I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

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I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #1

Post by bluegreenearth »

We've all seen the bumper stickers: "I'm a Christian and I vote" or "I'm a Catholic and I vote" or other similar statements associating a religious identity with a political perspective. Do any of the theists who brandish these political statements ever take time to consider what is ultimately implied in those messages? When the political implication of such a message is acknowledged, it can be rewritten as follows: "I'm a theocrat and I vote." Before accusing that rephrased statement of being hyperbolic, recognize where a theocracy can be the only possible outcome when theocratic policies and politicians are granted that authority by the dominant religious majority who vote for them.

If the intention of this politically threatening message is to warn fellow citizens of someone's desire to have a particular religious doctrine imposed on everyone else by voting for policies and politicians that favor their theocratic ambitions, then these theists have seriously failed to comprehend how their religious freedom is contingent upon keeping church and state separate. What will it take to convince theists that they should be endorsing policies and political leaders that are more inclined to honor and respect the separation of church and state rather than pander to the theocratic ambitions of a dominant religious majority?

Obviously, from the theistic perspective, the difficulty resides with the fact that voting against a policy or candidate that seems to serve in their best interest is counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, anyone who values religious freedom needs to understand that it is sometimes necessary to vote against what you might perceive to be your own best interest for the sake of a maintaining a secular government. This is because religious freedom is only possible when the government and its representatives are prohibited from either endorsing or prohibiting a particular religious belief over any other religious belief or no religious belief.

Surprisingly, while a theocratic threat has always existed in America since its founding, it has never before received a sufficient amount of support from either political party to take root. This is because, until relatively recently, most politicians knew that for the government to legislate based on a theological perspective would be to open the door for future theocratic legislation which they couldn't guarantee would always be in line with their particular religious values. So, modern day politicians and their religious constituents who have theocratic ambitions would do well to consult the rationale of their predecessors who voted for bills and policies that didn't perverse the concept of religious freedom. What would it mean for religious freedom to have those secular laws and policies repealed or replaced by theocratic-leaning laws and policies that effectively function as an official government endorsement of a dominant religious tradition (i.e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blitz)? As the saying goes, "Be careful what you ask for." :no:

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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #11

Post by Purple Knight »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:48 pmI remain apolitical because I view taking part in politics incompatible with my relationship with God.
Were I religious, this would be my instinct as well. This struck a chord with me and I can completely understand it.

Yet... if you really and truly believe X is evil, then isn't fighting against X what you ought to do? Even if the only way to fight it is politics?

Either way there absolutely are some things that go on in the world that I consider evil and I couldn't bring myself to use the political machine to bring down the force of law on those things, even if I could. It seems seedy and nasty and distasteful and rubs me the wrong way. I can't think why though. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm just being emotional about this and that the moral people are the ones who push for their way at all costs, because their way is right and they know so.

Perhaps it's because I recognise the world where everybody just pushes their way as a nasty one I don't want to live in.

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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #12

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:05 am
JehovahsWitness wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:48 pmI remain apolitical because I view taking part in politics incompatible with my relationship with God.
Were I religious, this would be my instinct as well. This struck a chord with me and I can completely understand it.

Yet... if you really and truly believe X is evil, then isn't fighting against X what you ought to do? Even if the only way to fight it is politics?

Either way there absolutely are some things that go on in the world that I consider evil and I couldn't bring myself to use the political machine to bring down the force of law on those things, even if I could. It seems seedy and nasty and distasteful and rubs me the wrong way. I can't think why though. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm just being emotional about this and that the moral people are the ones who push for their way at all costs, because their way is right and they know so.

Perhaps it's because I recognise the world where everybody just pushes their way as a nasty one I don't want to live in.

Politics is but one cog in the wheel that is the the world system. We believe that system is indeed essentially EVIL because it is controlled by Satan the Devil. If you get a nasty feeling about the political system, its perhaps because you are subconsciously picking up the vibe of thee evil (one). While as Christians we Jehovah's Witnesses do not try to completely distance ourselves from the world "Amish style", we can and do refrain from taking sides on its political struggles for the following reasons:
1. we would have to become part of the politcal system to fight it from within.

