Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: How Does Religion Influence Politics

"How Does Religion Influence Politics" is enlightening in some aspects. From now on, I will keep an open mind when listening to the ideas of  religious politicians or even  religious people that vocalize their political opinions. Certainly, not all religious folks in politics are nonsensical. There are some good apples within the bunch.   Sure I think that there are a great deal of religious crazies out there. There are people who want to blanket their ideas on the entire country, regardless of its heterogeneity. That will never change. They exist in every religious or even non-religious sect.

I am not oppose to religion. Politicians who promote policies based solely on religion, alienate much of  the public. By some folks standards, those who utilize religion for political gain, have not only corrupted their political affiliations, but the religious hierarchy. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum deepened this sort of sentiment when he campaigned for the 2012 presidency, throughout the Republican primaries. Santorum made it clear that Conservatives and right wingers were on the side of God, and those who were in political opposition, were wasteful and loose. Political arguments such as these are not simply divisive but demeaning towards those who are different. This sort of rhetoric is intolerable in a country that promotes democracy, equality and freedom. The Senator's controversial method rallied social Conservatives around him, but the thunder left him, just as quickly as he became the Republican  party's overnight sensation.

Not all religious people are destructive and attempting to place judgement on others. Nor are they all attempting to cast out evil and throw holy water on nonreligious people.There are some secular groups that lump all religious people in one group, as though all religious folks are all back-water, backward thinking, uneducated folk.  Paul Marshall gives an insightful statement, "The world is full of religious extremist who harm no one and make positive contributions in society; secular pundits would benefit from learning about these groups."(1)
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