Should citizens be required to ignore their religious beliefs when voting?

Asked by: krantz
  • Yes they should.

    Obviously this would be almost impossible to enforce, but I believe that every citizen should have the personal obligation to keep their, and all, religious viewpoints out of the role they play in the development of our government. I believe that in order to vote, a voter must first show that they have a basic competency of the issues and the process. I also believe that the strong disregard for separation of church and state has caused the many perspectives that exist in our congress.

  • Seperation of church and state

    Are you kidding me? Its not a theocracy candidates shouldnt even be allowed to talk about religion. Also since the majority of the country we are talking about is christian this can lead to the oppression of minority groups and america is supposedly a land of equality. Religious rulers lead to horrible things take a history class religion has caused more death than almost anything else and you want it in government? Thats just plain stupid and why america wont ever be as equal just and diverse as it claims to be

  • Religion comes 1st

    Religion is the single most important thing in peoples lives. It usually gives them there morals, values, and ideologies. So, yes you should vote based on your beliefs. And don't give me that separation of church and state stuff. It isnt even in the constitution, and is totally misused iin its definition.

  • This is fascism

    If you think people shouldn't be able to vote based on their personal beliefs and convictions, you are a fascist. Why does it matter to you why someone votes the way they do? You have no more right to stop them than they have a right to stop you from voting.

    Posted by: TN05
  • They shouldn't vote solely because of religion.

    Voting for a particular candidate just because they share your religion is just as stupid as voting by party lines without doing research. People should be required to make intelligent decisions while voting, meaning that they can support their reasons for supporting a candidate, but should not be forced to abandon the principles they live by.

  • Silly, Silly, Silly Question

    You can no more keep your religious or any beliefs out your voting than you can stop yourself from breathing air or drinking water. Why do questions like this get posted?

    The First Amendment of the Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." That does not mean you as a voter can't vote based on your religious beliefs.

  • No, they should not.

    Religion plays a key part in how a person thinks and makes decisions throughout their life. If and what a person believes in reflects their inner self, and voters should not ignore that. The decision on who should run the country, and the decision for politicians on how to run the country should reflect their strongest moral and personal values. While logic and consideration of opposing viewpoints are absolutely necessary for a well-functioning political system, people should follow their heart when making decisions that could greatly impact current and future generations.

  • It would be rather hypocritical.

    I thought it was a liberal ideal to not allow anyone to control your beliefs and your actions. However, caving into peer pressure from society (ironically from liberals who urge people to be themselves) does just that. If you separate your beliefs from your actions, they aren't beliefs worth retaining.

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krantz says2013-04-04T04:00:53.067
I think that it would be beneficial for me to also provide a definition of "religious beliefs" in the context that it was used in the question.

Religious Belief - A belief that a person has, solely because they have been instructed to by their religion.

People have both moral beliefs and religious beliefs. Many times, their moral beliefs overlap with their religious beliefs. For example murder would normally be considered both a moral and religious belief. Moral, because the person simply feels wrong about another person being killed and religious because the person was told by their church that murder is against god's will. I want to make it very clear, that I am not trying to restrict "moral beliefs", even if they happen to be the same as the person's religious beliefs. The beliefs that I am recommending be regulated, for the purposes of this opinion column, are the beliefs that are clearly defined in their religion, but are uncontested by the person's core moral values. For example, if a Christian said, "I'm not really sure when life starts, but my church said that God would be upset with me if I don't vote Pro-Life.", I feel like that is a problem. My belief is that if that person is going to vote on an issue (abortion in this case), they should voted based off of their personal belief on when they think life begins. No one should ever vote a certain way because their church has told them to. (I have had a church tell me to do this before.) I am reasonable enough to understand that we would never really be able to enforce regulation like this, but I feel that every person has an obligation to develop their own personal perspective on issues before they vote on them.

Correct me if I am wrong, GWL-CPA, but what you were referring to in your vote comment was how someone would never be able to keep their "moral beliefs" out of voting. I agree with that and believe everyone is entitled to their moral opinion, but feel we need to eliminate, what I would call "blind morals". For example, if a person attended church one day and the pastor said that a particular congressman should not be voted for, because he was against proposition 8, and the person didn't even know what proposition 8 was, but really liked the congressman up to that point, do you feel the person should dismiss that congressman's candidacy or do you feel that the person has an obligation to personally evaluate proposition 8 first. I feel that people do have the capacity to "stop themselves" from blindly following the churches orders. Do you?

GWL-CPA says2013-04-04T14:51:46.080
You have got to be kidding. Moral beliefs and Religious beliefs. Moral beliefs and Religious beliefs go hand-and-hand. Most people learn their moral beliefs from the Church (e.g., thou shall not kill) or their parents who learned them from the church or the Bible or both.

You can't separate them. Now, as far as a religious leader (e.g., minister, priest, pastor, etc.) telling you to vote or not vote for something or someone, how do you stop that? You either accept what they are saying or you don't.

The Catholic Church used to insist that you only eat fish instead of red meat on Fridays. Many did only eat fish, many did not.

Was that blindly following the churches orders? Does anyone blindly follow any orders? If you are a devote Catholic, you believe in the the infallibility of the Church.

Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church".

Many followers of a religion (e.g., Catholicism) believe the Church is the truth. The doctrine of the infallibility of ecumenical councils states that solemn definitions of ecumenical councils, approved by the pope, which concern faith or morals, and to which the whole Church must adhere are infallible. Such decrees are often labeled as 'Canons' and they often have an attached anathema, a penalty of excommunication, against those who refuse to believe the teaching. The doctrine does not claim that every aspect of every ecumenical council is infallible.

In the Military you are trained to blindly follow orders, even at the risk of dying, e.g., the Battle of Hamburger Hill 1969 (Hill #937, named that because it was 937 meters above sea level). 72 American soldiers were killed in action and 372 were wounded in action. You blindly follow orders from your boss at work. As a child, you blindly follow the orders of your parents; hopefully when you become an adult, you make your own decisions, or do you really?

I have no idea how you folks think that you can stop religious folks from being influenced by their religious beliefs or by what the church leaders tell them to do.

Skinheads and Neo-Nazis have some very strange beliefs and follow blindly their leaders. How can you stop them from voting?

Both the Republican and Democratic parties support particular beliefs, If their followers vote party line, are they blindly following, or did they arrive at an informed opinion and chose to follow it. If their parents and their parent's parents voted party line, were they blindly following, or did they actually endorse that party's beliefs?

I hope you see that what you would like to see happen as concerns voting is an impossibility. You cannot remove a person's emotional bias, which is comprised of a myriad of beliefs based on a myriad of factors, which for some people involves a belief in church dogma.