The Instigator
Rob1Billion
Pro (for)
Losing
25 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

A religious president like Huckabee is the worst thing for this country right now.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,888 times Debate No: 1346
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (20)

 

Rob1Billion

Pro

Huckabee just took Iowa, and I am severely disappointed.

It looks like Republicans will be overwhelmingly more likely to put an extremely religious man into power once again, who is aimed at sending our progress in civil rights, foreign policy, and environmental efforts back into pre-1980's levels.

The constitution says that the government "shall not establish religion" for a good reason. Christians maintain that this should only be interpreted to mean that, as long as Christianity does not become the absolutely official religion, they can pass as many laws as they want that are completely and utterly dependant on a Christian ideology. I disagree. I will argue, in this debate, that by passing laws based on Christian ideals alone, they are in fact establishing Christianity as our official religion.

Let me clarify a few points, because I know some of your mouths are watering to put me in my place without an adequate disclaimer.

1) If a policy is set, that agrees with Christian ideology, that does not mean it is unconstitutional. I am only concerned with laws that agree with Christian ideologies AND are generally immoral or unjust AND are not generally shared by non-Christians.

2) Christians are not inherently immoral. Individual practicing Christians are a very beautiful part of our culture, In my opinion, and I would like to see them continue to be a workable part of our community. My argument is with Christians who enter politics and gain power, and use that power to force non-Christians into a Christian life-stlye.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Aside from the fact that I don't believe Huckabee will actually win the election based on the nation's disgust with the Republican party and the recent partisan tide in congress.... I'll argue this point...

Let's take a look at your first paragraph with one substitution:

"It looks like DEMOCRATS will be overwhelmingly more likely to put an extremely religious man into power once again, who is aimed at sending our progress in civil rights, foreign policy, and environmental efforts back into pre-1980's levels."

The substitution for Democrats represents Kucinich, who argued for bombing Mecca and Medina if there was another terrorist attack on US soil. The point I make here is that it is not an issue of Democrats vs. Republicans, but rather an issue of Christians vs. Non-Christians in political ideology. Most of the politicians in the United States are Christian (or claim to be - there are undoubtedly a number of closet atheists in Congress). So it would make sense that laws get passed that reflect a Christian ideology. The problem I believe you're trying to identify is that the Single Member Plurality District model we currently use disenfranchises the non-Christian members of the population.

I identify 2 main points in your argument - first, that congress passes laws that are dependent on and reflect a Christian ideology, and second, that this constitutes the establishment of Christianity as a national religion.

On the first point, the laws congress passes reflect the opinions and desires of the representative's constituents. It just so happens that these constituents are of a Christian PLURALITY - not majority necessarily, but still probably a majority. On top of that, these laws are not dependent on or reflective of Christian ideology - they simply agree with it in much the same was as "The enemy of the enemy is my friend."

The laws I believe you argue against have to do with morality. Morality is not a religious construct - it arises out of biological tendencies and basic social contract theory. So in the end - the laws do not in and of themselves benefit a religion - they benefit society.

On the second point, this by no means establishes a religion. It simply means that this is the most common religion. In a democracy, the laws will follow the will of the people. The United States is a majority Christian nation - thus, the laws reflect this. It is not establishment at all. In any event, the clause regarding the establishment of religion is to prevent religious persecution. So in order to use that clause in your argument, I think you need to show the persecution of a (major?) religious group before that's a valid argument. And by major, I mean that I don't consider the illegalization of marijuana to be a persecution of Rastafarianists.

For your first disclaimer, I think you should provide an example of such a law before I attempt to figure out what you mean by that...

As far as a religious president like Huckabee goes... I'm not sure that's actually a bad thing. Granted, I believe the best president for this country would be an atheist president... I would much rather see a religious president like Huckabee in office than a religious president like Kucinich. On average, I believe you could say that religious persons are generally good people. I would view a religious president as less likely to be involved in a scandal than a non-religious president.

Historically, the United States has always had a religious president (again - or one who claimed to be). If you can honestly say that the past 43 (I think... 42, 44?) presidents have FORCED or COERCED the nation into a religious lifestyle, I challenge you to provide legislation that proves this.

