Should Laws in a Democratic Country reflect religious beliefs or should separation apply?
A lot of people in the united states fall under the heading of generalized Christianity, and they vote based upon their own personal religious beliefs - sometimes to the detriment of others, as seen in the legal opposition of same-sex marriage. Should there be laws respecting religious beliefs and run the risk of laws based on a religion other than yours, or should laws for everyone made apart from any religious consideration, as the separation of church and state should dictate?
Isn't the point of a Democratic Republic to protect the minority from the whim/will of the majority?
The purpose of Democracy is to protect the rights of the individual and to protect the general welfare of the many. Sometimes, the two goals are in conflict.
in the example of same-sex marriage that I used in my question, the welfare of the many is not in question. No one is harmed by allowing another person to marry. It seems that the rights of the individuals is not being considered at all.
It is not the role of democratic society, to run around trying to please everyone, didn't Lincoln say something about pleasing some of the people some of the time, not being able to please all of the people, all of the time
Deciding on people's basic rights has nothing to do with pleasing or displeasing others.
I didn't say it had, you may intepret 'pleasing' in whichever way you please.
It may please a part of the community to pass certain legislation, the point is, it is likely to displease other parts of the community.
The sad truth is that most people in the United States don't know what they want, nor they understand the issues.
Laws by nature will reflect some religious beliefs.
Laws that make it illegal to kill another, steal from another, injure another, fail to take care of children, and not to abuse others all have a religious base. So if you are in a country where the laws do not reflect some basic beliefs, you are in a country where your safety is in danger, your possessions could be taken by another without consequence and children could be abuse without penalty..
So the short answer to your question is yes, laws in a Democratic country should reflect basic religious beliefs and in doing so, the practice of religion in and unto itself should not be hampered by the law. If a religion exists that goes against the basic Christian and Jewish commandment and similar beliefs of other faiths, then that situation will have to be determined by our civil laws regarding the rights of the individual, the rights of the group and the safety and welfare of all people. It is a tough line to walk and there will always be some degree of conflict.
and why do you think that murder, theft etc are religious based ideals? Those laws existed long before Judaism/Christianity ever entered the scene.
The question was about religious beliefs and the law. Even if those offenses existed before organized religion, they are recognized as religious principals and are the basic of modern law.
What makes these laws religious principles? Because they're included in various religious texts? It is simply good for society to not wantonly murder people. These are societal laws, not religious laws - regardless of where they appear.
That's fine, and you're certainly entitled to your opinion - but I'd like to know why you think they are solely religious laws - not laws that are overall good for society.
I never said that but you w
ant to deny
A lot of laws are found in multiple religions around the world, while a lot of secular countries have the same laws. What's the common thread? The fact that these laws promote societal health - not the fact that they appear in religious texts.
This piece was written a couple of years ago that looked deeply at the influence of Christianity on our founding in a historical sense.
JMcFarland - I'm not here to argue, but I do have a question. Why do you believe that certain beliefs such as murder are not produced from religion? If they were not produced from religion, then why is murder evil?
That depends on how the countries governing documents read. In the US, the founders drafted a set of laws that were based on and influenced by Christian principals. Yet they were careful to ensure that the gov't itself remained secular. However, ones religious beliefs or the lack thereof make up part of who you are. They inevitably will influence how you vote and the issues you support and oppose.
Every ruling can potentially be viewed as a detriment to someone whether on religious grounds or not. There are people who believe in polygamy. Others believe minors should be permitted to marry adults. Some actually believe they can have mutually consenting relationships with animals. Each one of them believes they are disenfranchised. I personally think they are insane.
Are you saying that homosexuals are in the same category as bestiality and pedophilia? That's absurd for obvious reasons. Animals cannot give informed consent, and neither can children. Most of the founding fathers were NOT Christians at all.
No I am saying that people have beliefs that they feel are legitimate. In some countries kids get married. And the founders were Christians. The bible greatly influenced the founders. The concept of three branches of govt comes from the bible.
