Archive | Religion

Thought Talk: Are religion and politics inseparable?

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Those were the words of Ben Franklin in response to Danbury Baptists in the early 17th century.  Although this is written in the Constitution, the “wall between church and state” is a very fuzzy one. Many argue that all laws are based off of laws from religion, and therefore we should not be ashamed to associate ourselves with the faiths that our nation was founded upon. However, many argue that this can lead to bias towards a people and prejudice in legal matters. They also argue that our country was founded on a freedom to religion, and linking religion and politics goes against that foundation. Is the country making a considerable effort to separate church and state? Or are we really “One Nation, under God”?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Philosophical, Religion1 Comment

Resolved, that abortion be considered infanticide in the eyes of the law.

Infanticide is defined as “the killing of an infant.” Proponents of this resolution argue that abortion is synonymous with infanticide, as a young, underdeveloped life is being killed. They further postulate that providing a legal definition of life limited to only after the start of the third trimester of pregnancy harms the sanctity of human life; they believe considering an embryo to be less human than a fetus is patently immoral. Opponents point out that the embryo is not technically an infant, and that labeling abortions as infanticides exacerbates the negative bias against abortion.  Furthermore, they claim the argument against abortion is largely derived from religious opinion, which should not affect laws regarding women’s freedom of choice. Abortion may prevent harm to a mother’s life or be the only option for a victim of sexual assault.  Is abortion a “necessary evil” or simply evil?

Last edited by KS on FEB 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Religion2 Comments

Resolved, that public schools be required to have a general religious education course.

Even though 92% of Americans profess a belief in God, studies have shown that the general population lack a basic knowledge of major religions. Some say that without this education “…a shallow view of world events and a weakened capacity to critique the claims of those preaching religious intolerance and hate” will emerge. Some schools already offered religious education as an elective course. Is high school the right time to learn this? Should all schools make it a require force, or do the costs outweigh the benefit?

Posted in Education, Religion3 Comments

Resolved, that the burqa be banned in the U.S.

Islam requires that women, as well as men, dress modestly. The burqa consists of a loose dress (jilbab), a headscarf (hijab), and a veil (niqab), but in colloquial speech, burqa refers only to the niqab. The veil is common in a handful of Muslim countries, and burqa-clad immigrants have made their way to Western countries. France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, recently banned women from wearing the burqa in public. Among the stated reasons, French parliamentarians said that the veil posed serious security concerns: like a ski mask, it obscures the face. Also, it ran against “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” by supposedly restraining Muslim women, subjugating them to men, and not looking “French.” Burqa supporters called the prohibition an assault on freedom of religion and blatantly Islamophobic. Women putatively choose to veil themselves.  Supporters of the burqa remind everyone that tolerating foreign customs is a central tenet of multiculturalism. Burqas are rarer in the United States than in France, but many of the principles at stake are shared. Should the United States follow suit on the veil issue?

Posted in "Road Less Traveled", Domestic Affairs, International Affairs, Religion2 Comments