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The idea of a communist revolution happening here and now seems ridiculous to us. Why? Because we believe that capitalism has evolved to a point at which there is no longer a bourgeoisie oppressing the proletariat, and instead, a large middle class that functions without oppression, through the principles of self-advancement, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Jobs today generally require enough skill and have pleasant enough working conditions that work is not characteristically dehumanizing. Equal opportunity is given to most to be able to elevate themselves from unsatisfactory lifestyles. And so the proletariat has turned into a lower middle class that can work hard and become an upper middle class, which is not far beneath the modern bourgeoisie in social status.

This is the norm in America, at least. Our “American dream” ideal of a common laborer using his skill and ingenuity to advance in life has permeated our cultural ideology to a point where we cannot fathom the concept of modern slavery, or the inability to progress out of an unpleasant position. But there is still a need for people to work unpleasant jobs—technology has done much to lighten that burden, but it hasn’t come close to lifting it completely. Marx’s proletariat has become the minority. We don’t live in a society in which the majority suffers daily in their labor, the benefits of which are enjoyed solely by the rich. Those are the premises on which Marx and Engels based the Communist Manifesto; we can no longer identify with the problem that they propose to solve.

However, globally, there is most definitely an oppressive upper class and a suffering lower class. Here in the USA, people from rich to poor are able to adorn themselves in status-symbol clothes and shoes, made by foreign workers whose wages would not afford them a fraction of that which they produce. Is this proletariat similar enough to Marx’s that there might someday be a global Communist revolution? In “The Communist Manifesto at 150”, Slomo Avineri points out that “although polarization did not, as a rule, take place within advanced industrial societies as Marx and Engels predicted, something quite like it did occur on the global level” (3). We’ve sent our proletariat to China, India, Taiwan—all of the countries whose names appear on the “Made in….” labels on clothes. As easily as globalization made it possible for us, the global bourgeoisie, to separate ourselves from the proletariat, it is only a matter of time before globalization gives the proletariat means to recognize the injustice that is inflicted upon them, and to remedy avenge their situation, be it a global revolution or just an economic crash.

True, a global-scale communist revolution would not work, at least in the next hundred-or-so years, because the world is not yet unified enough that a successful system could be put in place after the revolution. Wasn’t that one of the problems with the Soviets’ attempt at it? “[Communist revolution] can begin in less-developed Russia, but there can be no ‘Socialism in One Country’ there or anywhere else” (5), Averni says. The Cold War was not what Marx had in mind for interactions between communist and capitalist countries. In order for Marx’s vision to realize, nations must first gain each other’s trust. Communism relies on cooperation, so in order for it to work effectively, the world would have to be much more unified than it is now.

In that case, why not stick with capitalism? It’s working for us at the moment… or is it? With the global financial crisis, we begin to realize that cooperation will be necessary for the survival of the human race. In this cooperation comes the evening out of class differences. It’s quite possible that through capitalism we could achieve many of the ends of communism, but to do this, we must not be averse to considering the adoption of some socialist policies. Obama has been accused of being too “red” in his policies for Americans, but at the moment, we need some socialism to help fix the problems created by capitalism. With an ever- more unified world, something close to Marx’s communism might be inevitable someday. We do not need a revolution, but in the end, after all of our reforms, a state that resembles communism might just be the most just solution to many of the world’s problems.

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In her essay, “The Uses of Disaster”, Rebecca Solnit extensively outlines the degree to which people respond positively and admirably to disasters. She asserts that catastrophic events have the capacity to unify the populace, inspire civility, and bring about “good sense”. While she points to multiple examples and quotes credible sources, I believe that she presents too narrow a view of disasters and expresses too much faith in people.

However, I do not mean to say that Solnit ignored the truth. In fact, the major example that serves to disprove her thesis had not even happened at the time that her essay was published. So it is through a more-informed lens that I consider and reject her findings. Surely one can point to disasters such as earthquakes and terrorist attacks and find instances of “solidarity” eclipsing suffering. But while this result is evident in these less significant events, it is virtually non-existent in the greatest disaster of modern times, the Bush administration.