I believe the United States needs a religious president, but not necessarily Huckabee. Actually, from a religious view, I think Obama is a much better choice (even though I'm conservative) because it's hard in the international arena of religion and politics for the Arab world to demonize someone like Obama - he has an Arab name, Arab features, was raised partially Muslim, etc... But that's beside the point.

Provide me some evidence that a Christian president is bad. Your move.
Debate Round No. 1
Rob1Billion

Pro

Good arguments - I knew my logic was a little wobbly when I posted this debate, I guess it was an emotional response to seeing Huckabee with that smile on his face after winning Iowa. But nevertheless, I will further assert my points and refute yours.

You have a lot of points, and I will deal with them systematically and logically.

1) I agree with you, that my assumption that Huckabee will pull through to the end is not a good one, and after listening to some political analysis on the subject, I see that was a premature posture. My main point, in this argument, is that a religious person like Huckabee for president is a bad idea, and that does nothing to weaken my stance.

2) I believe you have got me again. My candidate, Mike Gravel, is the ONLY one of our presidential nominees that is not somewhat religious. Since he is not going anywhere, I guess you could say the Democrats are ready to put a religious person in there as well. Again, my main argument is not affected by this, but my emotional ranting is getting me into trouble here.

3) I do not support Kucinich, and I have nothing to defend about him. I fail to see why you concentrate on him when all of the democrats have espoused religion save gravel, but that is beside the point I guess.

4) yes, there are many christians in our gov't and that would help explain why there are many laws based on christian ideology. My goal here is to show that Christianity's hold on our politics is very real and very strong, and we need to work on disentangling Christianity from politics, one law at a time.

up until this point, I argue that my main points have not been addressed in any way, therefore my argument still stands. You DO address my main points ahead:

"I identify 2 main points in your argument - first, that congress passes laws that are dependent on and reflect a Christian ideology, and second, that this constitutes the establishment of Christianity as a national religion."
I will accept your paraphrasement of my main points, with a little bit of refinement. The executive and judicial branches are just as important as congress in this matter.
You refute my first point by saying that, and correct me if I am wrong, since most people in the US are Christians, then why is it so wrong that Christianity's mark is made on our legal system?

My answer is that, while majority rules is what our voting system is based on, our laws are meant to reflect justice, not religion, or anything else for that matter. Our constitution is a set of rules that must be followed in order for our legal system to remain just. If most of our citizens liked the color red, they could all vote to make it mandatory that the color red be worn at all times. This is similar to the logic I find with Christian politics: we christians believe sodomy is immoral (even though there is no inherent immorality involved), so let's make sodomy illegal and punish offenders with 20 years in prison.
You next attempt to define morality. You say it is a result of biological tendencies, and rests upon social contract theory. If I refute this, then we will never get anywhere, because philosophers have been dealing with morality for thousands of years and you and I are not going to resolve it in two and a half rounds of online debate. I would ask that we settle on a general, impartial definition of morality: the state which is achieved by just actions. "just" simply means fair, there are no strings attached to my definition, and I will continue to use it unless you cannot accept it.

You then say that our constitution is simply trying to prevent religious persecution, and that as long as we don't offend another religion, we are right to pass religious laws. I think this argument is as black and white as it can be. If you pass laws that reflect christian ideology, that are immoral, and that aren't shared by non-christians, then how are you NOT persecuting other religions? How is another religion supposed to be able to take hold if there are laws being passed by Christians that force them, at the end of a gun, to do things that are Christian? I believe that Christian politicians are ignoring the implications of their actions when they pass these laws.

I will define some laws for you, and anyone else who at this point is in the dark as to what I mean by laws that are "based on Christian ideology, immoral, and generally not reflected among non-christians".
1) Sodomy laws - sodomy is practiced by incredibly large amounts of our population. Anyone of you reading this message, who has ever had oral sex, has performed sodomy. Strict religious interpretations, correct me if I am wrong, define sodomy as "any sexual position other than missionary". I am not 100% sure about that last sentence, but here is a Georgia statute, ruled unconstitutional in 2003 (I consider this too recent for comfort)
- sodomy is defined as when the reproductive organs of one person touch the lips or anus of another person
- sodomy shall be punishable by no less than, and no more than 20 years in prison
2) gay marriage laws - again, there is an incredible population of homosexuals in our country, and it is predominantly the Christians who stand in their way of equality. I understand that Christians are scared that homosexuality will continue to increase if they don't put it in check, but their is no way to address that concern without supreme injustice.

