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Why does the Religious Right vote and fight against Social Mercy? (revised title)

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posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:21 AM
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The title is NOT the article's title, it is mine: seems that the article title was just prompting responses based on it alone...
the author is CJ Werleman, and he's talking about the inordinate number of suffering Americans who vote against their own self-interest and well-being, while the secular world tries to make things more equitable and alleviate their suffering.

Please read the article, or at least the highlighted parts below, before participating, so we can have a conversation about the actual topic.
No, You Don't Need God to be a Good Person — Why Don't Many Americans Get This?

Although, it's a question I have pondered many many times over my life.

So, I clicked and read it.

This week, Pew Research Center published the results of a survey conducted among 40,080 people in 40 countries between 2011 and 2013. The survey asked a simple question: is belief in God essential to morality? While clear majorities say it is necessary, the U.S. continues to be an outlier.

In 22 of the 40 countries surveyed, the majority says it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person. “This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East,” says the report. No surprise there, but Asian and Latin countries such as Indonesia (99%), Malaysia (89%), the Philippines (99%), El Salvador (93%), and Brazil (86%) all fell in the highest percentile of respondents believing belief in a god (small G) is central to having good values.

>Interestingly, clear majorities in all highly developed countries do not think belief in god to be necessary for morality, with one exception only: the U.S.A.


I'm interested to know what ATS thinks is the answer to the title's question. The author makes some very good points, but some (apparently lots) of Americans won't agree with it...

A snippet or two more: This is the Important Part

In an earlier piece, I wrote that the primary reason for abject child poverty in these Southern states is that more than a third of children have parents who lack secure employment, decent wages and healthcare.

But thanks to religion, these poor saps vote for the party that rejects Medicaid expansion, opposes early education expansion, legislates larger cuts to education, and slashes food stamps to make room for oil and agriculture subsidies on top of tax cuts and loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.

Essentially, the Republican Party has convinced tens of millions of Southerners that a vote for a public display of the Ten Commandments is more important to a Christian’s needs than a vote against cuts in education spending, food stamp reductions, the elimination of school lunches and the abolition of healthcare programs.




Notice that it's the South; a region noted for both poverty and zealous religiosity.

Also, the irony of how the South was strongly Democratic during the Civil Rights era is rather gobsmacking...now they are Republicans? Why the switchover? What happened?

While the more secular America is trying to deal intelligently with real problems—taxes, spending, environment, healthcare, education, inequality, and poverty– the South is rooted in religious fanaticism, ancient grudges and demagoguery.

So, it is not just the rich who are lobbying Congress for tax breaks and low wages that keep the wealth gap alive; it's the low-wage/no-wage super-Godly people?

What do you all think?
I'm neither rich nor in poverty - but every day I read about this stuff, and I'm wondering what signals I'm getting...and where the crossed wires really are....
anyone else?


edit on 3/20/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: change title for more clarity on subject matter




posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:44 AM
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Because many believe "morals" are derived from god.

In fact original "morals" in so called "holy books" are disgusting.

But don't worry, they made a new version that soften t a bit, but its ugly side still alive and ignored.



Moral is stemmed from person's experience, tho it is always good to get advice.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:44 AM
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I think it is fairly obvious that no god is required to be good. A god has never manifested, yet good and evil show up countless times, regardless of denomination.

People will believe anything, and they do, but their beliefs offer nothing in terms of any morality, which were obviously practiced before tablets and doctrines fell out of the sky. Are we to think that before certain gods ordered "Thou Shalt", people were raping and killing each other at whim? Of course not. People need only read the philosophers to show that morality was the game of the thinker, and not the believer.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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But why would people suffering from poor education, poverty, and disenfranchisement be voting for the very things that plague them? Do they just grab onto the Republican label and then no matter what, they vote that way?

It's rather self-defeating.
And then they (super religious) claim they're being persecuted? They're doing it to themselves and others. Seems to be.
Biting the hand that is literally feeding them.

