Why the relationship between religion and politics is more complicated than you think

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  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2018 12:50 p.m.

    @ArizonaBirdLady

    I understand your concerns regarding Trump
    Similarly: In the last presidential election I was "concerned and offended" by "the immoral, bigoted, vulgar" Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Trump was flawed, but ultimately preferable to a misogynist enabler.

    Since than I have been "totally disgusted by the behavior of" Hillary and the fact that she will not go away.

    So yes Trump is flawed, but the myopic belief that the alternative was/is somehow inherently better seems remarkably knee-jerk and anyone who reacts so violent to Trump by "voting for an entirely Democratic ticket", as if Hillary were truly a viable alternative or Trump-bad inherently makes democrats-good, seems to be motivated by something other than a noble sense of morality

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2018 12:34 p.m.

    @Karen R.

    "I agree that winning at any cost is not a good principle to follow. And I would argue that this is what white evangelicals are telling us their god decided to do."

    Do you mean like feminist diva Gloria Steinem writing an op-ed in the NYT supporting Bill Clinton despite the fact that she claimed to oppose everything Bill was accused of

    Or "tolerant liberal" women who hate Trump (such as Barbara Streisand) - but voted for Hillary; A woman who spent her entire adult life destroying the women her husband abused because they were a hindrance to her path to power.

    I find it fascinating how you and others criticize religious people for supporting a flawed leader - when in fact most of your heroes are worse and you only support them based on ideology (the exact same reason religious people are condemned for supporting Trump)

    Why is their hypocrisy and more offensive than yours?

    I have found SJW piety is more fervent and less tolerant than those they claim to despise.

    You are such a blatantly intelligent person - i am constantly surprised at the oblivious nature of your projections

  • Daniel L. Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2018 12:35 p.m.

    Great article and very thought provoking. Many of the comments reflect exactly what this article points out. People that are unwilling to reach out and work with others.

    I have found that placing one "RIGHT" or "ISSUE" above all others and using it as a measuring stick against other's behavior is not a very good way to judge others. Abortion may be an evil act, but remember the woman who was caught in adultery and presented to Christ for condemnation. Kindness and patience towards others, even those caught in the act of what may be evil - was perfectly modeled by the Savior.

    The religious community should be the most accepting. The most understanding. And the least willing to judge others for their problems. But the most willing to provide helping hands and kindness for those who are living a life in different circumstances than their own. Or who simply perhaps understand life and its purpose different than their own. Less divisive and more inclusive.

    It is what we have committed to as followers of Christ!

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    Nov. 5, 2018 12:36 p.m.

    ArizonaBirdlady: 'No, I don't totally subscribe to the Democratic platform. But as a member of the Church with a conscience, I cannot support a political party led by this POTUS. Say what you will about President Obama, but he deeply cared about people. This President does not.

    It disturbs me greatly that Americans are now so deeply divided. We no longer work to find solutions, but rather fight to prove that our positions are correct! The Republican Party needs to clean house, starting at the top.'

    The lack of seeing the irony here is almost disturbing. So, let me get this straight. We no longer find solutions, but rather fight to prove our positions are correct, so lets 'clean house' with the Republican party'. Huh, lets see, wait a minute!

    or

    You don't see the irony of the Democratic party supporting abortion on demand, but if, as an independent, my conscience won't allow me to support this national darkness because their leader 'cares'. Huh, lets see, wait a minute!

  • Steveweber Yuma, AZ
    Nov. 5, 2018 11:56 a.m.

    Bird Lady, you as a Democrat, now support killing the unborn which our president obviously fought against with Clinton. The economy is doing better now, but you want higher taxes to pay for so called global warming problems which you worry about. You want open boarders and SLC to become a sanctuary city. You are sad Trump made Israel the capital of Israel, the dems were very mad he did this. You support the impeachment of Trump, hate our new Supreme Court justice because you really believe he is a rapist. Shame on you. Apparently you dont need a job, but Americans do and Trump did create them.

