Do Religion And Politics Go Hand In Hand? Of Course They Do! Princess J. Bolen
English Composition II
February 3, 2013
Do Religion And Politics Go Hand In Hand? Of Course They Do! Religion in politics has long been a taboo subject or elusive topic to most as they argue that they cannot cohesively coexist together when in all actuality they can and do coexist together. Religion and politics essentially belong together like mashed potatoes and gravy so to speak. However, all around the world the extent to which they coexist varies depending on the cultural influence as well as historical significance pertaining to their area.
Religion plays a huge role in American politics. During the 2012 election year people were polled on the importance of religion in their lives and 56 percent said that it is “very important in their lives.” (Miller) Religion plays a substantial role in politics -- from influencing how some politicians will cast their vote on certain issues to persuading voters to vote for one candidate or another. Although America prides itself on its religious diversity and separation of church and state however it is a prove fact that religion helps determine who a voter will cast their ballot for. A Gallup poll from June of 2012 discovered that 58 percent of Americans would vote for a Muslim candidate while only 54 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist candidate. When polled it also found that only 1 in 5 Americans would vote for a Mormon candidate which could have essentially cost Romney millions of votes due to his religious preference. Indeed we have seen religion play a very influential role in politics in 2012. Religion and politics were very closely tied together during the presidency of George Walker Bush. “In the eyes of a lot of people religion played a bigger role in government than usual during the presidency of George W. Bush. President Bush evoked God in his speeches more often than other presidents, stated in interviews that God advised him on certain actions and that he firmly believed that he was enacting God’s will as the chief executive of the United States.” (Oganesian) Even our Declaration of Independence closely ties religion and politics together with such statements as, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Notice that Creator is capitalized and undeniably it states that we are endowed certain unalienable rights from our Creator. This can either be someone’s higher power if they choose to call it by that name or simply it could be God. Does religion truly belong in politics? This may very well be one of the toughest questions ever asked in this day and age. Religion delves on the belief in good and morality while politics are the workings and dealings of the administration of government. We are a Nation that was founded on Moral Values, Decency and the rule of law. God’s laws will always play a part in politics. If you examine our money even it says,” In God We Trust.” Truly separation of church and state will never be fully successful. When our President is sworn in to the oath of office even he has to swear on a Holy Bible. Is he not the highest ranking government official in our nation? Yet even he has to follow the rules and guidelines that deal with religion. Over and over again we see how closely religion and politics are actually entwined with one another. According to Djupe and Olson, psychological approaches to the study of religion and politics “view the key attachment point between religious faith and political commitments as the individual’s identification with religious reference groups” (2007:256). Leege and his colleagues noted that the psychological power of group identification is essential to religion’s effect on politics. For...
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