But then again, it's said that

"people will cling even tighter to their beliefs when shown evidence against them."

edit on 3/20/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by BuzzyWigs
 

I can only speak for myself on this one...
Simply put, without a belief in God (big G), I probably would have killed a whole lotta people by now.

edit on 20-3-2014 by Bone75 because: Oops



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:54 AM
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Oh yeah, also, I don't live in the South and never have. And I don't have a religion, but was raised with one (a liberal one that turns away no one). My awareness of the various world religions is from self-guided study.

So I'm definitely an outsider peeping in; I don't mean to stereotype. Perhaps the author of the article is wrong?



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:56 AM
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If You Don't Need God to be a Good Person, then go right ahead and be a good person. Why pause every now and then to proclaim ''look at me, I don't believe in God AND I am a good person''. Its as absurd as an religious person who is also a scientist....pausing every now and then to proclaim ''look at me, I am religious AND I am a scientist''. Absurd.
edit on 20-3-2014 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by Bone75
 


Really? But is it God (big G) you're afraid of? Or the punishment? Or the law of the land?
The article is more about social issues than it is about atheism vs religion, though.

But that's good, then, if you've kept from killing anyone; whatever reason works for you, ya know?

Did you notice in the article

A comparatively eye-popping 53 percent of Americans essentially believe atheists and agnostics are living in sin.
Despite the fact that a research analyst at the Federal Bureau of Prisons determined that atheists are thoroughly under-represented in the places where rapists, thieves and murders invariably end up: prisons.

While atheists make upward of 15 percent of the U.S. population, they only make up 0.2 percent of the prison population.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by Bone75
 





I can on speak for myself on this one...
Simply put, without a belief in God (big G), I probably would have killed a whole lotta people by now.


That is horrifying. A simple belief is holding you back from murdering human beings.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 



If You Don't Need God to be a Good Person, then go right ahead and be a good person. Why pause every now and then to proclaim ''look at me, I don't believe in God AND I am a good person''.

Well, okay thanks, but that is neither what I'm doing, nor is it what the article's slant is about.

It's about politics mixing with religion, and the Religious Right being against the things that would alleviate a lot of their own suffering. And look at my post above this one:
the religious areas of the world are the most poverty-stricken, violent, and underdeveloped.

Can you explain why? There's a chart in the article as well, but apparently you can't be bothered to read it - only to challenge my reason for posting as being "look at me"?



nono. The reason is because I don't get why suffering people would fight to uphold their own misery, and get angry when others with no religion or a different religion try to help.

Seems to me they are hearing, "Believe whatever you like, but we're still going to feed the hungry, house the homeless, educate the kids, and try to make sure everyone is okay." And in response they're saying NO! We don't want you to do that! Believe what we believe and let us suffer.

So are you a Southern Christian, then?

edit on 3/20/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:30 AM
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BuzzyWigs
But why would people suffering from poor education, poverty, and disenfranchisement be voting for the very things that plague them? Do they just grab onto the Republican label and then no matter what, they vote that way?



It's one of my biggest pet peeves about western society. They have fooled people into voting against their own self interests by manipulating the values of the two-party system.

Think about it. The GOP stands for more entitlements towards big industry and less on the poor. Less taxes paid by those same corporations and more paid by the middle and lower classes. They stand for a monetized health care system where our bodies become commodities. These sound like the exact opposite of Jesus values. But, ooooh... throw in subjects like abortion, gay marriage, evolution, and "keepin' Gawd in 'r schoolin" and you have a whole demographic willing to overlook all of the bigger sins of a political party.

Both liberals and conservatives espouse Christ-like values. The difference is that liberal large-scale values are muted by the conservative small-scale ones. This was no accident and it's not just the mastermind of Republicans.

As much as I don't like being associated with his fans, people like Ron Paul will be the driving force behind breaking this mold.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 



Both liberals and conservatives espouse Christ-like values. The difference is that liberal large-scale values are muted by the conservative small-scale ones. This was no accident and it's not just the mastermind of Republicans.


Thanks, finally someone who gets what I was aiming at.


But, if it's no accident, what is it?