  • NeilT Harrisville, UT
    Nov. 2, 2018 9:15 a.m.

    Arizona Bird Lady. I agree with you one hundred percent. I also voted for Evan McMullen. The hypocrisy in politics today is simply stunning. I am a registered Republican and support many conservative principles. I do not support Donald Trump and I never hated President Obama like so many LDS did. My oldest brother and wife are Democrats and my second brother is a staunch Republican and we get along just fine as a family. That is the way it should be. When President Faust was called to the first presidency he was asked about being a Democrat. His was response was something to the effect that the gospel transcends politics. I wish my fellow church members would lighten up on politics and be more inclusive of other members political beliefs. There are many members that are Democrat's including General Authorities and I am fine with that. I blame a lot of the political divisiveness on talk radio. Tune out Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity and tune in general conference.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Nov. 1, 2018 9:43 a.m.

    @Light and Liberty
    I am with you all the way.
    Some of us have been around long enough to have attended or read talks at BYU in March 1966 by two members of The Twelve:
    1) Marion G. Romney-Evils of Socialism
    2)Howard W. Hunter-Law of the Harvest
    Good reads even today.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Nov. 1, 2018 9:30 a.m.

    @amagnetick
    You know, even if I was so inclined, it would be impossible for me to leave my "political persuasions" at home because as a married gay man, conservatives have defined my *existence* as political. So my brother-in-law who (last I checked) is a Latter Day Saint, he can't even mention his married brother without getting "political".

    Put simply, when you define people's lives such that they're "political" no matter what they do, you take away the option to "leave the politics at home" for anyone that doesn't deny that those people exist.

    @the Deuce
    "As I read your comments and look around the world we live in, do you really want to take that bet that a God does not exist?"
    Sure, why not? There are hundreds of gods, from every part of the world. We have so many gods that we don't even remember all their names anymore. So if there are N gods that humans have worshipped throughout history, anyone worshipping a god today is worshipping 1 god†, and "betting" that N - 1 gods don't exist.

    So if you're already betting that N - 1 gods don't exist, is it really so much riskier to bet that N gods don't exist?
    ________
    †Assumed. Polytheism isn't popular anymore.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Nov. 1, 2018 5:04 a.m.

    @ Semi-Strong

    "The ultimate guide in most politics is what will win."

    I agree that winning at any cost is not a good principle to follow. And I would argue that this is what white evangelicals are telling us their god decided to do.

  • Dave M Louisville, KY
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:23 p.m.

    RG,

    I am aware that today's Democratic Party is far different than it was just a few decades ago.

    I am also aware that the Republican Party of today is far different than it was just a few decades ago.

    A pity on both counts.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:17 p.m.

    @ BobF 2012: Please don’t confuse the Lord’s Law of Consecration with socialism. They appear similar, superficially. But they are not. I’ll agree that a lot of people ought to be less greedy. But socialism requires force, consecration does not. Socialists believe in spreading other people’s wealth. That isn’t charity. It must be voluntary.

    @ semi-strong: “Presidents Hinckley and Faust were politically in different parties yet fully united in their love of the Gospel.” True, and a great example to us! But I must caution that Faust’s democratic party was far different than today’s democratic party. Back in the day, democrats did not accept gay marriage, many of them were pro-life, etc. They believed in debating issues. Nowadays disagreement on those issues will likely get you thrown out of the party, or heckled when dining out at a restaurant, and instead of debate, they just label you.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Oct. 31, 2018 1:01 p.m.

    Karen R.,

    Whether it be religion or principle, these should guide our political choices and not the other way around. The ultimate guide in most politics is what will win.

    I was wholly unaware of any political leanings in the Church when I joined. Since then I have known very good members in both parties (certainly more Rs than Ds but still both). I have served with folks to the right and left of me and this has not been a hindrance.

    I am, of course, aware of your doubts reference religion.

  • Susan Storm Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:46 p.m.

    In my own experience, the politics of the church in my home ward has created an environment where younger people are leaving in droves.

