The Instigator
TdiroccoNHS
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
agendreaunhs
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Should religion play a role in government?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
agendreaunhs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,760 times Debate No: 39004
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

TdiroccoNHS

Con

I believe that government and religion should not mix. It is ok for religion to have an opinion in our government but it should not dominate our decisions. By allowing any form of religious belief to take charge in our choices, a bias is created. In the book When Religion and Politics Mix, Kathryn Gay states "Religion plays a much larger role in the U.S. election and government policies than most people think." It may seem like a significant statement saying that religion plays too big of a role in our elections, but when was the last time we had an agnostic president? Since the founding fathers, we have had a religious president. This is proved on the website called "Founding Fathers Religions" where it actually lists the religions of our founding fathers.
agendreaunhs

Pro

The United States was created with the idea that religion was essential to good government. In an article titled "Separation of church and state" Matthew Staver says, "On July 13, 1787, the Continental Congress established the Northwest ordinance" (Staver). The Northwest ordinance believed that Religion, Mortality, and Knowledge are the three key necessities to good government and the happiness of mankind, and should also be taught in schools (Cline). Good government includes beliefs and morals, which mainly come from religion. Our morals today are based upon the 10 commandments. Although they are not enforced as being catholic beliefs, they are the morals of many people in our society. "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" ... and so on. These commandments are morals of everyday people. Religion plays a role in everyone's lives, and in government, without people even knowing.
Debate Round No. 1
TdiroccoNHS

Con

That is true, however those basic morals are not the only thing religion has in government. Some of our recent decisions are based on religion such as abortion and marriage equality. Religion on its own as a belief can benefit using the morals you speak of to judge individual people and whether or not they are morally good. These morals in turn effect our government for if the majority of people believe in something and side to one thing, majority rule kicks in. In "When Religion and Politics mix", the first amendment is quoted directly. In our first amendment, it states we are to not have a national religion. Also, as well as religion having a massive say in our government, according to the IRS, churches do not get taxed! According to an article on patheos.com; It costs our country $71 billion to exempt religions from the tax pool. Religion plays a massive role and certain religions still manage to not pay while changing the outcome of a lot of federal decisions.
agendreaunhs

Pro

There is an old Arabian proverb: "If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow." This quote relates directly to the tax exemption in churches. One should, and always be able to practice religion free of any cost. In order to ensure that people can practice their religion freely, taxes should be exempt. "If the government is allowed to tax churches, the camel's nose is under the tent, and its body is sure to follow" (Stanley). Our government will not tax churches because it will no longer allow for people to practice their religion free of charge. Our pledge of allegience, as well as our currency, both say "In God we trust". Our country was built and founded on religion. The people who created our country fled England to escape from religious persecution. They wanted to have religion in their lives without the threat of being harassed, or in trouble. Keeping church and state seperate takes away the opportunity to publically practice a religion, whether it's at school or not, which should be allowed in our "free country" (Staver). Government officials should not make decisions based solely upon their religion, since not everyone has the same beliefs, but it should play a large role in their way of thinking and their morals.
Debate Round No. 2
TdiroccoNHS

Con

TdiroccoNHS forfeited this round.
agendreaunhs

Pro

The Founding Fathers called upon God for His providence and applied His principals when forming the Constitution of the United States of America. There are many examples of government officials and founding fathers using God as the source of their beliefs. George Washington said, "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor". Benjamin Franklin said "I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth " that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?" In addition, Thomas Jefferson said "The God Who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." Lastly, Alexander Hamilton said, "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power" (Leininger). In addition, the Declaration of Independence declared our rights that were given by God: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are our our roots of freedom that will be preserved by obedience (Moyers).
Debate Round No. 3
TdiroccoNHS

Con

According to a website called 'Founding Fathers Religions", 79% of the founding fathers believed in some form of Christianity. That may have been the majority, but only 1.9% of them believed in Catholicism, yet we still say we are a catholic nation. What I'm trying to say basically is that times have changed. More of the nation is turning a blind eye to religion. According to CNN at http://religion.blogs.cnn.com..., religion in general is slowly becoming less popular. 77% of surveyed Americans believe religion is losing it's influence. In fact more people prefer agnosticism over other religions. We are coming to a new age of reason with more religious beliefs being proved wrong. Religion should no longer be a reason to back a president in an election, or to make a decision in state or federal legislature.
agendreaunhs

Pro

Although some people are changing their religious beliefs and losing their faith, there are still many people in the world that still practice their faith strongly. On Datewise.org, I found that many people believe in the traditional religious practices that help promote stable families, marriage, respect for the law, and hard work. If religious people feel included they will be less likely to resent the state or feel picked on. This will encourage good relations between religions and governments (Religious Beliefs). To have religion and government involved with each other will best promote a good relationship. It is important for government officials to accept and make an effort to understand different religious beliefs to help support the minority religions. The Ahlquist v. Cranston trial is the one where the religious school prayer banner inside of Cranston West High school was forced to be removed. That banner should not have been taken down. In addition to the prayer being removed, the student council was also charged for the school color, mascot, and creed. The school creed and prayer were both a present from the graduating class of 1963 and they had a reason to be hanging upon the walls. Ahlquist was brave and courageous to speak up for her own beliefs, but legally I feel as though the school had the right to have this banner hanging upon their walls. The graduating class gave that to their school as a gift and a message to spread moral practices. The banner wrote:
"Our Heavenly Father.

Grant us each day the desire to do our best.
To grow mentally and morally as well as physically.
To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers.
To be honest with ourselves as well as with others.
Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win.
Teach us the value of true friendship.
Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

Amen.
"School Prayer, Cranston High School West" (Krause).
This banner was to spread moral ideas and promote a happy, respectful, and safe environment. Religion and government should mix. Keeping them separate is not allowing for our religious freedoms to flourish. After all, Our ancestors fled England due to religious persecution.
Debate Round No. 4
TdiroccoNHS

Con

TdiroccoNHS forfeited this round.
agendreaunhs

Pro

agendreaunhs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mysterious_Stranger 3 years ago
Mysterious_Stranger
TdiroccoNHSagendreaunhsTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: A good topic but a poor debate. Both pro and con forfeited and both sides arguments were poorly expressed. Con used one source as to my knowlage.