority are not dominant but must be balanced with those of minority groups

just whose christianity would be the dominant voice?
One's own Christian values should be dominant in one's own voting.

I don't know what Christian values (if any) many of those seeking election in my area have or profess e.g. their view on abortion.

you are very fortunate!!!
i wish our politicians would shut up! about abortion!
it is legal here
it is the decision of the individual woman and her doctor

fervent christians go out of their way to prevent a woman from exercising her legal right

no one is compelling a woman to have an abortion
particular christians who reject abortion can hold that belief and act on it for themselves
but they do not have the right to force their belief and actions on those who do not share that belief
Dare I suggest another reason: that many Catholics ‘separate their faith from their politics’, not because they do not believe that the Gospel has nothing to say about the ordering of society, it is that what they deep inside feel to be ther natural borderlines of justice do not always coincide with the official ‘hard’ Roman Catholic line.