Politics and Religion – A Toxic Mix

poison-bottle-medicine-old-159296.jpegIn our country, there are two main parties, Democrat and Republican. Most people are a member of one or the other, and may or may not espouse their party’s platform. That is how our country works: we vote, elect an individual, and either two or four years later we get to decide to re-elect that individual or vote someone else into office.

It’s called politics. It is dirty, messy and sometimes distasteful, but that is how we do things in this country. The problem comes when people decide to mix their political beliefs with their religious ones. There is nothing wrong with joining a political party because you feel their platform lines up with some of your religious beliefs, but the problem lies with associating that particular party with your religion.

Once a person does that, they begin to assume that everyone who believes what they do religiously should belong to their party. Of course, we know that is a fallacy, but if enough people align themselves with a political party because of their religious beliefs, a bloc of voters is formed and that reinforces the idea that all people of that particular religious persuasion are part of that party.

I have been at different religious meetings, and the person talking about certain policies assumes that everyone in the room believes the way they do and is part of their political party. I have even heard people make the statement that those who are not part of their political party may not even be part of their religious belief system.

Hold on……religion is religion and politics is politics. Let’s not meld our religious beliefs with any political party. If there is an issue that we feel we must align ourselves with a certain party, great, do that, but let’s not expect everyone else’s thoughts and political beliefs to line up neatly with our political persuasion.

One political party may champion life, but the other may champion social issues. Both are important to the well-being of our country and the fabric of our society. Let us never try to pigeon-hole people into one or the other parties because of our own religious beliefs. It doesn’t work, is totally toxic and only tries to force people to not think for themselves and conform to whatever we think they should believe.

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