Should Religious leaders try to influence national policy?

#1
Embryo Research

With the upcoming vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill the RC Church is once again putting religious dogma before common sense.

Independent said:
Is a bunch of cells just that: a bunch of cells, as scientists would have it, or is it, as the Catholic Church insists, a human being with a soul?
Cardinal Keith O'Brien said:
"This Bill represents a monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life” going on to say "One might say that in our country we are about to have a public government endorsement of experiments of Frankenstein proportion – without many people really being aware of what is going on."
Lord Winston said:
"His statements are lying. They are misleading and I am afraid that when the Church, for good motives, tells untruths, it brings discredit on itself,"
With less than 10% of the “Christian” population (2001 consensus, 66% of population categorise themselves as Christians) attending church once a month or more.
Can The Church claim to be the “voice of public opinion” in an increasingly secular society?
Furthermore are the Religious leaders of this country capable of informed and impartial debate on “Hot Topics” or does their adherence to the dogma of their faith make them incapable of reasoned judgement?

My own opinion is that the Churches should stick to devil dodging and god bothering and leave policy making to politicians and civil servants (with sufficient information provided from relevant sources), instead of grandstanding in order to raise their public profiles.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Couldn't agree more. Religious dogma is not set in stone either, otherwise the Earth would still be the centre of the universe, AIDS would be a global pandemic set to wipe out humanity, we'd still be at war with every other religion, and witches would still be set on fire.

Religion needs to stay WELL clear of politics - when it used to run politics, all it did was screw the world up. The world has progressed exceedingly well since it became mostly secular, and because of it.

Edited to add: And science - religion has no place in science either.
 
#3
Ask the Dalai Lama.
 
#4
The problem always is - whose religion? American friends of mine remember being forced to say prayers in public school that were not of their faith - underlining the point that religion is a private matter and should stay that way.

In the south of US, far more dangerous religious bullying is occurring - evangelicals are pressing to get 'creation science' taught on the same par as evolution. They are also violently opposed to stem cell research, but not to war - a leading cause of death to the product of said cells. :roll:
 
#8
TopBadger said:
We're a secular country - so NO!

TB
Actually no we aren't...whether we should be or unofficially have become such is another debate.

As for secular powers having done better than religious ones, I think that is not merely erroneous, it is cake as well.

Finally, Archbishop Williams really should think twice before engaging in a battle of wits when unarmed.
 
#10
Politics, like religion is about people and how best to look after them. therefore I see no problem with one trying to influence the other.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#11
Sven said:
Politics, like religion is about people and how best to look after them. therefore I see no problem with one trying to influence the other.
Paternalistic clap-trap. Holding such views should automatically disbar anyone from running for office.

Politicians are voted in on the strengths of their party’s manifesto, personal popularity or some sense of loyalty. Not because they are likely to cave to pressure later from a god-botherer. That would do nothing but cloud the issue with their fairy stories.

Why on Earth should an unelected church leader (of any church) have a say in peoples' family members Alzheimers treatment or similar?
 
#12
No they should stay the feck out of it. Why don't they just keep their opinions to themselves? It is about time that they (church leaders) realise that religion is becoming an irrelevance to a majority of people in this country. Why should we listen to a small band of people, who are convinced that they have an invisible friend who they can talk to? For centuries religion was used a club by the upper classes to beat the chattering classes into submission. In the words of Lord Bragg of Barking 'they dazzle us with heaven and then they damn us all to hell!'
 
#14
Something needs to give our politicians their moral compass - was I the only one unsettled by ministers being urged to use their consciences? I know few who have one.

The trouble is, Christian religious leaders are now a weak and febrile bunch. There are few inspirational CofE leaders and in a previous age it would have been more notable that the best few are called Sentamu and Nazir Ali. Canterbury's a joke and Southwark is living proof that competence and integrity are no prerequisite (and that Williams can't control him).

And in this 'multiculchral' society the price we pay for giving our churchmen a stage is having to brook the mullahs too.

Defender of No Faiths and a secular society of humane conscience please. I am a Christian but it has become a deeply personal thing founded in RMAS's excellent suggestion that you have faith in something bigger and better than yourself. I now cringe at more sermons than I applaud and no longer see the access that men of faith have to politicians as being necessarily beneficial. And we get politicians of conscience by being better at picking conscientious politicians.
 
#15
The concerns of the Catholics is not so much about Stem Cel research, but if science can produce Life in the same way their God was supposed to, then it undermines Gods existence, which in turn undermines their control of people through religion.
Another point, if Politics is going to try to force people to observe any religious viewpoint, then a lot of nonbelivers will become "Terrorists", (for want of a better word).
You listening Brown,,,
(The PM not the skin colour.. )
 
#16
Sixty said:
Sven said:
Politics, like religion is about people and how best to look after them. therefore I see no problem with one trying to influence the other.
Paternalistic clap-trap. Holding such views should automatically disbar anyone from running for office.

Politicians are voted in on the strengths of their party’s manifesto, personal popularity or some sense of loyalty. Not because they are likely to cave to pressure later from a god-botherer. That would do nothing but cloud the issue with their fairy stories.

Why on Earth should an unelected church leader (of any church) have a say in peoples' family members Alzheimers treatment or similar?
My bold.

Care to explain constituency surgeries then, sixty?
 
#17
If your a believer it should influence everything you do so yes they should.Whether anyone should take any notice of them is something else
entirely .
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#20
Sven said:
Care to explain constituency surgeries then, sixty?

So that constiuents of whatever party can raise matters of personal, local or national significance? You know, a necessary function if they want to stay in office.

However, if it went against the MP's beliefs you'd be quite happy for them to ignore the issue presumably?


I've had a go at yours. Now you answer mine (posted here again in all it's - ahem - 'glory' just in case you're hard of reading as well as thinking).


I said:
Why on Earth should an unelected church leader (of any church) have a say in peoples' family members Alzheimers treatment or similar?
 

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