3)the War on Drugs - let me put a scenario to you. A man smokes marijuana, in the privacy of his own home. A police officer walks by, smells it, and enters his home with probable cause and arrests him. This scenario is completely unjust, and I believe it is predominantly Christians who stand in the way of our abilities to quell this situation. It is not a strictly Christian subject- there is probably no part of the bible that addresses it (I could be wrong), but it is not a conincidence that most people who are pro-drug war are also devout christians.

4) The war on terror - there are plenty of christians that are against the war. There would have to be, because most of our country IS against the war. But we are still in the war.... why is this? What is the most basic argument for us to stay in the war? WMD? no, that was determined to be a lie a long time ago. Oil? no, our economy has suffered greatly from this war, and there would be no reason to stay for Oil. Spreading freedom? well, if you are talking about Christian freedom I guess you could say yes. The reason we are over there is RELIGION. The only arguments left to stay there is that Islamic fundamentalists are evil and we should be taking it to them before they reach us. I argue that this is an essentially religious argument. I know I am going to get a comments section full of Christians refuting this paragraph, but before you post, please list why exactly we are in Iraq right now. I will successfully refute every one of your points, except one: Islamic terrorists. Islamic terrorism is a religious concern, they are over there fighting over religion, and we bring ours right in and get right in the middle. Why we are prolonging their civil war, I can't explain, but I know that it is predominantly Christian Republicans like Bush, Huckabee, Romney, and McCain that are fighting to keep us exactly where we are in this war. I think that their religious pride is telling them that since Islam is morally wrong, that we have the right to occupy their country and keep them oppressed.

A religious president is less likely to be in a scandal? Please elaborate. I would love for you to tell me why...

As for your final sentence, I simply believe that a Christian president will not help our country in terms of the environment, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on homosexuals.... these are issues that are important to me. Are they important to you?
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

I think we can dispense with your 1-4 at the beginning as us agreeing with each other. I simply substitute Kucinich because he's an example of a Democrat with overly religious ideas - it demolishes the argument as a D. vs R. one. I agree that all three branches of government should have equal bearing on the laws. However, the president himself doesn't wield as much power as the Legislative branch. The Judicial branch can only act if the law is challenged, which kind of puts the ball in the court of those who feel disenfranchised.

I wouldn't put my argument against your point as you did (...most people in the US are Christians, then why is it so wrong that Christianity's mark is made on our legal system?) but rather as that the fact that Christianity's mark on the legal system is irremovable from basic human morals. It's not an issue of Christianity being responsible for the current system - it's more like Christianity was simply there for the ride.

I'll accept your definition of morality for the purposes of debate. But I think it's important to draw another distinction for things that are socially acceptable. Neither category necessarily involves religion. Social acceptability differs greatly around the world, so I suggest we use the definition in the United States.

In your case of sodomy, while this doesn't fall under immorality for non-minors (I hope we agree that sodomy concerning minors is immoral...). However, I believe it would fall under socially unacceptable. Even barring that, one could argue that actions like sodomy present a disrespectful image of dignity which isn't really a just state...

Lets look at the laws you present...

First - sodomy - I think I already made my point with sodomy. I haven't heard any strict definition like the one you mention, but then again, I haven't heard any really religious-based definition of it at all. I would agree, however, that laws against sodomy ARE unconstitutional. I'll concede the point here that laws against it are consistent with your argument.

Second - gay marriage - I believe the main concern regarding gay marriage rests in tax law. Like the movie "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" it would be hard to enforce tax benefit laws if marriage is not defined as existing between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is becoming more acceptable in todays society, but I believe the majority of this nation would find open homosexuality (things like men kissing in public) to be socially unacceptable simply because it's not the model that they're accustomed to. The underlying problem here is that there hasn't been a law drafted to separate marriage from the religious meaning. Marriage is still a religious sacrament - the official legal binding is more like a civil union, which is really how it should be handled. As yet, though, there's no way to figure out who is actually a "couple" and who is just evading tax laws.