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:34 AM
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sk0rpi0n
If You Don't Need God to be a Good Person, then go right ahead and be a good person. Why pause every now and then to proclaim ''look at me, I don't believe in God AND I am a good person''. Its as absurd as an religious person who is also a scientist....pausing every now and then to proclaim ''look at me, I am religious AND I am a scientist''. Absurd.
edit on 20-3-2014 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)


Atheists/humanists say that as a response to the opposite notion. It is normally conservatives Christians who shout that morality can't exist without their god. Many believe that the only reason people don't run around eating each other is because of Jesus. Seriously. People believe that.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 



Many believe that the only reason people don't run around eating each other is because of Jesus. Seriously. People believe that.

So what do they believe the reason is that people don't run around feeding each other??

Oh wait. "Lack of God and therefore lack of morals." Right? /sarc

Thanks I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees the irony (tragic as it is).
edit on 3/20/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:44 AM
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BuzzyWigs
reply to post by Cuervo
 



Both liberals and conservatives espouse Christ-like values. The difference is that liberal large-scale values are muted by the conservative small-scale ones. This was no accident and it's not just the mastermind of Republicans.


Thanks, finally someone who gets what I was aiming at.


But, if it's no accident, what is it?


Money. Always has been.

Think about it. If the party that supported a socialized government that mimicked the values of Jesus's teachings didn't have to worry about non-government social issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc), war profiteers would never make it.

War is traditionally supported by conservatives because, regardless of what Jesus says, they follow Republicans to hell and back because their politicians sound like the good 'ole boys they went to church with when they were little. It's slight of hand. "Don't look at our invasions and corporate tax breaks, look at the liberals wanting to kill your babies!" "Don't look at our enslaving people to oil, look at the gays wanting to get married in your living room!"

But, the truth is, they are all just keeping a balance. Keeping just enough people supporting their war efforts while making sure there are just enough people to challenge their faith so they have to keep supporting the war machine to fight the war on faith. It's totally dizzying when you zoom out and look at how beautifully it all works.

As long as Christians are afraid of liberals, they will always support whatever war-profiteers and oil barons want. No matter what.
edit on 20-3-2014 by Cuervo because: grammarations and what not.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 



But, the truth is, they are all just keeping a balance. Keeping just enough people supporting their war efforts while making sure there are just enough people to challenge their faith so they have to keep supporting the war machine to fight the war on faith. It's totally dizzying when you zoom out and look at how beautifully it all works.


Exactly right! Very good explanation...
If only governments would allocate the amount of money they do to "defense" to social issues instead - there'd be no problem!

The Military Industrial Complex (and add in the Judicial System as well) is a huge ginormous siphon of taxpayers' money....

but then again, so are the corporations that underpay (a lower-than-living wage) their workers expecting the taxpayers to make up the difference!! That's just wrong.

I heard a great article on Here and Now the other day about why raising the minimum wage would be good for everyone, and reflect a more equitable for-profit scheme. Paying people slave wages (literally - the people don't earn enough to sustain an independent lifestyle/home/family) while knowing that the same customers who buy their products will make up the difference in the low price by paying taxes to sustain the labor force. Doesn't make sense.

This man said that all Walmart would have to do to give every employee a living wage ($12/hour) is raise the price on their goods by 1 CENT, 1 TIME ONLY. But they won't because then their competition would beat them out.
Appalling. (To use skorpion's word: Absurd). And the guy talking was a billionaire from California - with a background in fighting liberal/social policies. I'll see if I can find his name...



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 11:00 AM
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Here we go:

Ron Unz made his fortune in Silicon Valley and his political reputation by essentially eliminating bilingual education in California. He’s now pushing for a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in the state to $12 an hour, the highest in the nation.

The Conservative Argument For Raising The Minimum Wage

“One of the arguments frequently made is that a lot of the immigrants who come here take the jobs that Americans don’t want, and that’s perfectly true,” he said. “In a lot of these jobs, if the wages were reasonable, Americans would take the work, and then there wouldn’t be as much of a problem.”

Raising the minimum wage would also take the burden off taxpayers to subsidize the working poor, Unz says.

