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Should There Be a Line Between Church and Politics?
Should There Be a Line Between Church and Politics?

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AIR DATE: July 29, 2010

In his documentary, 8: The Mormon Proposition, filmmaker Reed Cowan accuses the Mormon Church of using its donation to influence the ballot box to pass Proposition 8. and stop same-sex marriage in California. We take the discussion one step further: how do you feel about who and what your church donates to? How should your money be used? Should any religious organization be involved in politics? Why or why not? We want to hear from you!

GUESTS
Rob Boston, Asst Dir of Communications, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Austin Nimocks, Sr Legal Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund
    comments powered by Disqus
    COMMENTS:
    Clarification for those who are apparently ignorant of their judeochristian history in this nation: heterosexual marriage has been the norm since the beginning of our western civilization. It's not about one church forcing it's belief on another, it's already the norm. You are already following this "religious doctrine." Additionally, the rights of religious institutions need to be guaranteed such that a law that opposes their doctrine will not end up forcing them to act otherwise. Until the Supreme court guarantees that right then the churches have to vigorously defend their current practices.
    RobertJul 12, 2010 20:48:06 PM
    I commented yesterday on the show about church members not just being informed about the churches official position on the issue but also how we as members were asked to participate. I also would like to say that as far as I can see, donations that were used in this situation were donated by church members directly, and did not come from tithing or other general contributions to the church.
    KevinJul 8, 2010 08:23:20 AM
    Did LDS members get credit towards their required 10% tithe for contributions to the prop 8
    Robert [via email]Jul 7, 2010 14:54:35 PM
    I am quite offended that some religions groups feel they can force me to abide by their superstitious beliefs.
    Jim [via email]Jul 7, 2010 14:53:32 PM
    no representation without taxation fair is fair the GOV has no business regulating churches, and no church has the right to regulate other churches if one churches chooses to sanction same sex unions then that is their right
    Fred [via email]Jul 7, 2010 14:51:21 PM
    People who hold religious beliefs should be able to participate in politics. People without religious beliefs should also be able to participate in politics.

    The problem arises when those individuals use their religious doctrines to develop and implement government policies. Because when religion doctrines specifically guide government policy, where is the line to be drawn to keep a democracy from becoming a theocracy?

    HL [via email]Jul 7, 2010 14:49:26 PM
    I have opinions on at least 3 of today's topic:

    1. Regarding donations to churches, as a Catholic, I donate to my church, and have, in past, taken the time to find out where my donations go - locally, state wide, nationally and internationally. I do not always agree with how they use the money (I support Choice, as a member of Catholics for Choice, and I support gay/lesbian marriage, for instance), but I like how much good they do for the less fortunate, and believe, overall, they do a lot of good with the donations they receive. I think everyone should ask their churches for reports on where the donations are used, and be suspect of any who refuse or dodge this question.

    2. On the subject of gay/lesbian marriage, I do not understand the opposition. I say if 2 people want to marry, then that's a good thing. They should have the right to marry, and have all the rights given to all married couples.

    3. On separation of Church and State, I strongly feel our forefathers had it right from the get-go - first, in this country with freedom of religious choice, how on earth could anyone determine which Churches should be permitted to influence our politics and laws??! It would be ridiculous. Religion belongs in the churches and synagogues, not in politics, however, I also believe in Freedom of Speech, so everyone has the right to exercise their opinions, whether based on religion or not. Religion is a major part of the 'founding' of this country some 220-odd years ago, but to be free of religious persecution, among other reasons -

    Kathleen [via email]Jul 7, 2010 14:48:12 PM
    Mr. Nimics justifies prop 8 as a secular benefit by saying that children need a mother and father. If we follow that premise out logically, then I suggest that Mr. Nimics bring a referendum to the ballot to outlaw divorce.

    The premise leads to the following urgent questions:

    1.What happens to that 50% of children of broken heterosexual marriages? How is that working for them?

    2. How many children are physically / emotionally/ sexually abused by a father or mother?

    3. How many children see their fathers physically abusing their mothers? How many mothers have to gather up their children in the middle of the night and escape to a shelter?

    4. How many documented cases of abuse have been reported in same-sex families, in proportion to heterosexual unions?

    When you look at these questions, the validity of Mr. Nimics' premise fails.

    And by the way, I am a straight woman.

    Susan [via email]Jul 7, 2010 14:45:21 PM
    I think that this is a very important film. Religion should not mix with politics; I think it lends an unfair skew. Justice and freedom need to be about unemotional logic and truth, not a moral opinion.
    Yohannah McNeeJul 7, 2010 09:28:17 AM
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