    I know many friends and neighbors whose children are leaving because they feel like they (and their more liberal views) don't belong. To me that is sad.

  • TeachyMcTeacherPants Sandy, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 12:42 p.m.

    Once politics and religion are intertwined, we have corrupted religion and it no longer can be a moral compass.

    We need to tread very carefully to avoid turning people away from religion altogether.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 31, 2018 10:47 a.m.

    Organized corporate religion is politics licensed as a non disclosure, non profit tax exempt competitive commercial business enterprise. It is the biggest competitive lucrative business in the world transacting in non material sales with no warranties, guarantees or recourse for false advertisement, discrimination, inducement or exploitation. For the well being of world peace and individual protection It needs to be taxed and regulated the same as other competitive commercial business.

  • a900rr St. George, UT
    Oct. 31, 2018 8:12 a.m.

    This reminds me of the allegory of the good and evil wolves.
    They represent our character and behavior.
    Which one wins? The one you feed.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 31, 2018 7:13 a.m.

    @ Semi-Strong

    "If we allow politics to be first in our lives, it becomes our god."

    This article implies, but doesn't explicitly tell us that research is finding a genetic component to political orientation. To me, this says our political orientation necessarily comes first and necessarily influences the religions we create.* It also explains religion-switching. Someone born with a strong genetic predisposition to a conservative view of the world isn't likely to ever feel entirely comfortable in a liberal religion and vice-versa.

    But generally I would agree that one's political orientation makes for a poor god. I would argue for principles, e.g., one that also appears have a genetic factor - the Golden Rule. Others, too, like honesty and fidelity to what is actually true, not to what one wishes were true (or what one needs to be true in order for one's religion to be true).

    *This is, of course, assuming the view that religions are man-made. Lots of evidence for this, plus those arguing that errors in doctrine or interpretation are simply reflective of human fallibility are tacitly admitting that human influence in the creation of religion can't be ruled out.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 3:00 p.m.

    ArizonaBirdLady: What do you do with those who didn't vote for Trump because he is " immoral, bigoted, vulgar"? Most didn't vote for him for being a saint? Just as many didn't vote for Clinton, Kennedy, LBJ, and a host of other presidents because they weren't a saint! The irony is watching some who voted for Clinton now not supporting Trump for the same standard they didn't apply toward Clinton (Kennedy, LBJ, etc.). I voted for Trump because I liked his business background, his commitment to placing a conservative or two on the supreme court, reducing regulation, trying to follow through on all the broken promises by political leaders in both parties. Yes, and some of them flat out lied! Has Trump lied? Did Obama Lie? I will let history and God be the judge. As for me, I just want them to move power away from Washington D.C. back to the states, stop spending (not happening with Trump either), get out of our lives, protect my rights, and let the states do their job, and stop letting the bureaucracy run our lives! Trump 2020!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 2:58 p.m.

    One of the basis of the authors reasoning is embedded with her own bias. She says, "If religious people want to have their voices heard in the public square … they need to rise above partisanship. " She is anti-religion. She does not say secularists, atheists, and agnostics, need to abandon their partisanship to be heard in the public sphere.

    She has begun here study with this biased idea, then sought to prove it with her arguments and surveys . If the premise is faulty her study and conclusions are faulty.

    She fails to tell her readers that atheists don't believe in god because of their politics, that drive them in that belief. And we see in the atheists statements they went that way because of their politics.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Oct. 30, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    P.S. No, I didn't vote for Trump (or for Hillary).

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 1:57 p.m.

    You'll never find me sitting on a pew with a bunch of trump admirers. Nothing shouts "hypocrisy" louder than trump's religious base in my opinion. Being known by the company one keeps has never meant more to me.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Oct. 30, 2018 1:47 p.m.

    To: Ranch - Here, UT
    Regarding your comments: “your god has done absolutely nothing. Nothing. To help humanity; we're far more equipped to handle our problems ourselves; god won't (can't) do a darn thing.”
    “Prove to me your god exists before you demand I follow its rules.”

