June 11, 2005


Religion Key in American Lives (WILL LESTER, 6/06/05, Associated Press)

Americans are far more likely to consider religion central to their lives and to support giving clergy a say in public policy than people in nine countries that are close allies, according to an AP-Ipsos poll. Yet, the U.S. embrace of faith has its limits. [...]

When politicians in this country try to blend religion and politics, they find a comparatively receptive climate.

Nearly all U.S. respondents said faith was important to them and only 2 percent said they did not believe in God, according to the polling conducted for the AP by Ipsos.

Yeah, but just mention that the peppered moths are a fraud and watch that 2% fill with a righteous fury that would do the Crusaders proud.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 11, 2005 10:30 AM

There's an anti-smoking ad playing on the radio around here whose main point seems to be that since only a minority of people (they use 20%) are smokers, then why should so many bars and restaurants not be "smoke free"? Shouldn't the majority decide? But as you point out, try to apply that same logic to homosexuals, or atheists or some other pet Leftist pressure group, and instead we must accommodate whatever wild demands they may make.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 11, 2005 11:30 AM

Still, 61 percent said they didn't think religious leaders should influence government decisions.

"I think religion and politics are too closely intertwined in this country," said Dillon Hickman, a businessman from Uniontown, Ohio, near Akron. "A lot of religious leaders take too active a position in politics. And it's getting moreso."

Even for such a religious nation as ours, it is comforting that the majority still has a healthy suspicion of religious charlatans disguised as holy men.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 11, 2005 9:58 PM

charlatans? boy, you've got it bad.

Posted by: oj at June 12, 2005 12:16 AM

Raoul Ortega:

Democratic majorities are a modestly effective but crude method for making policy.

Not all decisions are within the purview of voters.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at June 12, 2005 6:59 AM

Of course, the concept of "charlatan" implies that most religious leaders are sincere.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 12, 2005 4:50 PM

the concept of a lot states the opposite

Posted by: oj at June 12, 2005 5:49 PM

Yes, the sincere ones are the ones that stay out of politics.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 12, 2005 7:23 PM

Boy, that's a high wall you wanna build. Is it Iron?

Posted by: oj at June 12, 2005 8:03 PM

No, as long as most people realize that religion and government serve different purposes, it is their common sense that will keep the Pat Robersons and the Jesse Jacksons out of public office. Government is concerned with this world, and religion is (should be) concerned with the next. It amazes me how many people who purportedly follow Jesus, who taught men to forsake this world and seek the Kingdom to come, use his words instead to seek success in this world.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 12, 2005 10:00 PM

Good thing someone shot Martin Luther King, Jr., meddling where he didn't belong....

Posted by: oj at June 13, 2005 7:22 AM

The sincere religious stay out of politics? Yowsa -- welcome to Canada or France, Robert.

So, only the irreligious should be allowed to represent the religious? That is not democracy, that is dictatorship.

Ayn Rand would have been 100% correct had she made it the religious who went on strike.

Posted by: Randall Voth at June 13, 2005 7:31 AM

The survey question wasn't whether religious people should be able to vote their own values, but whether religious leaders should be involved in politics. Usually when someone who has purportedly devoted himself to the Lord seeks a career move into politics, it is a good sign that he probably wasn't all that good a holy man to start with, and would make an even worse public servant. Not that it couldn't happen, but the odds are not good.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 13, 2005 11:44 AM


No one's ever been more involved in politics that Pope John Paul II and he was at least reasonably holy.

Posted by: oj at June 13, 2005 11:50 AM

Do you buy his politics?

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 13, 2005 1:46 PM

I buy his moral obligation to engage in politics.

Posted by: oj at June 13, 2005 2:00 PM


How about union leaders, corporate leaders Hollywood stars, community leaders, academics, the artistic and lettered community, the scientific community, etc. etc.? Should they stay out of politics as well or do you reserve this special disability for the religious?

Posted by: Peter B at June 14, 2005 7:06 AM