Third - the war on drugs - I'm not sure what your point is with this one. Marijuana is illegal because of the potential for abuse and the actions that result from that abuse. People whose cognitive abilities are impaired by being high are generally a danger to society - not saying they ALL are... In this case, the man should be arrested - he's left evidence of illegal activity in a public place - the smell - and the officer certainly has probable cause to enter the house. It's exactly the same situation as if he walked by and heard a gunshot. (The Christian viewpoint concerning drugs would fall under respect of the self and the abuse of something (alcohol, food, drugs, etc...) - that's the best the bible can do to address this...)

Fourth - the war on terror - I'll agree that most of the country is against the war, and at this point, I think the only thing really keeping us there is that we can't just LEAVE - that's not a moral action. Leaving a huge mess (albeit that we made) behind isn't just to the Iraqi people. The war is not a religious one per se. Hussein was a terrible dictator, perpetrating crimes against the Iraqi people. The war started under the pretense of WMD and possibly oil, but in a cover-you-a$$ movement, the government made it about removing a tyrant. Part of the justification for remaining there is the current instability of the Iraqi government and the fact that there are still members of the old regime capable of seizing power without the US presence. We are not overseas fighting Islam. We are fighting Muslims, yes, but we are not trying to destroy Islam. Radical Islam perhaps, because it IS dangerous - but then again, so is radical Christianity - as evidenced by (yes, him again, sorry) Kucinich's idea about bombing Mecca and Medina.

I did not say that a religious president IS less likely to be involved in scandal - rather, that I would perceive one to be - as I think the majority of the population would (considering the majority is Christian...) Objectively, there probably isn't any real basis for supposing that other than social conditioning, but I believe it still holds for the majority of Americans.

I feel like you are arguing that progress in environment, drugs, terror, and homosexuals is mutually exclusive to a religious president. These are important issues, yes, but they are not mutually exclusive with religion. Consider - we have made progress in these areas in the past, but we have always had religious presidents. Therefore, they cannot be entirely mutually exclusive.

In politics there are necessarily two sets of people - winners and losers. In this case, I think what we're looking at is that Christianity has traditionally been the political winner, and non-Christians are generally the losers. But the United States is mostly Christian, so this makes perfect sense in the end. A Christian president might not HELP the country in the ares you mention - but I don't think it's a given that a Christian president will HURT the country either.

To more directly answer your actual topic... I don't believe a religious president is the worst thing for this country - a president with extreme religious beliefs would be bad. But moderate religiosity is not an issue in the presidency - never has been historically, and probably never will.
Debate Round No. 2
Rob1Billion

Pro

So you want to link "social acceptability" with morality. Again, we are going to disagree on how we define this concept. I believe in absolute morality. In the past, especially in regards to superstitious religious beliefs, people were able to perform immorally in a socially justified way, simply because it was accepted by their religion. Witch burning, crusades, religious persecution, etc. were all justified socially, but are still inherently immoral. Your approach to morality is wrong in my eyes, because it depends on what other people think morality ought to be; I believe that something that is unjust is absolutely wrong no matter what other people think about it. In fact, with your definition, there is really no point in us having this discussion at all because you would just lay down and accept the norm. I, on the other hand, see injustice in our government and seek to change it. The four laws I presented last round are good examples of this.

1) you have conceded that sodomy laws are unconstitutional, and that is good because so has our supreme court. These laws are not still in effect, but I point them out because they are INCREDIBLY unjust, and they have only very recently been dismantled.

2) gay marriage - yes, tax laws are a very good point. By civil unions/marriage not being defined as a man and a woman, it qould seem to open up the potential for abuse by people who seek to take advantage of the system. However, I don't see how the system is not already ripe for the taking as it is. A man and a woman can abuse the system in the same way that two men can. Furthermore, who do you define as "evading tax laws", and who do you define as not? How can you say that ANY two people who want to start a life/family and get a tax break to help them live the American dream is abusing the system? In strict Christian terms, people are in the wrong if they have premarital sex or marry a non-Christian, so obviously Christian concerns must be pushed to the side. This happens to be the case WHENEVER Christian values come into contradiction with law or science: THEY MUST BE DISCARDED, in the spirit of justice and morality. The Christian belief system is a great system to follow on a personal level, to achieve personal results, but you CANNOT FORCE IT ON THE POPULACE. This ALWAYS results in injustice. The fact is that religious politicians, like Huckabee, DISAGREE with me on these points. Huckabee says "I'm not trying to push my religion down anybody's throat..." that is complete nonsense. Huckabee is overwhelmingly likely to promote pro-Christian legislation that will negatively affect the civil rights of non-christians. I will provide an example in #3.