    I am not associated with a particular religion. However, I am searching for truth. As I read your comments and look around the world we live in, do you really want to take that bet that a God does not exist?

  • TomFromCenterville Centerville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 1:24 p.m.

    "Our choice of a political party can go on to affect whether we return to faith or which house of worship we choose, Margolis said."

    It's unclear to me if this is actually what Margolis or her research claimed or just the DN interpretation, but I think this is both wrong and dangerous to perpetuate. We don't just choose a political party arbitrarily, and then that affects whether we're likely to be religious or not. We choose a political party based on values that are deeply ingrained, and those same values affect our religious decisions. That quote above is dangerously wrong because it can lead people to believe that they need to ensure they and their kids are/stay Republican so they'll stay religious. This belief could further lead to the poisonous and incorrect correlation between the Republican Party and the Church of Jesus Christ.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Oct. 30, 2018 1:08 p.m.

    BobF,
    Whatever our political differences may be, I welcome you as a member of the Church and brother in the gospel. As a lifelong active Republican, I have never presumed to tell anybody what theology, or what religious affiliation, one must embrace in order to be a Republican.

    Conversely, in nearly 50 years as an LDS church member, I have never presumed to tell any fellow church member which political party they must, or must not, join.

    With the majority of church members now living outside the USA, and scattered throughout scores of different countries, we should be VERY careful about assuming where they would fit on their respective political spectrums (spectra?). I am not aware that any studies have even been done regarding LDS political preferences in Japan, Brazil, France, India, Tahiti, South Africa, Mexico, Cambodia, or Kazakhstan.

  • agpond Saint George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 12:30 p.m.

    When a small voice within keeps reminding that vagrancy, handouts, abortion, and same sex marriage are not the intended purpose of life; there is a need to associate with, and receive support/assurance that your choices have overcome the inconsistencies of the world. If your religious affiliation provides this, then you have the power to naturalize that voice.

  • The Great Helmsman Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 12:21 p.m.

    The rock solid base of the Trumpian GOP are rural, older, blue collar, white Evangelicals with less than a college degree. They will not abandon The Nationalist for any reason.

    Honestly now, do you think that demographic is growing or shrinking?

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 12:01 p.m.

    It is simple, it is not complicated, religion and faith and community and family are more important. Governments come and go. And 2,000 years ago people chose to fear Rome more than miracles and heaven's help. They chose bondage over freedom, just because Rome could give you a pension. Be careful what you are signing up for. Increase of government in Europe, is directly related to decrease in faith and decrease in capitalism, speaking of the last 50 years. When the swine ran down the hill, in the New Testament, and died from demons overtaking them, the town asked the Lord to leave their area, He, the Lord, ruined their business, they thought; they put money and food over divine leadership. We need to think of the future and not just today.

  • CMTM , 00
    Oct. 30, 2018 11:53 a.m.

    RE: Ranch ” your god has done absolutely nothing. Nothing. To help humanity; we're far more equipped to handle our problems ourselves; god won't (can't) do a darn thing.”Wrong,

    The Salvation Army, William and Catherine Booth. Even when attacked by angry mobs, the Booths and their growing army preached "the power of the blood of Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit" to the destitute, desperate people unwelcome in the churches of 19th-century England .
    “ They dedicated their lives to God's service”

    During the Vietnam war we were guarding the perimeter of an airbase when we saw some Catholic nuns going up a hill to feed the starving Montagnards. They had been warned at the Orphanage not to come into the area. Many years later Via internet I was told that some time later that the 7 Nuns were killed by the VC.

    “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    Oct. 30, 2018 11:49 a.m.

    @Rita B - Herriman, UT

    So, it's those with a Republican bent that are driving away progressives/leftists from the Church, not other influences. Interesting perspective. I've seen exactly the opposite in meetings I've been in. Even though there aren't that many leftists that come to church, I've seen them spew their political rhetoric in Sacrament Meetings, Sunday School and other meetings. And to be honest I felt very uncomfortable with their comments. Is it OK with you that leftists can spout their political beliefs at Church while censoring those with "Republican ideals"? That's what you're suggesting in my opinion. Perhaps we should all leave our political persuasions at home when we attend Church.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Oct. 30, 2018 11:26 a.m.

