Should religious persons enter politics?Its my english debate competition!! please give me your ideas for it!

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I concur with all of the above and would like to make a point about recent statements made by a person who is running to be the Republican candidate for the presidency.  Herman Cain has publicly stated he would not have a person of the Islam faith in his administration.  (He has since back-pedaled a bit.)  If we support the proposition that religious people should not enter politics, Cain's position is a good example of the slippery slope we have stepped upon.  Because the overwhelming majority of people in this country are Christian, we are setting ourselves up for a policy of excluding only those "religious persons" who are not of the Christian faith.  Lest anyone find this unlikely, allow me to also note that Obama's paternal Islamic background played heavily in the last presidential campaign and that there have been stories reported in recent years of attempts to forbid a government official from being sworn in using the Koran.   Whether there have been similar attempts to insist upon a Protestant Bible as opposed to the Torah, I do not know, but I would not find this particularly surprising.  Nor would I find it surprising to learn that the Book of Mormon or a Hindu holy book had been or will be problematic.  Once we exclude people on a religious basis, we will be more free to exclude some people on a religious basis. The Constitution is quite clear on the matter.  If we are to be allowed to freely practice our various religions, exclusion from complete participation in government is simply incompatible.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Any number of religious people have been involved in politics historically: Cardinal Richlieu, Cardinal Wolsey, to name two. President Jimmy Carter was noted as a born again Christian, a label he wore proudly. His effectiveness as President might be arguable; but no one ever questioned his integrity or character, which are also important in public office. Any number of ministers, priests, etc. have served in Congress and state legislatures and done so admirably. Christians in particular live by a code that requires them to do good things; what better place to do so than in government?

The one admonition would be that of Jesus when he said:

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; but unto God the things that are God's.

A religious figure in politics would need to be abundantly careful that he did not allow his religious position to unduly influence his secular position; otherwise, being a religious person is clearly not a conflict of interest.

dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Statisitics in the United States suggest that the majority of Americans do identify themselves with a religious organization. Therfore, it is logical that members of the government recognize religion in their private lives. To embrace a religious belief has no bearing on the government policy, the separation of church and state protects the line in this case between one running for political office and his or her desire if any to impose their religious beliefs upon the people.

the previous post is not entirely correct because it omitted...The U.S. House of Representatives which occupy 435 Congressional seats in Washington. Among them there are a number of Jewish representatives as well as 2 Buddahists and 2 Muslims.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Many politicians consider themselves to be religious. I don't think religion excludes you from being involved in politics. Often, our ideas are shaped by our religious beliefs. That may drive a politician to vote one way over another, but that doesn't necessarily make them an ineffective politician. Our politicians are supposed to represent us, their constituents. We vote based on who we think will best represent us. Sometimes religion effects this decision. Someone might vote for a politician who seems to agree with their personal religious convictions. Of course, as was stated above, we do have separation of church and state in this country.
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not see any reason why religious people should not enter politics.  There is nothing inherently evil about politics that would make it an improper venue for religious people.  On the contrary, most religions are at least partly concerned with doing good to other people and improving the society in which you live.  These are goals that an be pursued through political action.  For this reason, it is important that religious people should enter politics.

schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Our  country was founded on religious freedom. Many people came here to escape religious persecution.  All of the documents setting the fundamental rights of the people of this country use the word "God" in them.  To state that someone who is religious could not run for President would be a slap in the face to our founding fathers.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since we have religious freedom, religion should not impact whether or not a person can run for politics.  Yes, a candidate's values will be influenced by religion.  That does not mean they are not good values.  We need to respect a candidate's ideas and platform, not be concerned with his religion.

discussion1984 | Student

No. That's because homosexuals, brown people, and women shouldn't either. Jajajajajaja.

anny-cute | Student

I know every person has equal rights to go for politics whether religious or not but i dont think religious people should be going in politics. When religious people start going into politics, they start mixing "God" into politics which is an insult to religion itself. The people become fixed in a dilemma which is totally playng against the rules. Anyways in some religions politics and things associated with it lilke corruption are considered dreadfull sins, hence mixing two of them is not a good idea.

jenniferhong | Student

Any person has his right to enter politics, no matter he is a religious person or not. There is no discrimination.

frizzyperm | Student

Do you know how many senators and govenors there are who say they aren't christian?... One. (Pete Stark (D-CA).

Do you know how many have openly stated that they are Christian? All the rest.

That is an exclusive lock out for one religion. Yet all the above answers fail to mention that every politician and every President in this country publicly states to be a dedicated Christian.

The question for this thread is

Should religious persons enter politics?

The only sane answer is; currently in America the only group allowed to enter politics are Christians, because they hold every seat in Washington.

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