You can say what you want about how ‘compassionate’ his conservatism was, but you simply cannot deny that the indisputable peace and prosperity that he inherited slowly but surely evaporated over the past eight years. As a matter of fact, ‘slowly but surely’ is an inaccurate characterization of two terms that undid decades worth of American good. The dishonesty, corruption, profiteering, negligence, greed, irresponsibility, hubris, and ignorance so prevalent under Bush and Cheney was of catastrophic proportions and led to the political, economic, and social disaster we are currently living through.

Between the global financial crisis, the multiple unwinnable wars in which we are engaged, our tarnished international reputation, and a plethora of other fiascos, this is undeniably a disaster. Yet while the problem “is clearly identifiable”, why isn’t the “necessary response”? Why doesn’t America seem “peculiarly hopeful”?

The fact is, disasters of this extent transcend the relatively temporary glitches in every day life that are earthquakes and hijackers. Perhaps if the problem could be solved overnight, people would put on a happy face and pretend to feel selfless for twenty-four hours. But that would only be an act. Look around today and see the panic in peoples’ eyes. Look at “tea parties” and then decide if, in disasters, people rarely “stampede”, as Solnit claimed.

Try to claim that, in disasters, people do not “engage in…acts of opportunism” as Glenn Beck makes millions off of books and rhetorical diatribes that do nothing more than arouse the most spiteful sentiment in citizens in their most volatile, fearful, and impressionable state. Or try to claim that, in disasters, “citizens begin to demand justice, accountability, and respect” when the body politic is too disorganized, discouraged, and debilitated to pursue the prosecution of senior members of an administration that ordered the violation of both domestic and international laws forbidding torture. Consider the findings of sociologist, Charles Fritz, who asserts that “large scale disasters produce…mentally healthy conditions” [1] along side the opposing findings that correlate rising suicide rates with the economic crisis which Bush ushered in, unregulated [2].

As much as it might hurt us to admit it, the “Hobbesian true human nature” in which “people trample one another to flee, or loot and pillage, or they haplessly await rescue” referred to by Solnit is the reality we face today. Rather than disaster disrupting “self-absorption”, our politics have become increasingly partisan. If disaster “speeds the process of decision making” then why are we still without a plan to repair our broken healthcare system? And if disaster “facilitates the acceptance of change” [3] then why does a bigot like Rush Limbaugh, who hopes our first African-American president fails, have more than twenty-million listeners a week [4]?

The political landscape is more divided than ever. Fear and anger appear to play a role in the formation of every opinion, the expression of every idea, and the consideration of every course of action. We are perhaps less united than we have ever been and there is no sign that either side is prepared to change this. Unlike the examples discussed by Solnit, it seems that this disaster did not bring out the best in us. In a New York City electrical blackout, one might offer a stranger a helping hand. But in our current disaster driven by hate, dissent, and irrationality, we’re probably more likely to deny strangers of our charity, or to frown upon them for being too gay, or too uppity, or too Muslim-looking, or to send them off to the middle east to die in a war that was never worth fighting.

Of course, George W. Bush is not entirely to blame for the hostile environment that America has become. While he caused the disaster, the cause for our collective response must be attributed to the “Hobbesian true human nature” mentioned by Solnit. Human beings react selfishly and out of fear. Perhaps this disaster is America’s state of nature. Witness the war of all against all. 

Works Cited

[1] Charles Fritz, as quoted by Rebecca Solnit

[2] “Economic crisis pushing more people to the brink – Health – SignOnSanDiego.com.” SignOnSanDiego.com | The San Diego Union-Tribune | San Diego news, California and national news. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/02/1n2mental214548-economic-crisis-pushing-more-peopl/&gt;.

[3] See [1]

[4] “Rush Limbaugh Signs $400 Million Radio Deal – washingtonpost.com.”

Washingtonpost.com – nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines. Web. 15 Dec. 2009.

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/02/AR2008070202063.html&gt;.

[5] All other quoted phrases: Solnit, Rebecca. “The Uses of Disaster”

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NBA/WNBA Merger?