    I think therefore I am as a human being I have the capacity to absorbed and analyze myriads of data that surrounds me and as such I come to various conclusions that are acceptable to me and the choices that I make it may not fit into your belief system but it works just fine for me you may reach your own conclusions on the information that is available to you I believe as I do
    because it makes cence to me

  • ArizonaBirdLady Green Valley, AZ
    Oct. 30, 2018 10:46 a.m.

    I am concerned and offended that this article is illustrated with several photos of the immoral, bigoted, vulgar President of the United States.

    I was raised as an Atheist by Democrats but at age 23 was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been active ever since. I am a temple-recommend holding member and support the General Authorities 100%.

    My husband was a Republican, and (on most issues), I also voted that way. But in 2016 I voted for Evan McMullin. This summer, totally disgusted by the behavior of President Trump and his cronies, I switched my party affiliation and have just sent in my mail-in ballot, voting for an entirely Democratic ticket.

    No, I don't totally subscribe to the Democratic platform. But as a member of the Church with a conscience, I cannot support a political party led by this POTUS. Say what you will about President Obama, but he deeply cared about people. This President does not.

    It disturbs me greatly that Americans are now so deeply divided. We no longer work to find solutions, but rather fight to prove that our positions are correct! The Republican Party needs to clean house, starting at the top.

  • Contemplator Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 10:36 a.m.

    I would be interested to see the connections between politics and religion extended to include scientific education/knowledge. To me these three aspects all influence each other. I used to attend a church which kept claiming that the earth is 6000 years old. It is difficult to put up with this level of ignorance over the long haul.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Oct. 30, 2018 10:14 a.m.

    If we allow politics to be first in our lives, it becomes our god.

    We will inevitably balk at decisions by Church leaders that seem too conservative or too liberal. Too Republican or too Democratic.

    Neither party fully contains nor fully opposes principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Presidents Hinckley and Faust were politically in different parties yet fully united in their love of the Gospel.

    That should be our standard and our goal.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:46 a.m.

    Around here, it seems that it's the other way around. People's religion affects their politics. Case in point, when then-apostle Ezra Taft Benson said (completely unofficially) that you can't be good LDS and be a Democrat. (I still wonder how he could look Hugh B. Brown in the eye after saying that!)

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:40 a.m.

    @Bloodhound;

    Your comment completely ignores the fact that religion solves no problems; your god has done absolutely nothing. Nothing. To help humanity; we're far more equipped to handle our problems ourselves; god won't (can't) do a darn thing.

    @New to Utah;

    The word you're looking for is: "indoctrination".

    @Thomas Jefferson;

    Additionally, you have to wonder why people will say that every other god is a mythological being except their own. Logically they all fall into the same category; , if one unproveable being is mythological then they all are.

    @MaxHeadroom;

    Prove to me your god exists before you demand I follow it's rules.

    @RiDal;

    If gov't should make no law regarding religion - that means yours too. Ergo, your (religious) views on SSM/abortion, etc. shouldn't be made into law as that violates the religious beliefs of others.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:40 a.m.

    Those who put politics above God usually find themselves without either in time. The reason is simple: Those who see politics as something to solve people's deepest yearnings will ultimately face the same decision similar to one of my favorite authors, Jack London. Suicide. There is no political philosophy that can match the power of the Jesus Christ in bringing peace, harmony, and love regardless of whether you are poor, rich, living on the street, or on the highest mountain top. Socialism has no connection with God. It is Anti-God. It survives only by compulsion, which leads to Communism, which has caused hundreds of millions of deaths.

  • kbkb27 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:26 a.m.

    "Similarly, Margolis worries that current trends of congregations becoming more politically homogenous may sabotage religion's ability to bring diverse people together".

