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Politics and Religion
Posted: 11 November 2007 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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HappyHumanist - 08 November 2007 05:12 PM

Thank you, all!!  It’s been a weird two days.  My mother asked me what I’ll do at the “swearing-in”.  I told her my plans, and that I do not have to “swear”, I can legally “affirm”.  And Vanessa, give it a go!  Send me a private message if you want to communicate off the boards. Linda

Congratulations!  I look forward to hearing more about how you balance your humanistic views with others who may bring a more religious bent to their positions.  It’s interesting how now that I’m becoming more of a skeptic, I am seeing religious beliefs everywhere.  Maybe it’s just the “seeking to confirm” philosophy espoused by the “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” book, but I remember when I was pregnant that I felt like I was seeing pregnant women everywhere I went!  I’m starting my foray into local politics by joining an advisory council on childcare issues and already we’re hearing from church groups who want city subsidies to host childcare centers onsite.  The discussions we have about accessibility and affordability of childcare seem to bring up moral questions of what we as a community value and it seems that whenever those moral questions emerge, religious viewpoints emerge alongside them.  Throwing out “separation of church and state” can’t be the only good argument here.  Anyone want to chime in?

Vanessa

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Posted: 11 November 2007 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Well, of course there’s no separation of values and state. We make things illegal, create incentives for other things, etc based on what we as a community value. And for most Americans religion plays a role in justifying at least, though I doubt really in determining, these values. The issue is that the state cannot privilege one set of religious values over another. In practice, it’s not always easy to know where to draw that line, but public funding childcare provided by religious institutions seems a great way to subsidize subtle indoctrination, so I’d be inclined to think that would crosses the line. I think separation of church and state is a powerful value, but it does need to be sold to the religious as more than just protection from religion. Reminding them it was originally intended to protect religious people from being forced into a dominant state religious system is never a bad idea.

On the other hand, secular and religious people often share many values, even if the source or rationale given for them is different. I’ve done community work with Catholic organizations in Mexico and not felt any real conflict. I would think that it would be easier in many ways for a secularist to work with people of faith because if the ideas are good we don’t care where they come from. It’s the religious who seem to get hung up on the idea that good ideas or values can’t exist without religion as the source.

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Posted: 11 November 2007 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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HappyHumanist - 07 November 2007 12:23 PM

I WON!!!!

I thought some here would like to know that I won my seat on Council!

So, in January, I will affirm an oath of office, either not placing my hand on anything, or else the NJ State constitution.  And so help me nothing!  There is a possibility that a former governor will “swear” me in.  Not confirmed, but when I met him (a friend of a good friend), he volunteered that he would do it.  I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to all here for their well-wishes and great advice.

Now, back to the debate!

Congrats!  smile

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 11 November 2007 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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The discussions we have about accessibility and affordability of childcare seem to bring up moral questions of what we as a community value and it seems that whenever those moral questions emerge, religious viewpoints emerge alongside them. Throwing out “separation of church and state” can’t be the only good argument here. Anyone want to chime in?

If the children truly come first, then using tax dollars to provide secular childcare in a non-religious location should not be an issue.  But if it is to be at a Baptist church, for example, it infers Catholics, Jews and non-religious people are not welcome.  If it is at a synagogue, etc., etc.  If tax dollars are given to any single religion, it infers special treatment.  That’s not what our country is about.  If they want tax dollars to promote religion, then they are placing care of the children second.

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“If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another… after the war is on.” - “Fighting Bob” La Follette

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