3) My point is that Christians are generally in favor of the war on drugs, and specifically, Huckabee has announced on youtube (type in "Huckabee marijuana" in the youtube search engine to see for yourself) that he will continue the raids on terminally ill cancer patients who smoke marijuana to ease their pain. Your arguments against marijuana are very weak. Potential to abuse marijuana? What in God's name do you mean by that? How can you "abuse" marijuana? I've smoked as much as anyone and I haven't found a way yet!! How can you tell me that laws that put marijuana users in jail are justified, based on this? You actually think that it is morally acceptable for the man in my example to go to jail? Maybe you will retract your argument, and say that you simply said it is the acceptably legal thing to do. It IS legal, and that is my whole point in this debate! It is legal, yet unjust! And Huckabee will absolutely continue this grave injustice, because Christian/Republican family values dictate that smoking weed is immoral and should remain illegal. This demonstrates my thesis with great momentum.
You think that a man smoking weed in his house, who lets the smell get out, is equivalent to firing off a gun? I see that your definition of morality, based on social acceptance, is twisting your grip on the very essence of the word. I STRONGLY suggest that, in the future, you forget what "everybody else is doing", and concentrate on the pure meaning of morality. I can tell that you are smarter than this, and I hope you will take my advice. Again, I expect you to say "I only meant that it was illegal, which it IS". By saying this, you are providing evidence for my thesis, which is that "A religious president like Huckabee is the worst thing for this country right now." You equate smoking weed to firing off a gun, which is obviously not a good moral comparison, but only a legal comparison. The fact that you can make this legal comparison means something is wrong, and a president like Huckabee will only exacerbate the situation.

4) Hussein was a terrible dictator? Why? He HATED terrorists, and he would KILL them on sight! Now we have created a breeding ground for terrorism. What crimes did he perpetrate? Your definition of morality dictates that if it is socially acceptable, than it is OK! I'm sure Hussein was doing just fine then, if you factor in the laws and customs of his own country. Of course, my definition of morality would judge him differently, but that is not relevent here. Yes, we agree that the reasons leading in to Iraq were BS, but I recognize that the reasons for staying are the same BS. That civil war is going to be fought and for some reason we are not letting it happen. It sounds good to actually pretend like we care about the region erupting in war, but that is only a cover. We are over there right now because we believe they have archaic religous beliefs and we need to police them! It's not much different than the guy smoking weed in his house, and the officer bursting in and hauling him off to jail. In both cases, we have judged them to be morally wrong, from a Christian perspective, and have acted as if this perspective is absolute. We then take action, even though our constitution does not grant us the authority to do so, and create injustice in the process. Again, I believe Huckabee, being a powerful religious politician, will further exacerbate these situations.

I will forget you mentioned that a Christian president will be less likely to be involved in a scandal.

You are starting to slip up, at the end of your argument. Allow me to introduce you to a man called Ronald Reagan. Once upon a time, we had a very powerful environmental movement. It started gaining a lot of speed in the 1970's, until Reagan took power in 1980. Reagan took the progress we made in the seventies, and dismantled it piece by piece. In my Conservation of Natural Resources Class, Reagan was required reading because of the environmental policies that he destroyed. I will look for my textbook from the class and leave some more specific examples in the comments section below, as you probably are not aware of his legacy. At any rate, he was considered the worst president ever from an environmental perspective, and was once quoted as saying that "trees cause pollution".

To conclude my argument, Mike Huckabee is a powerful religious politician. I recognize that he *just might* use his religion as a tool to mold his policy-maiking decisions, and I think that our society has sustained enough damage to civil rights by people who act in the best interests of Christianity, and not the best interests of society as a whole. In particular, I believe that people who are struggling with drug addictions, homosexuals, and pregnant women have seen their civil liberties jeopardized by religious politicians. My opponents argument asserts that, since most people in the US are Christian, then how can we be alarmed that there is so many laws in our books based on Christianity? I think that this is a good observation, that explains why things are the way they are, but it doesn't do anything to say why we shouldn't be holding our standards a little higher.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Perhaps it was an error on my part to try to provide social acceptability as another means of evaluating a situation. Let me put forth a situation that I believe better represents what I mean...

