Religious values affect political choice

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It is unethical to force Americans to choose between their religions and their choices of presidential candidates. Issues such as gay marriage, abortion, birth control and other religious matters have no place in politics.

Many extremist Republican and Democratic advocates are playing the religious card in order to persuade citizens to vote for a particular candidate.

I have heard everything from ‘Romney practices polygamy’ to ‘vote for Obama and you are going to burn in hell.’

However, I cannot say I did not expect this.

When compared to other developed countries, it is arguable that America is the most religious.

So many issues and controversies in the presidential debates have been focused on religious values.

American citizens, in defense of their own freedoms, need to look past the shortcomings of the political system and focus on what needs improvement.

The economy, education and other issues are being pushed aside to make room for these heavy issues of faith.

It is the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens and prevent those citizens from harming others. It is not the government’s duty to lay out rules and codes for how citizens can live their lives.

It does not matter whether an individual believes gay marriage is wrong or sinful.

That individual does not need to marry someone of the same sex. Why should one person’s beliefs stop another person from having his or her own beliefs?

Race, age and gender are the three categories that narrowly define what makes up a human being.

It is legal for different races and ages to marry.

Gender is the exception because most religions do not protest blacks marrying whites or 20-year-olds marrying 60-year-olds.

It is a religious issue.

The Truth Truck, a truck advertising the so-called sins of America, takes a trip to an Ohio state campus.

In many arguments over religiously political issues, people will say they do not want their children growing up in a certain environment – that they have the right to raise their children in a world without homosexuals, birth control, etc.

Yes, they should have that right.

The reason why they have that right is because the government does not interfere and tell them how they can and cannot raise their children and live their lives. It is a two-way street.

Why should any religion be given the chance to influence politics when those same religions would be outraged if the government stepped in and influenced their laws?

A few months ago, a healthcare reform mandated that birth control and services be available through all insurance plans. Catholic institutions are being forced to provide financing for these services that directly violate many of the beliefs of the Catholic faith.

Just like religion has no right to interfere with the law, the law has no right to interfere with religion.

Americans have the right to freedom of religion – this freedom is one of the strongest legs America has to stand on.

Just like it is wrong to force Catholic institutions to pour money into services they do not agree with, it is unlawful to take away services simply because of moral issues.

One of Mitt Romney’s biggest campaign focuses is that he wants to take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

These are religious not political issues being debated. Obviously they are hot topics, and no one is ever going to agree over them.

I saw a pro-life billboard the other day stating abortion is a black and white issue. I could not agree more. It is a black and white issue that has no place being debated over by presidential candidates.

These are personal matters, and taking choices out of individual citizens’ hands is like taking their individual rights away.

By BRITTANY POWELL

Features Editor

bripowel@ius.edu