Are you aware of all the documentation and quotes/writings that the founding fathers wrote that criticize and mock Christianity? That a large number of them were DEISTS not Theists?
The notion that they were deists was vastly overstated. There is christian influence all over the way in which the founders organized our gov't. They were more opposed to the way in which church and state were married in Europe.
okay - can you prove it? http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html
"The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity" John Adams. There are countless other quotes in their writings that support this. They wanted a secular govt. But they were not secular
and I can provide numerous quotes from Adam, Jefferson, Washington etc that decry the christian faith and it's inherent division, misuse and how they were opposed to it, including the link I already provided.
Because they opposed aspects of the church and how it was used...not the faith. They derived many of the principals of our founding on the bible. Madison himself conceived the three branches of gov't from the book if Isaiah.
Who were the founding fathers of the USA, what makes you believe that they were not Christian.
Oh I don't know...their own writings against christianity and catholicism
They're writings were not in opposition to faith or Christianity. They were opposed to components of the church. Particularly the idea of a national religion. Copy a paste the below PDF for exp
I think you need to re read a lot of Thomas Jefferson and many, many others
'Oh, I don't know', and, 'their writings' against various forms of Chrisianity, is not a sound basis for your arguement, the seven cited by historian R. B. Morris, are all considered to be members of various Christian groups by Wikipedia.
And referencing wikipedia is sound research?
Probably not, but I would guess that other reference books would give a similar result
Only revisionist history ones with a bias favoring christianity. The research is out there and readily available when you don't begin with a presupposition and ignore the evidence that contradicts it.
I've just had a glimpse of the subject in Britannica it suggests that there is division within the USA as to what form of Christianity the FF practiced, suggesting that some were orthodox and some on the edge of Chritianity, but all Christian.
Again, that's not exactly sound, historical research and I disagree.
The link I posted was written by Dr Hall who has authored 8 books on the topic. Your taking statements out of context such as opposition to the Catholic Church. They were mostly Protestant. So by definition they opposed the Catholic church not faith.
So, the world's most respected Encyclopaedia isn't sound, but your resarch and findings are? This is getting tedious and belongs on the forums, this section wasn't designed for this sort of debate.
as you wish. Historical scholars disagree with your Encyclopedia, but why would that make a difference?
Actually most scholars on this topic due suggest that the founders were largely devout Christian people who let their faith influence the founding principals of this country. Many were more closely aligned with Unitarianism rather than Deism
I posted one source already for you from Dr. Hall. Other exp, In Jeffersons writings, he once wrote that he would have liked to be a member of a Unitarian church, but he was not because there were no Unitarian churches in Virginia.
Is that why a minister claimed Jefferson was an atheist in 1800, or why jefferson didn't believe in the trinity, in the virgin birth or the resurrection or that he identified himself as a materialist?
Unitarians don't believe in the trinity, they believe in a singular god. That does not make them non-Christians. A good book on the topic as well.
http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Founding … pd_sxp_f_r
Holy cow - separation, definitely. Law and religion serve two very seperate functions and neither entity is equipped to undertake the other's role or societal place.
As has already been stated, it can be difficult to separate moral codes from religious codes. This is not to say that religion is necessary for morality. But it is inevitable that religious people will allow their religious values to influence the laws that they may support.
My general point of view is that people should be free to engage in behaviors that have no measurable impact on others. So if a person has a moral or religious objection to something like gay marriage, they still have no legal basis for opposing it. They cannot demonstrate, after all, that people entering into a gay marriage does any measurable harm to others. But if someone commits an immoral act such as killing, stealing, vandalizing, or many other actions that clearly impact others, then the state is obligated to intervene and to pass laws to reduce these behaviors in the future.
To sum up, some of the ten commandments can be appropriately translated into legal codes. Killing harms others, but taking the name of God in vain or failing to observe the Sabbath does not.
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