The 2nd Amendment reads thus: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." In the time that it was written, a militia would have been considered as such - "The entire able-bodied male (and perhaps female) population of a community, town, county, or state, available to be called to arms." Which is indeed what was happening during the revolutionary war. Therefore, by the standards in place when the law was written, I am part of a militia. But let us suppose I am a member of the National Guard - a "well-regulated" militia. Therefore, there is NOTHING that can infringe my right to bear arms. By the terms of this law, I should be allowed to keep a nuclear bomb in my basement.

This is, of course, socially unacceptable. By your definition, it would be immoral for me to be prohibited from keeping the bomb, because it would infringe my rights and create an unjust state of living. Now, it is unETHICAL for me to keep a bomb because of the fact that it could go off accidentally and destroy an entire city.

I believe I have shown a distinction here between morality, ethics, and social acceptability. Morality being that which defines a just state, ethics being that which defines proper conduct, and social acceptability being that which defines a majority-accepted state - or social acceptability = social contract.

1) We shall dispense with the case of sodomy - we are in agreement in this case for the most part. I would favor the following definition of sodomy: "Any of various forms of sexual intercourse held to be unnatural or abnormal, especially anal intercourse or bestiality." In this case, the same laws regarding sodomy would probably apply to bestiality - which is an entirely different debate concerning the animals' right to not be violated. (Baaa!!)

2) I think we agree here that a clear definition of both the tax law and what constitutes evasion is necessary. True, a man and a woman could do this, but I believe that is far less likely than for two members of the same sex. For example - take a man's point of view. I don't think the tax break is worth living with a woman who I don't love. But I would certainly apply for a tax break living with one of my current roommates. The point is that there's no way to tell if two people are LIVING the American Dream or CHEATING the American Dream.

3) The abuse of marijuana would refer (reefer?) to it's potential as a gateway drug. While you yourself might not abuse marijuana, it IS abused by some. Granted the historical reasons for illegalizing marijuana are not particularly compelling... However, the effects of marijuana make it dangerous if presented to society. Use of a gateway drug CAN (not does...) lead to the use of other, more dangerous drugs - heroin or cocaine are drugs that sometimes make a user a danger to others. If illegalizing marijuana creates fewer cocaine users (I really don't know if that's the case or not) then isn't that a benefit to society? A man would not be capable of safely driving a car while high. Should the officer in your example come into the man's home and take his keys until he isn't high anymore? The laws are not in place to unjustly punish people - they're in place to protect the rest of society. It's the same as the case where the one kid talks in class and gets recess taken away for everyone. Because the potential for societal harm exists, the society must protect itself, not the individual. This is the heart of social contract - and I believe that by your definition of morality, social contract can be found to be just.

4) By your own definition of morality - Hussein was immoral - how can the idea that laws in the US are unjust for things like smoking marijuana POSSIBLY be construed to mean that Hussein was not unjust in his laws and practices?!? His practices in Iraq weren't even socially acceptable as you misunderstood my definition to be (albeit my fault there...) - they were only acceptable to those with power, which was not society. I'm not sure where this comes from: "We are over there right now because we believe they have archaic religious beliefs and we need to police them! It's not much different than the guy smoking weed in his house, and the officer bursting in and hauling him off to jail." That's an assumption that I believe is not warranted - we would do the same thing if this situation of this scale were talking place among other Christians. In the case of the man in his house, when he takes place in an activity that is known to be potentially dangerous to society, he gives up some of his right to freedom to the judgment of society.

"I will forget you mentioned that a Christian president will be less likely to be involved in a scandal." Here you are still twisting my words... I believe a religious president will be less likely TO BE PERCEIVED as possibly being in a scandal.

As for Reagan... let's take a closer look at what he actually said... not that "trees cause pollution" - but that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do" - which, as it turns out is true - "Because the eminent Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, has just reported in Nature magazine that plants, trees, forests, emit 10 to 30 percent of the methane gas into the atmosphere." So I think a more in-depth look at this is needed before presenting it in a debate about religious presidents...

Huckabee is not inherently powerful because of his religious background. Actually, with him being Southern Baptist, we might expect much of his religious sway to be lost on a nation that is nearly 80% Christian, but where Baptists (general Baptist, not S. Baptist) compromise less than 25% of that. Baptists as a whole are less than 18% of the United States Population. Hardly a majority, or even a plurality. For religious views to have any weight at all, they must agree with a majority of the nation or else they will be shot down.

