T Nation

Right/Left Wing and Religious Association

Hey folks!
I have learnt a lot from several posters here regarding politics, and some on religion. I come from a country where even the most right wing party is more left wing than the democratic party in the US. Since I started reading and posting here I have become more in favor of personal freedom, and leaning more to the right than when I started. Mostly thanks to posters here.

One thing I find to be a dichotomy is the economics of the right wing, and the being the most religious wing.
Is there a nonreligious right wing group in the US, or is the two party system so polarized that people for example have to choose the democratic party if they are atheists. It seems to me it is the most extreme groups of the parties that get the most media coverage.

TLDR; Why is the party that is supposed to reduce the federal government and its regulation of the people also the party that has the voters that want to impose their religious based rules on the same people? My confusion was founded by reading “Atlas shrugged” (minus some 50 pages of the last speech)where the “heroes” are right wing, but they are not religious.

I find it hard to get my question across, this is not meant to be a troll post or incite a flame war, I just find a dichotomy in the political polarity of the US.

[quote]espenl wrote:
One thing I find to be a dichotomy is the economics of the right wing, and the being the most religious wing.
[/quote]

My take:

In order for a government that begins and ends with personal responsibility to work, the individual needs to have a strong moral core.

Do you need religion to have a strong moral core? No. Does it help? Yes.

And then there is the whole Hitler was an atheist, communists are atheist thing…

[quote]espenl wrote:

TLDR; Why is the party that is supposed to reduce the federal government and its regulation of the people also the party that has the voters that want to impose their religious based rules on the same people? [/quote]

Like?

The great thing about America is that you don’t HAVE to join a party and you don’t HAVE to agree with everything your party does. If you agree with Republicans, but aren’t religious you can still be a Republican and vice versa.

You can also just choose to be an independent and side with whomever when it comes to the issue/vote.

I think your example is flawed. MOST Republicans don’t want to force their religion on anyone and many Democrats are religious. I think the main issue you’re gonna have with your think is that we all fit in these neat little boxes. That’s just not the case. A lot of people side with both Rs and Ds depending on the issue because many Americans live right in the middle.

Also I’ve never personally met an R or D that has pushed their religion.

My $0.02…

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
My take:
[/quote]
Thanks for your take. It does seem some people need divine incentive to stay in check.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]espenl wrote:
TLDR; Why is the party that is supposed to reduce the federal government and its regulation of the people also the party that has the voters that want to impose their religious based rules on the same people? [/quote]

Like?
[/quote]
The ones coming to mind has to do with abortion and same sex relationships. Those are two very different topics, but still. If it is spending “federal” money on those I can understand the right being against it, if it is making it illegal I do not understand it at the moment.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
My $0.02…[/quote]

Thanks for your $0.02. At the moment we have seven parties that are in what you would call congress in our country, and still one would have to search hard to find a person 100% agreeing with one of them in every hot political topic. The polarity of the debate in US politics makes it hard NOT to put people in boxes, even though your country is probably way more diverse than ours.

I asked because I am trying to understand this better, and though I have some way to go, your answers have been helpful. Thank you.

It’s complicated, and often mischaracterized by people (not you).

I know many Democrats, for example, who want significant expansion of government services precisely because of their religious beliefs - i.e., Christians who think we can do more in the public sector to help the poor, sick, etc.

I know a number of Republicans who are, more or less, not religious at all and subscribe to a materialist philosophy, hench their “libertarianism”.

Be careful of buying into the cartoons of what a party is “supposed” to be, especially when a party is being described by an opponent of that party.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]espenl wrote:
One thing I find to be a dichotomy is the economics of the right wing, and the being the most religious wing.
[/quote]

My take:

In order for a government that begins and ends with personal responsibility to work, the individual needs to have a strong moral core.

Do you need religion to have a strong moral core? No. Does it help? Yes.