    It is this last quote from the article that really stuck out to me. There is power in diversity and people with different ideas being able to come together to bring about good, to inspire and lift one another, to show a different perspective. Both major political parties in our county are corrupt, with many corrupt leaders, putting the interests of big business and greed above that of what is truly best for citizens. Neither party can claim any moral high-ground. The last two presidential candidate both appeared morally bankrupt. I truly wish that the feeling in my local congregation was more in line with what the church officially states, that principles compatible with the gospel can be found in various parties. Sometimes it feels like a one-party church and I think that is a hinderance to spreading the gospel throughout the world because this party does not represent the gospel very well, in my mind, and is not deserving of that kind of support.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:15 a.m.

    I have seen many people change their religious behavior and in some cases their religion itself because of politics. When they have a certain political belief (like abortion or any number of other socials issues) that conflicts with their religious beliefs, something has to change. Sometimes they change their politics but frequently they change their religion.

    This makes perfect sense.

  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:15 a.m.

    For many on the left, politics is a sort of messianic religion. Once they convert, many find they no longer need traditional religion. They believe they can solve all the world's wrongs here and now and will eventually create a utopia. However, two problems arise: One, people are unable to agree on what the utopia should look like; two, human nature gets in the way of creating any utopia. How does one avoid this problem? Go to Church and vote conservative.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:04 a.m.

    I think the politicization of religion is one of the reason people are leaving churches in droves.

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 9:03 a.m.

    "It's tricky to say something like your religion, which is premised on things like whether you'll go to heaven or hell, can be affected by the dirty, secular world of politics. It's counterintuitive"

    The adversary had that figured out a long time ago. That's why popular culture has completely engulfed our youth, drowning out what were formerly dominant influences. It also explains the importance of the Church's focus on home-centered scripture study.

    "May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."
    -- President Thomas S. Monson

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:53 a.m.

    If a bottle is empty, does it matter what the label is.

  • BobF2012 kitchener, 00
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    As both a Socialist, and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I see my religious and political beliefs in perfect harmony.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:27 a.m.

    No question that the election of Barack Obama the most progressive and liberal president in my lifetime influenced the younger generation. His academic and media supporters absolutely influenced my children to question Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints views on abortion, same sex marriage, gays and lesbians. Donald Trumps harsh critics are plentiful in academic leadership positions and certainly are influential on millennials. I’m impressed by the lowering of the age for missionary service which helps capture faithful young people and build their faith at a critical time.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:24 a.m.

    Cant speak for anyone else but I sure found this revealing:
    " In 2011, just 30 percent of white evangelicals believed an elected official who committed an immoral act in their personal life could still be an ethical leader, according to Public Religion Research Institute. By 2016, that figured jumped to 72 percent."

    I think it proves that even though the religious pretend their morality was 'given by god' the fact is religion is fluid and more related to politics than any other factor.

    Another area which is strange to see is how the religious right seems to hate 'the PC culture'. The venom which is spewed about being PC by the right seems so weird to me because I believe that being PC is simply following the golden rule.
    I often wonder what those simmering with contempt for it think being PC is?

    Never the less, after growing up in quite a religious family (LDS) what caused me to realize that all religions were wrong* (same thing Joseph Smith said) was reading the bible as an adult. Once you read the whole thing and put any thought into its composition I dont understand how any one could believe it came for any deity. I have been wondering that ever since.

    *made up

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:13 a.m.

    I'm 66 years old and finally had to submit my resignation from the Church formerly known as Mormon. Couldn't reconcile my beliefs with the Church's stand on many political issues.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:12 a.m.

    In 300 C.E. Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome. At that moment Christianity became a political tool of the power hungry and it has been so from then to now.

    The Evangelical Political Machine - and it’s religious allies - is a prime example of the politically powerful using religious imagery and fear to motivatate and manipulate voters. The enemies of the party become the enemies of god, and any politically motivated act or atrocity becomes god’s will.

