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To what extent has the Republican Party become a religious organisation?To what degree...

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jillyfish | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 21, 2011 at 6:26 AM via web

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To what extent has the Republican Party become a religious organisation?

To what degree has the Republican party become a religiously motivated organisation? Do you see them becoming more or less theocratic in the future? Do the religious conservative members of the GOP now outweigh the fiscal conservative members. What is the long-term agenda for these religious politicians? How will the church/state barrier affect their goals?

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 22, 2011 at 12:34 AM (Answer #2)

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I do agree that the Republican party has become more religiously motivated lately.  Perhaps the tea party movement especially.  Although for me personally, I think some of their ideals go against the religion I grew up with.  They do seem to push their ideas with claims of religious ties though.  Honestly, I think a lot of their ties to religion are simply an effort to gain votes rather than a true ideological stance, but that's just my personal opinion.

While we do have separation of church and state, I don't think the ideals gleaned from religion can be kept out of politics.  For instance, some people feel that the laws surrounding things like abortion are both a political and a religious issue.  Many politicians site religious sources to explain their convictions in this area.  I don't think that the separation of church and state posses much of a barrier when it comes to this type of politics.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 22, 2011 at 2:40 AM (Answer #3)

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I don't think it's quite fair to say that any more than it is fair to say the Democrats are a party of nonbelievers.  I think that the GOP is a party of social conservatives and that social conservatives tend often to be religious.  So I would say that it's an organization made up of many people who are religious and want their values reflected in the laws.

I think one thing that is important to note is that it is only the really big issues (which don't really need to be seen as purely religious) on which the GOP acts that way.  They are against gay marriage and abortion, but you can be against those (especially abortion) without being religious.  On the other hand, the GOP is not really trying to push a complete religious agenda on the nation.  They're not trying to make women submit to their husbands the way the Southern Baptists want, for example.

I'm no Republican, but I think that the fears of them creating a theocracy are overblown.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM (Answer #4)

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I actually think that Republicans have moved slightly away from religious ideology as of late. Because of the economy, many conservatives seem willing to vote for someone who shares their fiscal perspective but perhaps not their religious views. For the upcoming Presidential election--if you have seen any of the GOP debates--the standard GOP questions about abortion and gay marriage have played a miniscule part. The majority of the questions are based on jobs, taxes, national security, and immigration--not religious issues.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM (Answer #5)

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It's not exactly that the Republican party has become a religious organization, but they do have a conservative Chrisian base that they cater to more and more. I'd argue that the Tea Party is a more influential movement at this time, and their main war cry is fiscal conservatism.
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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2011 at 8:27 PM (Answer #6)

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Well, certainly the Republican party contains some very famous politicans who have gained their fame in part because of their faith and the way the talk about it and the "brand" of Christianity that they ascribe to. Let us remember that the Republican party does traditionally cater towards conservative Christians in the States, and therefore we need to remember the importance of presenting a clean Christian image because of this.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted September 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM (Answer #7)

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Based on the definition of organization, "A group of persons organized for a particular purpose" (American Heritage Dictionary), I think Republicans would denounce the overt suggestion that the Republican Party has become--or is becoming--a religious organization. This is because they are a political organization. True, their constituency has a large percentage of religious adherents, but so does the Democratic Party. The difference is between what (1) their religious beliefs embrace and do not embrace and (2) how demonstrably outspoken they are. Recall that in the history of America, all political parties have had a strong religious base due to the nature of American immigration into the 20th century. A difference is apparent now in part because issues are more dramatic and so many Americans are less religious or embrace religions other than Christianity, thus a greater contrast is produced.

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