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Truth is Powerful

John W. Ray: When religion and politics mix both are harmed

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For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? St. Paul

Because the founders of the American nation were concerned that established religion was inimical to democracy, the founders were not only concerned about freedom of religion but also freedom from religion. We have seen how right they were in our current politics. We have a Supreme Court that imposes its religious views on all women’s ability to control their own bodies. We have attempts by legislators to enact what would amount to a Christian sharia in the blending of religious doctrine and public law. When it comes to personal, private issues related to women, the LGTBQ community, ethnic and racial minorities and public values in general, they want to impose a pernicious uniformity on society based on their Christian religions. What the founders dreaded is coming true today — religious dogma permeates politics. The founders’ wisdom remains rock solid — institutional religion and democratic politics don’t mix.

One of the hallmarks of countries high on the Index of Democracy is that they are not religious. Religious countries generally score low on democracy. Is there a causal relationship? Yes, because if one compares the basic democratic values to […]

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