And then there is the whole Hitler was an atheist, communists are atheist thing…[/quote]

Going back into history to do a body count of the world’s ideologies is one of the worst ways to look at this discussion. These conversations always devolve into Crusades and Inquisition vs. Stalin and Hitler.

I think the OP is making a good point re: nominal small-government conservatives who simultaneously pine for theocracy. I’m not accusing anyone in here of that, but it certainly exists–I mean, we had a Christian Dominionist VP candidate just four years ago.

Though I believe its most devout acolytes are often shortsighted and quixotic, I respect libertarianism. But no one should call himself a libertarian and then talk about how he wants Big Brother to step in and stop gays from getting married.

I think the problem is that people cannot restrict their political ideology to the things government has the right to do. People only see what they think should happen and not what they have the authority to do. You can absolutely have steadfast belief in something that you are against legislating. Most people refuse to recognize that.

Thank you for your answers, they have been some of the most politically neutral ones I have read in a while.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
In order for a government that begins and ends with personal responsibility to work, the individual needs to have a strong moral core.[/quote]

How did you come to this conclusion?

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Do you need religion to have a strong moral core? No. Does it help? Yes…[/quote]

Religion hasn’t shown to have any effect on a person’s character. A religious person is just as likely to commit crimes as the non-religious/atheist.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

And then there is the whole Hitler was an atheist, communists are atheist thing…[/quote]

Not even the religious people here believe Hitler was an atheist.

[quote]espenl wrote:
The ones coming to mind has to do with abortion and same sex relationships.[/quote]

Oh, well I’m right-wing Christian Conservative so I’ll field this. I don’t want to outlaw pre-marital sex. It is a sin according to my faith. So is abortion. However, abortion involves the taking of a human life, therefore, it becomes a legitimate political/legal issue. Any other position is cowardly and hypocritical.

Secondly, I don’t want to outlaw homosexuality. Again, a sin according to my faith. But, do I want government to put it up on a pedestal by elevating it through state recognized marriage? Nope. It’s no more special than a friendship or any other imaginative human relationship, as far as the government should be concerned. I won’t tolerate unjustifiable bigotry. Despite how tightly wound up it is in an emotional fad. Traditional marriage , by it’s biological/procreative nature produces the next worker and the next taxpayer, en masse.

A state and free market has a vested interest in children who stay out of jail, enjoy a positively adjusted socio-economic status, a status widespread enough to shoulder whatever tax burden, fill whatever positions are left by retirees, care for their own children when they themselves are adults, provide for their own elderly, etc. So, making a model of traditional marriage is justifiable discrimination. Imagine homosexuality disappearing tomorrow. Curious event? Yes? Catastrophic? Nope, just an odd event. Now imagine heterosexuality disappearing tomorrow. Catastrophic.

Intact biological homes producing and raising their own children provide a critical and irreplaceable service to society. Otherwise, we wouldn’t sit here arguing about why aren’t we recognizing homosexual marriage. We’d be arguing about why we recognize any. “Who says their relationship is more important than my friendships. Or, even my casual relationships?”

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
And then there is the whole Hitler was an atheist, communists are atheist thing…[/quote]

Going back into history to do a body count of the world’s ideologies is one of the worst ways to look at this discussion. These conversations always devolve into Crusades and Inquisition vs. Stalin and Hitler.

[/quote]

I’m just using that as an example of one of the causes for the perception that religious = righty.

It is pretty clear there was a religious element to some McCarthy type anti-progressive moments due to the progressives being anti-religious.

Not saying anything is right or wrong, just that it plays into the perception.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]espenl wrote:
The ones coming to mind has to do with abortion and same sex relationships.[/quote]

Oh, well I’m right-wing Christian Conservative so I’ll field this. I don’t want to outlaw pre-marital sex. It is a sin according to my faith. So is abortion. However, abortion involves the taking of a human life, therefore, it becomes a legitimate political/legal issue. Any other position is cowardly and hypocritical.