Recently in my discussion class, my classmates were arguing about the merits and limitations of integrating women into classically male institutional sports (such as the NBA) and into more gender diverse sports (such as running, swimming, etc.) in the context of Mill’s ideals about gender equality. While thinking about how women would fare if such integration were forced to occur, I kept thinking about Professor Leveque-Monty’s use of the phrase “meaningful competition” (p. 143)[1] While he argues that everyone has a chance to succeed, whether because of natural gifts or amount practice time, I tend to disagree with that theory.  Sure, one can successfully argue that the world’s fastest woman could beat virtually every man alive in a race since she most very well can.  However, there are physical limitations that will not allow her to beat the fastest small percentage of men, no matter how hard she practices and trains.  Times for male sprinters and swimmers are much faster then those of their female counterparts.  There are some people that cannot do what others can.  I am not saying that this is fair or the way it should be.  However, I am arguing that in general, the way sports institutions are currently configured (with no integration of gender), is the best possible system that we can have for the most competitive sports. I agree with the fundamentals of Mill’s views on women.  However, I do not think they are applicable in the world of professional male sports and women’s place in them.  If there was forceful integration of gender into the male leagues it could dilute the competitiveness of the sports.  I will address the effects of hypothetical gender integration of sports situation in two different ways—one for gender diverse sports and the other for classically male oriented sports.

If Olympic sports were forced to integrate men and women into the same competitions for sports how would this turn out?

This certainly would be the most fair of gender integration.  Women and men compete in nearly all of the same Olympic events.  They have all trained equally and for the same amount of time as any other person, since the Olympics are a gender diverse sport.  There is definitely the chance for “meaningful competition” of men and women to succeed in these sports.  However, I conclude that this integration would be harmful to women rather than empower them. If woman want to be known as “the best sprinter” rather than the “best woman sprinter” they would have to adhere to the same rules as the men would have. If we suppose the events were based off of pure performance, and would not have to fill out gender quotas of a 50-50 distribution, women may not be represented at the Olympics at all.  Of course some would win in some events and they would probably win those events.  However, more classic events, such as running and swimming would surely be male dominated.  The women may not even be able to qualify for the Olympics.  So what would they rather have: a gender divided sport in which they are only considered the best woman sprinter (rather than best sprinter) or not even be able to compete at all?  I believe it’s the former.  The current system gives women recognition they deserve.  Creating the divide allows for more press and praise of women then if they would not even participate.  Of course some women could climb to the top and surprise everyone, but the small percentage of those women who succeed would undermine al of the other potential woman athletes that cannot be recognized because they could not qualify.  I will now discuss the effects of a mandatory quota system in gender integrated sports leagues.

What if the NBA and the WNBA were forced to integrate?  My supposition includes the mandatory quota of a 50-50 gender distributed team in which 2 women must play at all times.  How would the concept of meaningful competition play out in this situation?  A lot of girl basketball players are very good- as they excel in the WNBA.  They have natural abilities such as shooting that cold be used efficiently in the NBA.  However, the average heights in the WNBA are roughly between 5’11” and 6’0” and they weighed an average of 167.90 pounds [2] In the NBA the average height fluctuates between 6’6” and 6’8” and the average weight is around 224 pounds.[3] In a physical game, such as basketball, size matters.  And simply put, WNBA players pale in comparison to the sizes of the NBA players.  They would not be able to be effective on a floor with a lot of men because of their size.  If they were forced to play, it would dilute the playing level of the game.  When the athletes best suited to play against each other cannot, the game experience suffers.  Women may be ostracized because they would not be able to compete meaningfully with the men, thus creating a weaker game overall.

I do agree that women sports should be promoted more.  People would respect and have more interest in women’s sports if they were advertised better.  A typical Sportscenter has around 5 out of its 60 minutes devoted to women’s sports.  I believe this statistic needs to change so the women’s leagues could e promoted more.  The only problem with that is ESPN is a business and it shows what s demanded to its target audience.  This audience is almost exclusively males who are interested in male sports.  However, if they could find some way to integrate women’s sports in a creative way, it could spur interest.  A problem with women’s leagues is that most of the leagues also compete during the off seasons of the male leagues, meaning people have little interest in that particular sport when they are playing it.  If the WNBA and NBA played at the same time (women and men sharing the home courts while the other team is on a road trip) it could create some genuine interest.  However, integrating these sports leagues would hurt the respective leagues in a large manner.  People want to see the best product they possibly can and that is not a diluted league.  If women want to try out for the men’s leagues, I would say that they absolutely should.  If they are good enough to make an NBA roster then they should be able to compete.  However, I think that forcing men and women to compete together is a wrong approach to help the women’s interests.