I think the reference you made (or so I interpret it) to abortion in your closing paragraph is unfounded - seems to me that the current law making abortion legal in the US is contrary to Christian beliefs - why else would thousands of them gather in DC every year for the Right to Life March?

People struggling with drug addiction? Again - where potential for societal harm exists (causing an unjust state to society) the individual must either sacrifice freedom to judgment by society or leave the society. There's nothing immoral with an island of druggies who are stoned 24/7 - I just don't want it in my backyard. Much of what you interpret as Christian influence may be the elitist NIMBY philosophy that the United States culture promotes - "We're too good for this - I won't have it - Not In My Back Yard."

Homosexuals... this is a tough case - In principle, I would tend to agree that they should have the right to be happy and create a life together. In this case, I believe that the problem is not with Christianity and its influence, but rather a flaw in the governmental system. If there was no tax benefit from being married - and individuals simply got taxed differently on joint property, then this probably would not be an issue.

Having a religious president for our 44th (?) president will not change things for the WORSE. It may not change them for the better either. I argue that there is nothing inherently bad about a religious president. We've had them in the past, and we're making progress - things used to be much worse from a religious persecution perspective (witch burning, racism, WASP philosophy, etc...). Our government is biased towards maintaining the status quo. And isn't that much better than a change for the WORSE? You decide.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rob1Billion 8 years ago
Rob1Billion
This one is going to turn around for me... you watch.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
man I got boot-stomped in this debate. I'm gonna have to start 7 or 8 new accounts and come in and vote for myself...
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
I like your definition of religion, farooq, because you say it includes that all other religions must be wrong. Doesn't that go to show how ignorant the very concept of religion is? All these different religions at each other's throats, insisting that THEY have the upper hand in knowing God!! My definition of religion is: superstitious philosophy. I am agnostic, because I note there is absolutely no scientific evidence of the existence of a God, or a lack thereof. Logical arguements that demonstrate God, including the enlightenment philosophers, are pretty pathetic to me, because they don't prove God at all. These philosophers were probably just scared of being drawn and quartered by Christians if they didn't prove God existed! I believe atheists are just the natural response to such a wave of theism, and I believe that theists, that spend SO much energy purveying their beliefs, create their own opposites, similar to Newtons third law. Racists create anti-racists, Christians create anti-Christians, and our efforts in the middle east create anti-americanism throughout the world. I have found that the only noble way to approach religion is saying "I don't know". And I honestly don't, which is the beautiful part of it. I can't think of one person I have ever met that doesn't tell me they have seen a ghost, they believe in god, or they believe in souls or spirits. I think that, since EVERYONE believes in something superstitious, that the true renegade argument is to say that "things are the way they are, and that is that". Why introduce concepts that have no basis in reason? If God gave us these senses, then he would be pretty disappointed in us for not appreciating the things we can experience with them, without feeling the need to introduce radical ideas for no reason. It's like recieving the ultimate gift, and then insisting that there must be more here...
Posted by Farooq 9 years ago
Farooq
After much deliberation I think the Con came up on top, though it's close. Great debating guys!
Posted by Farooq 9 years ago
Farooq
Why it you don't beleive an atheist can be religious... or theocratic for that matter (PRC? USSR? Third Reich?)? It is a spirutual philosphy in itself that believes itself to be right and all other religions wrong. That defines relgion.
Posted by Farooq 9 years ago
Farooq
By the way its spelled Farooq, with a "Q", not faroog
Posted by Farooq 9 years ago
Farooq
Actually not 100% of US presidents have professed Christianity, Jefferson was a Deist
Posted by KingYosef 9 years ago
KingYosef
as faroog said, very skilled
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 9 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
My apologies - you are correct - it was indeed Tancredo. I'm not sure where I pulled Kucinich from. He probably has some other strange ideas I disagree with, though. In any event, I'm sure there are Democratic candidates for president past and/or present with ridiculous religious ideas.

All in all, an excellent debate. Might have benefited from another round where we spent some time laying a more appropriate structure - I think we kind of deviated from the intended topic?

And I used all but something like 30 of my characters in the closing argument :)
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
I have a hard time believing that, too, but I didn't know for sure...
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