2. It would serve to divided our unity international unity

3. we believe Jesus comand to be "no part of the world" prohibites being involved in its political controversies

4. We do not believe it would successfully result in lasting peace and security for all citizens

The above doesn't mean we remain passive in the face of evil, we actively campaign for our own "party". We have chosen theocratic rule and actively support our designated leader and his government. It is our way of "fighting the beast" and unlike Trump, our leader is sure to win and hold office for 1000 years.

Vivre le Royaume!!*



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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #13

Post by Tcg »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:55 am
Politics is but one cog in the wheel that is the the world system. We believe that system is indeed essentially EVIL because it is controlled by Satan the Devil. If you get a nasty feeling about the political system, its perhaps because you are subconsciously picking up the vibe of thee evil (one).
I often get a nasty feeling about certain religious systems. Of course I don't jump to the conclusion that a being we have no evidence for is responsible. Just as with politics, it is because of the humans involved in each and the propaganda they create to push their agendas.

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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #14

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Image

Like I Said . ..
JehovahsWitness wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:55 am
The above doesn't mean we remain passive in the face of evil, we actively campaign for our own "party". We have chosen theocratic rule and actively support our designated leader and his government. It is our way of "fighting the beast" and unlike Trump, our leader is sure to win and hold office for 1000 years.

Vivre le Royaume!!*



JW


*Long Live the Kingdom
It's not secret, we do campaign. Not just for a few months every four years, continously. We do support a government and we are not passive about it. Our "manifesto" is there in the bible for all to see. Our "agenda" is no secret, world domination for our king!




JW


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GOD'S KINGDOM, MILLENIAL RULE and ..POLITICAL NEUTRAITY
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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #15

Post by Tcg »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:16 pm
It's not secret, we do campaign. Not just for a few months every four years, continously. We do support a government and we are not passive about it. Our "manifesto" is there in the bible for all to see. Our "agenda" is no secret, world domination for our king!

JW
There is that well known story where the king paraded around in no clothes and his subjects pretended that there were.

In this case, the clothes have no king and those who fall for the story have to pretend that there is.


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #16

Post by Purple Knight »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:55 amPolitics is but one cog in the wheel that is the the world system. We believe that system is indeed essentially EVIL because it is controlled by Satan the Devil.

....

[We don't] remain passive in the face of evil, we actively campaign for our own "party". We have chosen theocratic rule and actively support our designated leader and his government. It is our way of "fighting the beast" and unlike Trump, our leader is sure to win and hold office for 1000 years.
But aren't you still handicapping yourself? Intellectually (to me) it's like pacifism, even if it doesn't go quite as far as pacifism. Call it handicappism. If you believe a sword is evil, you seem to understand that you can't let Swordy run amok stabbing people and you must do something to fight against him. But if you believe that you can only use, say, a butter knife, doesn't that have the same basic problem as pacifism?

I see politics everywhere and it disgusts me everywhere I see it. People cultivate relationships at work, power play against their competitors, build and use influence, and team up against the scapegoat, all instead of working. But I understand why this strategy is everywhere: It's the winning strategy in a competitive world. It's because people have figured out the "meta" of capitalism, and while nothing else about capitalism is evil, the metagame certainly is.

Sometimes the destructive strategy is objectively a winner, especially when its practitioners have infinite access to people who use the sustainable strategy and end up hurting themselves for the benefit of the destructive people.

Historically the answer to this has been equally nasty strategies such as racism and tribalism, groupthink, extreme in-group preference and isolation. The practitioners of the sustainable strategy would do everything they could to exclude the destructive strategy that would outcompete them (and then ruin the society the sustainable people created because they have no more sustainable people to leech benefit from as they outcompete and destroy them). As horrible as it is, it's generally worked. Religious communities have served this purpose too, but they're a double-edged sword as they're impotent to this purpose without power, and with power they tend to be as corrupt as any other large organisations with power. Jehovah's Witnesses might be kooky, but I seriously doubt they're corrupt. Compare that the the Catholic church. The glaring difference (okay, forgive my abductive reasoning) seems to be power. The less well-regarded a religion is, the nicer the people seem to be. Another example that pops into my head would be Mormons.