[1] Lavaque-Manty, Mika.   “The Playing Fields of Eton: Equality and Excellence in Modern Meritocracy.” (Ann, Arbor: University of Michigan Press)

[2] http://www.wnba.com/statistics/survey_height_2003.html

[3] http://www.nba.com/news/survey_height_2004.html

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In the Federalist papers, the Federalists seem to be most concerned with the Legislative branch exercising too much power. Today, people are more concerned with the Executive branch abusing its power, which seems easier to do. The power of the Executive branch is consolidated to one person, making it easier to act quickly. Furthermore, the checks and balances process is often carried out too slowly for a practice on behalf of the president to be checked immediately.

The Federalists were most concerned with the Legislative branch overreaching its power because they believed it was the most powerful of the three branches. They stated that the Legislative branch “derives a superiority” (553) because its constitutional powers are “more extensive,” (553) less susceptible to limits, and because the Legislative branch has access to the “pockets of the people” (553) through taxation. They did not fear the power of the Executive branch because it was “restrained to a narrower compass” and was “more simple in its nature” (553).

Today, citizens are more concerned with the overreaching power of the Executive branch because, in the past, the president has overstepped his boundaries. One example of this is Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. The Executive branch is not explicitly given the power to suspend habeas corpus, but Lincoln used his wartime powers to do so. A more recent example is the implementation of Guantanamo Bay by the Bush administration to prevent terrorism. In Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court declared the SCR Tribunals in replacement of habeas corpus to be unconstitutional, but the practice had existed since 2001 and the decision was not made until 2008.

Congressional and judicial checks on the Executive branch exist to prevent the executive from overstepping its constitutional authority, but it often works too slowly to prevent the executive from making unconstitutional decisions. In the case of Guantanamo Bay, it took about 7 years before the Supreme Court was able to check the executive power and deem the practice unconstitutional. Therefore, while the Judicial branch may eventually stop unconstitutional practices, it is difficult to prevent them because court cases can take years to resolve.

The Executive branch is more easily able to exceed its limits because the power is consolidated to one individual, making it easier to act quickly. In Congress, a law must first pass through the House of Representatives, then the Senate, totaling 535 people that must vote on the bill before it goes to the president for approval. If he vetoes it, it must return to Congress for another vote requiring 2/3 of the vote to become a law. Furthermore, the broad constitutional power that the president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” (Article 2, Section 3) does not describe the way in which they are to do so, and in turn many presidents adopted the practice of suspending the writ of habeas corpus. Article One of the Constitution provides that the writ cannot be suspended unless “the public safety may require it” (Section 9) but this exists under the Congressional section of The Constitution. Therefore, even though suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is not an explicit power of the president, the duty to make sure laws are executed causes presidents to use this clause to justify actions beyond their constitutional scope of power.

Overall, the system of checks and balances has worked fairly well, but it seems as if the Federalists underestimated the power of the Executive branch in surpassing its constitutional authority. They focused primarily on the Legislative branch because it had extensive powers, few limitations, and the “power of the purse,” but the lengthy process involved to make laws and the amount of people involved help to prevent the abuse of power.

“Boumediene v. Bush, U.S. Supreme Court Case Summary & Oral Argument.”

The Oyez Project | Build 6. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2007/2007_06_1195&gt;.

Madison, James. “Federalist No. 48.” Modern Political Thought. Ed. David Wootton.

Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2008. 335. Print

United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 9

United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 3

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John Stuart Mill’s arguments for defense of the rights of women could also be used to defend homosexuals against the policy which currently bars them from serving openly in the military.  Mill says “the generality of a practice is in some cases a strong presumption that it is, or at all events once was, conducive to laudable ends” (653).  It was assumed before the passage of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that homosexuals in the military would have a difficult time focusing on the task at hand if they were distracted by members of the same sex who they would be serving with.  Unfortunately, as we have seen in cases such as the Air Force Academy sexual assault cases earlier this decade (New York Times Survey), it has been shown that members of the same sex also have trouble controlling themselves.  The logic behind this measure is also flawed because heterosexuals in the military are allowed to openly discuss their personal relationships amongst themselves, but homosexuals are required to withhold their personal information.  Simply sharing personal information shouldn’t conflict with a gay soldier’s duties any more than a straight soldier’s.
Mill also mentions “that people of the last two or three generations have lost all practical sense of the primitive condition of humanity; and only the few who have studied history accurately . . . are able to form any mental picture of what society then was” (655).  This is also applicable to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and it undermines the historic fact of homosexuality in the Greek military.  Although these relationships were regulated by societal standards, homosexuality wasn’t regarded as an abomination, but rather a practical solution to the problem of not having women serving alongside the men.  People who shun gays in the military are forgetting the history behind homosexual relationships in the military.
When discussing the idea that women were naturally incapable of doing certain jobs, Mill dismissing this thought, saying “even if it be well grounded in a majority of cases, which it is very likely not to be, there will be a minority of exceptional cases in which it does not hold:  and in those it is both an injustice to the individuals, and a detriment to society, to place barriers in the way of their using their faculties for their own benefit and for that of others” (661).  The same is true of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy which assumes, based on few or no examples, that homosexuals will not be able to control their urges in the line of duty.  It is offensive that this law makes such an unfounded generalization about a group of people.  It is also unfair that these men and women, who are wiling to sacrifice everything for the good of their nation, are being turned away for something that has nothing to do with their job performance.  Mill asks “Is there so great a superfluity of men fit for high duties, that society can afford to reject the service of any competent person?” (678).  Fifty-seven Arabic linguists have been fired because their sexual orientation has been discovered (Huffington Post Blog).  In this time of war, in which we have a shortage of military members who are able to translate Arabic, it is ridiculous that we are turning them away.  Doing this is a disservice to these brave Americans, and our nation which is in desperate need of their services.
Although The Subjection of Women doesn’t let on to how Mill would have felt about this 20th century policy, the principles he used seem to give a clear argument for overturning it.
Sources:
Mill, John Stuart.  “The Subjection of Women”.  Modern Political Thought.  ed.  David Wootton.
Hackett Publishing Company:  Indianapolis, 2008.

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Recently, I stumbled upon an article in the Michigan Daily called “Moderate this” by Chris Koslowski. Intrigued by the title, I read further and realized it was describing the reasons for the downfall of the Republican Party—post-Reagan—and the increasingly popular liberal ideology. After reading over his various explanations, I realized his solution could not have been any more brilliant: a revamping of the party is not necessary, but returning to its roots is.

The definition of “conservatism” is the belief in minimal and gradual change, valuing history and realism over idealism (Britannica). Unarguably, there are very distinct sets of Republicans. There is the typical conservative—beliefs rooted in religion, seen as too traditional for modern-day society and there are the centrist moderates, attempting to use bipartisanship as a way to keep the party afloat. How can two completely different sets of thinking constitute one party?

Undoubtedly, the party system has some resemblance to the class system. Karl Marx once said in regard to classes:

“…within this class one part appears as the thinkers of the class (its active, conceptive ideologists who make perfecting the illusion of this class about itself their main source of livelihood), while the others’ attitude toward these ideas and illusions is more passive and receptive because they are really the active members of this class and have less time to make up illusions and ideas about themselves.”

Is this not the perfect description of the Republican Party? When asked, a true Republican has a specific stance on abortion, on healthcare, on affirmative action. But who is a true Republican? He is not someone who wavers somewhere in the middle, not truly believing in what he is advocating. He will not surrender or compromise his true beliefs merely to bring the Party to the left, thinking by this sacrifice all its problems will be solved and the Party will sustain. A true Republican is a person firm in his beliefs and will not back down on his stances. Is this not exactly what the Democratic Party has done? “When arguing core beliefs, rarely will a liberal submit to moderation. […] Compromise on these issues would be in direct violation of what they believe is right” (Koslowski). This most recent Presidential election in 2008 proves exactly the same point. The Republican Party nominated the incredibly moderate John McCain, with his mantra of bipartisanship, who most Republicans could barely stomach. He was obliterated in the election by less moderate Democrat Barack Obama, who promised more compromise to attain solutions. What has resulted in compromise, though? The biggest item on the President’s agenda is the healthcare bill, and with a Democratic Congress it could pass. Even when the more moderately-leaning Democrats including Michigan Representative Bart Stupak proposed an amendment, not allowing federal money to finance abortions, he and his fellow supporters were heavily scrutinized for even contemplating such an idea (New York Times). The Democrats will not compromise, so why should the Republicans?

