State and Church

Catholics voting for Democrats will go to hell?

Maia Torres

CBS News

November 4,2016

The San Diego catholic church sent a newsletter out warning Catholics that if they vote for Hillary Clinton they would go to hell. The church believes that voting for Democrats is a sin and that Hillary Clinton is being “influenced by Satan.” Hillary believes in abortion and same-sex marriage, two important topics that the Catholic church is against. While some people believe that the message goes against Catholic teachings others think that voting or thinking of voting for a party will make you go to hell automatically.

The first amendment says we have the freedom to decide and exercise our own religion without interference from the government and Congress. I learned that people thought the right of free belief needed to be protected as it is believed to strengthen both church and state. The establishment of the Catholic church goes way back, and it was one of the most important religions along with many others; people who didn’t follow state endorsed religions were punished, which is why the first amendment was made.

People shouldn’t have to not vote for who they want to because a church says they’ll go to “hell.” A church shouldn’t be the one to decide who goes to hell because they feel that Hillary Clinton is a bad candidate for president. A church shouldn’t have anything to do with people’s choices in politics.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of religious diversity in society?

Some advantages of religious diversity are that because there was a growing number of religious groups one particular church couldn’t easily dominate the others. Not only that, that one church couldn’t claim privileges from the government as easily with all the other groups. It teaches us tolerance and allows us to see things in different perspectives.

On the other hand, some disadvantages of religious diversity are that there is no definite religion to follow. There would be so many religious groups that eventually the base of religion would probably begin to shift away from its original purpose and change altogether.

I think it’s better to have a few religious groups because it helps to limit the confusion that it puts the people through. Some people can become confused by how one religion does one thing while another does things differently. At the end of the day, people should just follow what religion they feel is best for them. Religious diversity can help us see religion differently, which can be good and bad.

“Do you think it is important to keep church and state separate? Why or why not?”

Daniela Leandro

In the Bill of Rights which are the first ten amendments of the U.S Constitution, the first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This means that Congress is not allowed to set a specific national religion, therefore the states should not be allowed either. It is important to keep church and state separate because each person has the right to choose what they want to believe in.

This is also what James Madison believed and said. If the church and the state where not separate, people of different religions and beliefs would not be able to work together and learn to respect others. The churches cannot demand more money from the states, this is because the money the states would provide for the churches would be more money that the people would have to pay in taxes. Moreover, if the state and churches were not separate the states would prohibit the religions that they did not endorse, infringing upon the people’s rights to practice the religion of their choice.

On the other hand, some people may say that the church and state should not be separated because with state involvement there would be less crimes within the different religions.  The more religious groups come to power, the more often each religion attempted to eliminate the other religions by banishing, torturing, or even killing people that belong to the religion. Also, people would rather keep the church and state together because the state would financially help expand and grow the churches exempting the people from having to give money to allow their church to continue. It may also be argued that the first amendment only states that Congress is not allowed to set a national religion, however it does not mention that the states cannot.

However, I stand strongly with my position that the church and state should be kept separate. Back in the seventeenth century when the American colonies followed the tradition of having established churches, they had no patience or understanding of those who did not follow the church. They would tax the people against their will to support the religion of the state and would punish all those people who would refuse to attend the worship. Also, those people who not only did not attend the established church, but the people who expressed any kind of negative opinions would also be punished. That is not what should happen when it is our right to have freedom of religion, to believe in what we choose, and to practice what we choose. Lastly, the growing numbers of the different religions, and the different religious groups make it impossible for one church to dominate all the others now.

 

Ocala Star-Banner

Pope on Reformation: Forgive ‘errors’ of Past

11/01/2016

The Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church signed a joint declaration on Monday, October 31st, 2016 declaring the unity of the two religions. This was because of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The declaration signed by both churches states that they have set aside their differences and realize a greater number of things they have in common. The Pope is now traveling with the leadership and representation of the Lutherans for joint events.

This shows two different types of religions formed and practiced. In today’s world we do not have state involvement in religion, the religions can come together. They can set aside their different values and beliefs and accept each other and what they believe in. It also speaks about the Protestant Reformation period and the Catholic church. This proves that without government, or state involvement religions can further prosper, and can join each other, instead of having one set religion that everybody must believe in.  The advantages of keeping churches separate from governmental power or state power outweighs the disadvantages.

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