Secondly, I don’t want to outlaw homosexuality. Again, a sin according to my faith. But, do I want government to put it up on a pedestal by elevating it through state recognized marriage? Nope. It’s no more special than a friendship or any other imaginative human relationship, as far as the government should be concerned. I won’t tolerate unjustifiable bigotry. Despite how tightly wound up it is in an emotional fad. Traditional marriage , by it’s biological/procreative nature produces the next worker and the next taxpayer, en masse.

A state and free market has a vested interest in children who stay out of jail, enjoy a positively adjusted socio-economic status, a status widespread enough to shoulder whatever tax burden, fill whatever positions are left by retirees, care for their own children when they themselves are adults, provide for their own elderly, etc. So, making a model of traditional marriage is justifiable discrimination. Imagine homosexuality disappearing tomorrow. Curious event? Yes? Catastrophic? Nope, just an odd event. Now imagine heterosexuality disappearing tomorrow. Catastrophic.

Intact biological homes producing and raising their own children provide a critical and irreplaceable service to society. Otherwise, we wouldn’t sit here arguing about why aren’t we recognizing homosexual marriage. We’d be arguing about why we recognize any. “Who says their relationship is more important than my friendships. Or, even my casual relationships?”[/quote]

I agree with you that an anti-abortion stance does not represent a creeping of religious morals into political life because it does in fact involve the termination of a life.

But re: gay marriage: heterosexual marriage is not procreative, in that heterosexuals are under no obligation to create offspring, often do not have any desire to, and sometimes are not capable of doing doing so. Should a barren woman’s love for her boyfriend be denied marital legitimacy in the same way that you believe a man’s love for his male partner should, given that both couples have exactly the same chance of creating a “future taxpayer.”

And more broadly, your definition of marriage as essentially a factory for future citizens is as clinical and Orwellian as it could possibly be. Procreation is a function of heterosexual intercourse, nothing more.

Oh, religion is a topic that comes up in politics from time to time in America. Even this morning a controversial mention was made about religion by a political candidate. What he said probably will make some uneasy. But with that said, the candidate clarified what he meant, and that sounded more tame, less controversial.

“Did Mourdock Just Lose the Senate?”

Overall, I would say that America is much different than we were in the 50s and earlier, where churches and religious leaders played a leading roll in politics.

Thought this a nice article about religion in American politics these days. It isn’t what it used to be.

“The ?Christianist? Nightmare: It?s Just A Bad Dream”

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/09/20/the-christianist-nightmare-its-just-a-bad-dream/

Sample from the article:

"…In more than half a century of watching the ebbs and flows of American politics, I?ve seen this country steadily become more tolerant, more thoughtful, more open and in many ways more just.
The Christian right that apparently keeps Mr. Sullivan up at night shivering with fear is a pathetic, compromising bunch of namby pamby wimps compared to the holy warriors of my youth. If Focus on the Family or even Michelle Bachmann scares him so badly, he should try listening to a standard Sunday morning sermon on AM radio circa 1956 ? or read how Time magazine covered homosexuality back then.

Sullivan doesn?t, I think, get the whole sweep of American life. On a couple of issues ? abortion comes to mind ? the social policy consensus is creeping a bit to the right, but generally speaking the Christian right today stands for positions that were considered fairly liberal not all that long ago. Liquor by the drink, gambling, lesbian and gay equal rights, premarital sex, birth control, pornography, interracial marriage: on a whole variety of issues, some noble and important, some hedonistic and perhaps a bit more questionable, the United States has moved steadily and inexorably toward a more permissive and open stance…"

See, Conservatives and Libertarians really aren’t like peas in a pod.

Conservatives like me are very skeptical–and we have a right to be–about the willingness of a socially liberal society to vote for free/free-er markets. Or, it’s willingness to resist or downgrade an eventually cradle to grave nanny state. Even as it begins to go bankrupt in front of their very eyes, chaining future generations to impossible debts and obligations. We believe certain moral truths must be shared on the ground floor. Certain models must exist. Childless elderly, don’t vote for reducing financial obligations to the elderly. They vote for more, actually. The husband-less mother doesn’t vote for reduced obligations which help feed, shelter, and educate (even through college) her children. Sex is a personal choice, until a politician says they could have more of it through contraceptive subsidy.