Marx said, “Within this class this split can even develop into opposition and hostility between the two parts, which disappears however, in the case of a practical collision where the class itself is in danger”. Even over small things, such as a bill, the Democratic Party stands united, and therefore gets what it wants. What the Republican Party needs to realize is that it is in danger. People do not know where the Party stands on many issues because every “conservative” seems to have a different stance. Without returning to its core, rooted in tradition, the right-winged party may soon be lost.

Works Cited

“conservatism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 11 Dec. 2009 .

Herszenhorn, David M., and Jackie Calmes. “Abortion Was at Heart of Wrangling.” The New York Times 8 Nov. 2009: A24. The New York TImes. 7 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Dec. 2009.

Koslowski, Chris. “Moderate this.” Michigan Daily [Ann Arbor] 18 Nov. 2009. Michigan Daily. 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Dec. 2009.

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. “The German Ideology.” Modern Political Thought Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzsche. 2nd ed. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Company, Inc., 2008. 787. Print.

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Politics and Religion in America:
Where is This Religious Tolerance I Have Heard About?

Section 011

I have decided to post this blog this late in the term because it does not directly correlate to any of our readings, however, I do believe this is an important political issue that should be discussed.

How many senators and representatives in congress believe in some form of a God? How many do not? The 111th congress opened this year with, at most, 7 “non-believers”. Breaking that down, there were actually two Buddhists and five who declined to answer the question. This means that a confirmed 1% of congress does not believe in a God. Is this just because 1% of America does not believe in a God? Not quite, only about 80% of Americans believe in a God, leaving 20% who have declared not to be affiliated with any God religion. Thinking about this in a larger sense, how many presidents have declared to not believe in a God? Zero. So, one may be asking oneself, what’s the issue here? The issue is that those who do not believe in a God are put at a disadvantage on the political level by many of the American people and there is something seriously wrong with this.

A USA Today/Gallup poll in 2007 showed that only 45% of respondents would vote for an Atheist. So, theoretically, even if a non-believer ran for president and would clearly be the best candidate for the position, he would still not win, because of his lack of belief in a God. Does this seem right? Does this seem like it is in the best interest of the country? I do not see how the answer to this could be yes. Some may claim that because he does not believe in a God, he would be immoral and therefore advocate immoral laws. However, this attack against political atheists has relatively little ground. Just because religions with a God advocate some kind of moral position on almost everything, why is it that without a belief in God, someone cannot be moral? This is blatant prejudice thought. Also, since when did everyone who believes in a God follow all those morals anyway? (We all have at least heard one story of a politician who has been “unfaithful” to their spouse).

Maybe one could argue that, “people should have the right to vote for who they want.” This is true, but that does not make this issue any less of a problem. The issue of stereotyping race, sex, gender, etc. has come to discussion in American politics, so why not religion? Just like there is no reason not to vote for an African-American who is most suitable to be the Commander-in-Chief, there is no reason to not vote for a non-believer in the same situation. Too many voters are unfairly stereotyping those who do not believe in God and consequently voting their religion in office and not voting based on merit. Once again, this can in no way benefit America and can only hurt it.

The United States claims to have a government that is separate from religion, but the word “God” is on our national currency and is said during almost any political address. We claim to have freedom of opportunity, but the political scene looks grim for anyone who enters without a belief in God. I am not advocating “Godlessness” in America, only in American politics. We should vote for our public officials based on merit, not on religion. Government and religion need to be in two separate spheres: just as the government has no place in religion, religion has no place in American government.

Sources:

Lin, Joanna. “111th Congress reflects greater religious diversity in

the U.S. .” L.A. Times 05 Jan 2009: n. pag. Web. 13 Dec 2009.

<http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jan/05/local/me-beliefs5?pg=2&gt;.

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