    Constantine didn’t start the mix of politics and religion - that goes back to the dawn of time. He just added political power to the essential DNA of Christianity, and this mutation infects every branch and variation.

  • Rita B Herriman, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 8:00 a.m.

    When Republican ideals are preached as "gospel" during sacrament meeting or Sunday School, it is no wonder that progressives feel less welcome at church. Clearly many people are fed a steady daily diet of partisan news shows at home, but members of Christ's Church need to be careful not to bring divisive political rhetoric into our worship services. Jesus called us to "be one," and to "love one another," which is the opposite of the angry fear mongering promoted by many people in power today.

  • MaxHeadroom Ticonderoga, NY
    Oct. 30, 2018 7:26 a.m.

    Actually, I think it's less complicated than you think. The Progressives actively drive people away from religion. In contrast, Conservatives embrace people of faith. What is Stephen Hawking being quoted as saying in the news? Which US president sent a letter to the schools suggesting same sex bathrooms and showers? If you have a belief in a supreme being, and a God given set of rules, and one political party agrees with that, and another one does not, which will you chose? The Republicans, by and large still believe what they believed 50 years ago. The Democrats, seem to have "evolved" into embracing things their 50 year old political "ancestors" would have fought hard against. The schools we pay to educate our children, are now often being used to indoctrinate our children in the brave new progressive world. The political party I am immersed in, dictates none of my beliefs or actions. My beliefs determine what party I support, not visa versa.. Years ago, when I was a trustee of the local Methodist church, I regularly walked out on sermons. Had to. A wise man once said "Stand for Something". I do..

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Oct. 30, 2018 7:20 a.m.

    The interdependency of religion and politics is so obvious that it is hard to believe this is really "news" or even an area of academic study. Politics is about the direction and laws of a country. That means it is about what the people believe. What people believe is primarily "religion".
    In recent years, some secularists have tried to advance the notion that government should be completely divorced from religion.
    That is simply false.
    The wall that separates church and state is a "one-way wall". Government shall make no law regarding religion, but people have free expression of religion. So religious people are completely free to influence politics, laws, and government through promotion of their moral and ethical values.
    There simply is no right of "freedom *from* religion." You may wish to be free from religion, and find religious people "annoying" or "icky", but there really is no right to exclude them from political discourse or government.

  • UGradBYUfan Gilbert, AZ
    Oct. 30, 2018 5:59 a.m.

    In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I see it flowing both ways. I see older, more established members having their political views influenced by their faith and younger people leaving, or at least stepping back from their activity in the church because of their political views. For example, I noticed that many of the more established members becoming more recalcitrant about their views on abortion, following the lead of the evangelical Christian political views. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day , for as long as I can remember has taught that the choice to have an abortion, if a woman was raped or subject to incest, was a personal matter, based on personal revelation. But the Republican Party in Utah has been fighting to defund abortion clinics altogether, making it less likely for women that have been victims of sexual abuse to receive adequate medical care even if they have received revelation that an abortion is required.

    On the other hand, I see many young millennials leaving, or at least stepping back from their parents expectations of religious activity because of their lack of conviction to political practices that the Republican Party have adopted

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Oct. 29, 2018 11:06 p.m.

    Political questions are often, ultimately, moral questions or questions of value. It makes sense, then, that the interaction between politics and religion is often a two-way street, even if people don't consciously realize it.

    In my young adult life, in reaction against conservative/fundamentalist religious teachings, I drifted toward the liberal side of Christianity. I soon came to see, however, that many religious liberals associate their religion with liberal politics, presenting it as a "given." This was never explained to me. I saw what happens when religious denominations become heavily politicized to the point of losing credibility as a religious faith. Because I didn't "buy into" their political agenda, I eventually turned away from religion and came to regard myself as a secular, nonreligious Republican.
    One factor which attracted me toward the LDS church (some years later) was that I found the liberal religious teachings that I was looking for -- minus the liberal politics that I was not looking for.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Oct. 29, 2018 10:34 p.m.

    Religion is fundamentally and inescapably political, so this makes sense.