The state becomes the mother, the father, the grown children turned caretaker, the neighbor, the community. And so on. Blah, blah.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

How did you come to this conclusion?[/quote]

Because it is pretty obvious.

[quote]
Religion hasn’t shown to have any effect on a person’s character.[/quote]

Would you actually read what I wrote please?

Are you shooting for a strawman here?

Just because many laws are based on moral grounds, doesn’t mean all moral issues are laws.

Further it will be up to the moral code of the collection of individuals to determine what is or isn’t a crime in the first place, as most laws are based on some moral believe.

Now if no one have strong morals, and were flipant about them…

[quote]

Not even the religious people here believe Hitler was an atheist. [/quote]

See my reply to smh

[quote]smh23 wrote:

But re: gay marriage: heterosexual marriage is not procreative, in that heterosexuals are under no obligation to create offspring, often do not have any desire to, and sometimes are not capable of doing doing so. Should a barren woman’s love for her boyfriend be denied marital legitimacy in the same way that you believe a man’s love for his male partner should, given that both couples have exactly the same chance of creating a “future taxpayer.”[/quote]

Then what is the point of the publicly-recognized institution of marriage of any relationship, at all? Why bother having it?

I don’t want to derail the thread too much, but this speaks to the issue - not recognizing certain kinds of marriage isn’t creeping theocracy, and such a view contributes to reductionist stereotypes that misinform people like the OP.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
Because it is pretty obvious.
.[/quote]

Not to me explain.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Would you actually read what I wrote please? [/quote]

I did read it. You wrote

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Do you need religion to have a strong moral core? No. Does it help? Yes[/quote]

It doesn’t help.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Just because many laws are based on moral grounds, doesn’t mean all moral issues are laws.[/quote]

Even things we agree on Murder, rape, grand theft… religious/non-religious commit crimes at the same rate.

[quote]smh23 wrote:

But re: gay marriage: heterosexual marriage is not procreative, in that heterosexuals are under no obligation to create offspring, often do not have any desire to, and sometimes are not capable of doing doing so.[/quote]

Yet, it is the procreative unit. Cultural trends which can be rather temporary don’t change that. And when children are had, it’s within that unit.

Nope. Because the first relationship still fits the model. The procreative sexes in orderly pairings. The more such pairings are encountered the more of a norm it is for the opposite sexes to pair up. So, when and if children are born, they are more likely born into intact homes. The implication is that I shouldn’t allow them to marry, if I were to be consistent. But THAT would actually be counter-productive. I would then be increasing the incidence, the encountering of non-married pairing between the reproductive sexes.

Let me ask you. Does the orderly pairing of the reproductive sexes provide a model which services society with an irreplaceable and critical function? Think about the hypothetical I posed, if homosexuality and/or heterosexuality were to disappear. I can argue why the one relationship deserves to be singled out, privileged, and given a title through positive action by the state, with respect to all and any other imaginative human relationship, regardless of number, sex, intimacy (or not). The other relationship has no such argument.

They’re nothing remotely equivalent. The maximization of liberty, with the least possible government involvement doesn’t recognize the homosexual marriage. It recognizes the one that really should be self-evident, the committed pairing of the reproductive sexes. To recognize homosexual marriage is unjustifiable discrimination.

My definition of marriage is the only rational one. The government shouldn’t be patting people on the back for being in love. Your ‘love’ isn’t anymore special than my friendships. There needs to be a critical purpose. Like, the orderly arrangement of the REPRODUCTIVE sexes.

How about a two-tier system?

gays/childless marriages recognized with certain benefits.

When kids enter the picture contract obligations increase and more benefits doled out.

Pedestal maintained.