“The bottom line is that the American government right now spends $250 billion a year on social welfare programs to benefit the working poor,” he said. “What we have right now is the classic case of businesses privatizing the benefits of the workers, but socializing the costs — shifting the burden to taxpayers and the rest of society. And I think businesses should stand on their own two feet and pay their own workers, rather than force the taxpayers to make up the difference.”


Very well put. Hard to argue with. Especially for us taxpayers...
taxed when we earn it, when we spend it, and even when we try to save it! I'm tired of it!



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by BuzzyWigs
 


OP,
I believe the problem is not that Christians do not understand what you are saying, it is just that you do not understand a Christians world view. Before I continue on that topic though let me say this. When you speak of a moral compass you are speaking of a way to differentiate what is right(good) or wrong(evil). A moral compass implies there are both Good and Evil. If morals are relative and there is not a universal moral compass of some kind then there are no morals,just opinions. If morals are set by Society, then Nazi's were not wrong for murdering an entire race of people because that was society's standards. Now based on the OP you have already assumed there is such a thing as a moral Law. A Moral Law needs to have a law giver that is the creator of this existence. Why? Because when a question of if something is Good or Evil is raised it is raised about a person or by a person. This implies humans have intrinsic worth. If there is no law giver how else do you give intrinsic value to a product of time plus matter plus chance?

Now as I was saying you might just be misunderstanding a Christian world view. Christians believe that the entire world contains an ERV of sorts passed along to us from our common ancestor Adam, called Sin. It is the inability to choose to do what our Moral Compass defines as Good all the time. Would it not be foolish to disagree with that statement? Do we not all eventually do something to hurt another in some way even if it is small and rare? Christians say you need God to be righteous, because we believe that only through the sacrifice Jesus made can we ever be viewed as Good. Accepting that sacrifice doesn't stop you from sinning, in fact I believe it makes it harder not to sin. Accepting that sacrifice only makes peace between God and you. Then he views you as Good and the bad things you do as the sin that lives within you. This is something that makes more sense to believers, not because you need some kind of magic to understand it, but because they experience it on a daily basis. They experience the war the Adversary attempts to rain on humanity and God. So my friend it is not that Christians believe that atheistic people cannot be "Good" by societies standards(I have atheistic friends and by societies standards they are better than lots of Christians), but rather that no one on Earth is Good, and only through making peace with God can you be seen as Good. It is funny to note that you can only be seen as righteous if you understand that everyone, including yourself, cannot be seen as righteous a part from the Spirit.

Just my thoughts you can still believe morals are relative but I hope that kinds sheds light on why Christians will tell you no one can be Good without God. Its because we believe we are all sinners and need a savior its not because we think atheist can't be good people by Secular Standards.


edit on 20-3-2014 by ServantOfTheLamb because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by ServantOfTheLamb
 



Its because we believe we are all sinners and need a savior its not because we think atheist can't be good people by Secular Standards.

Thank you for a thoughtful post. It didn't address the immediate issue though, which is why the Hardcore Religious Right fight against the very things that Jesus said to do?

Feed, shelter, clothe and comfort those suffering. But they vote the exact opposite when they rail about Progressive or Democratic platforms for more social justice.

What does allowing your neighbors and countrymen to starve have to do with not believing in original sin?

I don't think morality is relative. I think it's objective in terms of us being social animals. We need each other; and certainly children are totally at the mercy of adults - for a longer time than any other specie we know of.



posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 11:15 AM
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BuzzyWigs
reply to post by Bone75
 


Really? But is it God (big G) you're afraid of? Or the punishment? Or the law of the land?


God promises forgiveness even to murderers who truly repent, so no... fear of God's wrath is not what compels me to be a moral person. For me its more about seeking God's favor than fear. Just because He's prepared to forgive me doesn't mean I should take advantage of it.


The article is more about social issues than it is about atheism vs religion, though.


Yes, I was responding to your original title without reading the entire article. After reading the whole thing, I realize that this is nothing more than another gutless attack campaign that doesn't deserve anymore input from me. Good day.


edit on 20-3-2014 by Bone75 because: (no reason given)



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