Big societies tend to crumble, and I think it's because they can no longer exclude the destructive superior competitors.

The only solution in my mind would be grudging on a mass scale, but that won't work if the society is so large as to foster anonymity.

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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #17

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:30 pmJehovah's Witnesses might be kooky, but I seriously doubt they're corrupt. Compare that the the Catholic church. The glaring difference (okay, forgive my abductive reasoning) seems to be power. The less well-regarded a religion is, the nicer the people seem to be. Another example that pops into my head would be Mormons.
I don't follow your analogy of fighting an EVIL sword with a butterknife. Jehovah's Witnesses are sometimes catagorized incorrectly'as "pacifists" but a pacifist believes ALL war is wrong and that is not our case. We simply believe Christians should not take sides in any kind of physical conflict or political controversies. We remain strictly neutral no matter what.


Still we do fight: our weapons, as the Apostle Paul wrote are spiritual, our struggle with the forces of darkness that rule this world. (I like to joke Jehovahs Witnesses are like Amish with attitude. Mormons in combat gear! You like many think of us as "kookie" , but spiritually speaking Jehovah's Witnesses are pretty much unstoppable.)

As for the world, the world system is utterly corrupt. While individuals, even in politics might be guided by fine morals and good intentions, more and more people are feeling the oppressive evil of the approaching post CODIV world. Those that really lead the world are extremely powerful and evil there is not point in waving a butterknife at them, they must be destroyed/killed/executed/wiped out. What's that line in the Kevin Costner movie "You can't reason with evil, son. Evil wants what it wants, and it won't stop until it's won or you kill it. ..".

There is no saving this system from within, there is no reform that will work....it has to to go. And I know just who has the power to do it.

JEHOVAHS WITNESS
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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #18

Post by Purple Knight »

Tcg wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:24 pmThere is that well known story where the king paraded around in no clothes and his subjects pretended that there were.

In this case, the clothes have no king and those who fall for the story have to pretend that there is.
If the king is a good king but doesn't exist, would you take him over the bad king that does exist?

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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #19

Post by Tcg »

Purple Knight wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:33 pm
Tcg wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:24 pmThere is that well known story where the king paraded around in no clothes and his subjects pretended that there were.

In this case, the clothes have no king and those who fall for the story have to pretend that there is.
If the king is a good king but doesn't exist, would you take him over the bad king that does exist?
If a king doesn't exist he can do nothing and therefore can't be either good or bad. Based on human history, I don't think a king is a good idea but I doubt many could be classified as totally bad. Just like politicians, most are a mixture of good and bad. The main advantage we have with politicians over imaginary kings is that they actually exist.


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Re: I'm a (insert religious identity here) and I vote... What's your point?

Post #20

Post by Purple Knight »

Tcg wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:59 pmIf a king doesn't exist he can do nothing and therefore can't be either good or bad.
If Donald Trump was a complete fabrication, but his handlers had managed to fool everyone with holograms, exactly how would that affect the last four years?

Doesn't Donald Trump still have a personality, ideology, and preferred policies, even if he's only a fictional character people think is real? Likewise doesn't Jesus or God have an established canon of preferences, in other words: Policies he would choose?

I had this discussion with someone as part of a musing about what would happen - what would be the right thing to do - if the People legitimately chose someone to rule them who was immediately killed, and whether a dead person could be the legitimate ruler of a country. It might have certain benefits because generally, everyone is going to have equal access to the established canon of this (former) person's personality and preferences, so instead of shysters reinterpreting the letter of the law and the game going to the selfish and clever even if we know the founders wouldn't have wanted it, the People could call BS on the reinterpretation, definitionalism, and nitpicking. No, So-and-So wouldn't have wanted that. In other words, it might be easier to dispute an obviously bad policy. There might be real benefits to being ruled by a fake person.

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