James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Religion Question

This is my latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:

People's views on religion and politics are confused and incoherent. They want to make a distinction, but they can't. Nor should they, because what it all really comes down to is conscience. People can't help but desire their own sense of right and wrong to be reflected in the society and world they live in. Dualism is impossible because separating conscience from judgment is impossible. And conscience must necessarily be informed by religious faith. If one's religious views have "no bearing" on one's political views, then one doesn't really have religious views. ...

Therefore, it isn't out of bounds to question candidates about their religious beliefs.


  1. Jim,
    Good article. A candidate's religious beliefs surely impact their perspective and positions. No matter what a candidate's religion or lack thereof, their big picture understanding of life, the universe, and everything is relevant to voters' evaluation of them.
    A person's principles and values, however, do not flow simply from the family of faith to which they belong, as you indicate. I would support a Muslim or Mormon candidate over Christian candidates, for example, if the Muslim or Mormon valued freedom, peace, and justice, while the Christian candidates did not. Within each large family of faith we find tolerance and intolerance, openness and fundamentalism, peacemakers and warmongers, progressives and regressives. Often, our world views are closer to some members of other faiths than to some members of our own.

  2. I don't think I indicated that a person's principles and values flow "simply' from the family of faith to which they belong, only that it must be a strong influence and is a valid point to raise.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I worded my reply badly - I actually meant that in your article you indicated, correctly, that "A person's principles and values... do not flow simply from the family of faith to which they belong."