Opinion

The fine line between piety and religious propaganda

Election years are undoubtedly stressful. As potential voters, we are bombarded with conflicting information and are expected to make a sound decision. How can we dig through the massive biases to find truth and be informed enough to make a decision? How do we figure out truly what we agree with or not? How do we know that we have not been presented with only half of the issues?

One issue, of the many that particularly disturbs me is the way that religion has become a political issue.

Morality is important and valuable in any society, but religion is not an official part of our government, as established by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I wonder, then, why have Jesus Christ’s beliefs become something for everyone to consider when choosing our next president?

I went to church on Sunday and directly in front me someone’s shirt read, “Is Christ ‘OK’ with abortion?” Please understand that I am not criticizing religious people and those who pray for guidance when making decisions – I am one of them.

My concern is with bringing Jesus in as a vital perspective and how we should be guilt-ridden if we do not think of his words. I am also troubled with how we only think of Jesus and consider what he has to say only when it seems convenient. If we are talking about his opinion on abortion, then what he says about any form of murder should also be considered, whether it is punitive, the act of war, or capital punishment.

Religious fundamentalism prevalent in this election does not make sense to me even when viewed through my faith. Many issues in this election have been tied to religious thought such as abortion, the war and gay and lesbian marriages. I’m shocked that those considering themselves faithful and vehemently against the murder of unborn children are turning their backs sharply on what their faith has to say about loving, accepting, respecting and forgiving all human beings and human life.

So, I say we stray from discussing these issues in a religious light and instead focus on the society at large and how it should be improved for the people, by the people.

Beni Yunis can be contacted at b.yunis@umiami.edu.

September 30, 2004

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