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comparative religion

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 30, 2007

The Washington Post reports-- and contributes to-- a lot of muttering about the fact the 5 Supreme Court justices who composed the majority in the partial-birth abortion case are all Catholics.

Is it dangerous for public figures to bring their religious beliefs into public life? Much chin-scratching on that issue, with a scholar named Mark Silk trying to find consensus:

Speaking generally rather than to the case at hand, Silk said Americans want balance in their public officials. "We want people of faith, but we don't want them making decisions based on their faith."

Thank you, Washington Post. Now we pick up the day's New York Times, noticing the front-page photo, above the fold, of a presidential candidate speaking in a church. The candidate, the caption notes, "cast his presidential campaign in biblical terms."

"It is difficult to tell," the Times story says, "whether [the candidate's] religious and political beliefs are fused or simply run parallel."

But oddly enough, the Times story carries not a single quote from a skeptic worrying about religious influence, or a scholar questioning whether it's proper for a politician to impose his personal beliefs on the public. When Barack Obama does it, it's OK.

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Show 11 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 03, 2007 12:04 AM ET USA

    The Times knows, and perhaps many in the pews know it's all for show. These churches and the welcome the pro-abortion politicians receive there are the political cover they want for their own agenda. I'm still waiting for Barack Obama to talk about how Christ changed his life, It's not that observers deny that Obama is Christian, it's that Obama himself never mentions any aspect of Christianity outside of its utility to the Democratic party. It's a tool to be used by cynical pols.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 10:19 PM ET USA

    I always ask: Why it is the Catholics, of all religions, that is allowed to be spit upon, and in return we always turn the other cheek? Hmm...maybe therein lies the answer..

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 7:31 PM ET USA

    "a lot of muttering... are all Catholics." In spite of the fact that this country is built on the foundation of "reformation theology" that is, what one could call "the theology of the individual," in spite of the fact of all the damage that defective Catholics like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry (God have mercy!) have done to the vision of the founding fathers..., I predict that one day because of this it will be written that Catholics saved this country! May God get the glory! Ave...

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 6:40 PM ET USA

    As far as I'm, concerned, the only politician worth considering is one who tells us what his/her religious beliefs are and has a track record of voting in concert with those religious beliefs. If anyone finds such a person who is running for President in the 2008 election please let me know. I think I know of one, but I'm still evaluating. Even those who come close to taking a moral stance generally cop out by saying "people should be free to choose" ....choose immorality?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 3:46 PM ET USA

    Keep in mind the unofficial slaogan of the NY Daily Tass; "All the news that's fit to tint."

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 11:40 AM ET USA

    I believe it was G.K. Chesterton who said something that seems appropriate to observe about the NY Times, Obama, probably most Protestants, many if not most Catholic politicians, and so many nominally Catholic institutions : When you study comparative religions you become comparatively religious.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 10:05 AM ET USA

    Kingship, Majesty, Magisterial, these are all foreign terms when comparatively linking today's religion (sacred as long as it is fair and balanced). Equal, no; Democracy, no--This is not faith, never was, and never will be. The good King, maybe. Faith is patriarchial, make no doubt. Yes, faith is a big tent, but, we in the litle seats He in the big one. Father, children; Shepherd, lambs. Faith follows. If we were to glorify Him rather than ourselves more, then perspectives could be corrected.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 10:00 AM ET USA

    There was a good essay in the Wall Street Journal opinion section about the left's attack of the justices. It is an engaging read.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 9:11 AM ET USA

    Of course you’re going to have problems when your religion is a marketing whore. But our politicians aren’t the only ones doing it. It has also crept its way into our “Catholic” colleges and universities, and, dare say, some pastoral, priestly, and episcopal (notice not Magisterial) policies and decisions. Heck, the whole “spirit of Vat II” is a way to market error and highjack religious sentiment and instinct with an undefined but influential Church “authority”. Where is humility before Truth?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 8:43 AM ET USA

    You know, I rather like Barack Obama. He and I agree on virtually nothing and, of course, he is pro-abortion, but at least when he speaks I don't hear the sneering, lying, holier than everyone sanctimony I hear from the other Democrat candidates. Sen. Obama apparently believes what he says and I believe he is an honest man. He is a breath of fresh air on the Democrat side.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 8:41 AM ET USA

    Could that possibly mean that the liberally-tainted media is guilty of hypocrisy--that decisions that may be based on the most intimate and profound religious values are suspect if they are done by conservatives who are also following the Constitution; but shallow religious bombast is perfectly fine if uttered in a cynical move to gain votes when pronounced by a liberal? That would make the media accomplices in mendacity.

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