Who Invited Jesus To The Party?
Religion has had its claws in American politics for years. In turn, this has led people to view the United States as a Christian nation. When it comes to politics, religion has been winning the war against logic and reason. 23% of Americans are either atheist or agnostic, while 62% are Christians, and 40% believe that the world was made by God 10,000 years ago. This is concerning, as religion can have detrimental effects on politics, with some politicians using it to justify terrible actions. The separation of Church and State is more important now than it has ever been before. The adverse effects religion has on moral behavior, legislation, and overall mental performance is devastating.
Donald Trump has been considered the least religious presidential candidate in years. Not being able to mention one of his favorite passages from the bible in an interview raised alarms for many conservative voters. Knowing this, Trump appointed Mike Pence to be his running mate and Vice President. Many Republican voters consider Pence as a devoted Christian who would put religion above all else. Pence once said, “I’m a Christian, a Conservative, a Republican, in that order.” Trump realized that he would not take the Oval Office without the backing of religious groups and their followers. In 2016, Trump received 56% of the Protestant vote and 52% of the Catholic vote. Even though Trump once commented on Mega-Church pastors as “scammers,” and saying, “they’re all hustlers.” Trump’s alliance with the Church is essential to him, as long as he receives continued support.
Trump is not the only politician that uses the Church to benefit him in the polls. In the House, the only person who claims to have no religious affiliation is Senator Krysten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona. The House of Representatives currently has 53.7% Protestants and 32.5% Catholics, meaning the house is predominantly Christian, with 86.2%. The rest of the house is comprised of Representatives that still believe in God but follow different practices. The Senate is not much better, with the majority still being Christian, 60% Protestants, and 22% Catholics. Statistically speaking, this is almost impossible. If nearly a quarter of all Americans are either atheist or agnostic, it is hard to believe that Congress has so many God-fearing individuals. It is no surprise that politicians lie, but the sad reality is that religion has polluted American politics so much that a person has to fabricate a relationship with God even to have a chance of getting elected. This implies two things; first, we believe in a candidate not because of their policy but because of their beliefs. Second, we cannot separate Church and State as a society because delusional thinking has led us to believe that a man must have God to be moral.
Another issue we face beyond the moral aspects is using religion to pass legislation. Take the medical field; religion in politics has set back life-saving research for many years. Stem cell research is a perfect example of this, as this treatment has the potential to cure Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, blindness, and the list goes on. Many researchers in countries like Japan have proven the scientific ability to retrieve stem cells without harvesting embryos. Still, many politicians see stem cell research as an immoral practice due to pressures from religious groups. For instance, Sam Brownback, former Republican senator and current U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, refutes the idea that stem cell research is beneficial and believes it to be anti-God. When discussing the possibility of allowing more freedom to research the potential treatment, he said, “Why go there if we do not have to? Let’s not go there…Let’s be a culture where every life is sacred, the child of a loving God.” Stem cell research is not the only area in the medical field to be attacked by religious politicians. In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey invoked God to ban nearly all abortions and made it a state felony. She said, “This legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God…” Politicians who pass laws for God cannot claim that they are for the people. A study done by pew research showed that, “Less than a third of Americans say government policies should support religious values.” This being the case, laws passed through religious beliefs are anti-American as they do not align with the majority’s values.
Furthermore, it is dangerous to allow people who think with these ideologies because one could claim that they are not mentally capable of handling their positions. Greg Gianforte, Montana’s Republican Representative, once said, “How old was Noah when he built the ark? 600.” Ted Cruz in 2015 at the CPAC said, ““There would be less disease, less cancer and AIDS and diabetes in this country if people would simply pray. God blesses the righteous with good health and curses the wicked with sickness.” Of course, some religious people are intelligent and can think critically. But the vast majority of religious people have been stripped of their analytical minds through spiritual practice. Richard Daws and Adam Hampshire at Imperial College London studied 63,000 people and concluded that: “Religiosity correlates inversely with intelligence.” In the same study, they stated that, “Based on the low-IQ-religiosity link, it could be argued that humanity is on course to become collectively less smart.” Therefore, it does not seem wise to allow people who believe in talking snakes and 600-year-old men to be placed into extreme positions of power.
Many immoral policies that have arisen in government in recent years have links to politicians with religious beliefs. Most Politicians who deny climate change, are anti-abortion, and anti-same-sex marriage have ties to religious groups. However, if a politician uses religion to gain power, but is not a true believer. Then they are simply a con man, and you have been grifted. The founding fathers never wanted religion to be a part of politics, and still, we allow it to muddy the waters of logic and reason. Mike Pence spoke at the Federalist Society and praised John Adams. So, in the words of Pence’s favorite founding father, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”