Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Preaching Politics from the Pulpit

  1. May 30, 2008 #1


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This isn't about Obama. It's about the flagrant abuse of authority of preachers preaching politics to their followers. People that go to church are pretty much taught since a small child that a member of the clergy is always to be trusted, if you have a problem, are in trouble, in need of direction, you should talk to your pastor, priest, rabbi, etc... These people have captive audiences that will believe to some degree everything they say.

    I have nothing against a religious figure talking about religion. I absolutely have a problem when they overstep their bounds and start preaching politics. I personally believe that this should not be allowed at all.

    This is the latest preacher that should have kept his mouth shut.


    This got on the news because it was at Obama's Church. This kind of thing seems to be going on in quite a few churches, just gauging from the churchgoers in my office.

    How do you feel about preachers preaching politics?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I think atheists can take hope that they'll get an atheist candidate for President sooner than they think. Candidates will start to claim they're atheists just to avoid embarrassment.
  4. May 30, 2008 #3
    I think preachers should be able to say anything they damn well please. It's called freedom of speech. When the government starts telling preachers what they can say and cannot say we are in trouble.

    People need to take responsibility for who they trust to teach them morals and values. Not the government or whomever you were thinking would prevent a preacher from speaking his mind, Evo.
  5. May 30, 2008 #4

    I agree with you , but be realistic: You cannot control the thoughts of each individual has about their preacher. They've are going to have to make up their own minds about whether are not all their values are based on what they're preacher says. Not all clergy men who talk about politics are bad . Martin Luther King being a famous example. If he did not talk about human rights in his church and motivate people to make a social change, Jim Crow laws would still be in existence.

    Sadly though, there are probably a heck of a lot more Jerry falwell's than Martin Luther Kings. Furthermore, I don't think you should attack the preacher so much. Many of these clergymen would not have the political power they've have if not fore the mindless sheep that continue support these kinds of people. What is a head without its body? Blame the sheep , not the sheperd .

    The root of the problem is that a lot of people failed to think rationally about what comes out of their preacher's mouths and mindlessly eats whatever their preacher feeds them.
  6. May 30, 2008 #5

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2015 Award

    If political action is part of their religious beliefs, I have no problem with that. Society - via the state - shouldn't attempt to regulate what is preached in a church.

    However, the price the church should pay is loss of its 501(c)(3) status.
  7. May 30, 2008 #6
    I can agree to this to some extent. If a preacher has an opinion that is political in nature then he should be able to voice it without consequence. But what of all the other non-profit organizations that are political in nature, should those go without the tax status?

    Edit by Evo - I removed your reference to Jesus. This is about religions pushing political views. This is not about your favorite religion.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  8. May 30, 2008 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I disagree. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country. While it is usually used to protect religion from Government, religion shouldn't be a part of politics.

  9. May 30, 2008 #8
    It's not to prevent religion from having political views it's to prevent GOVERNMENT FROM BEING RELIGIOUS. That's a compete perversion of the "seperation of church and state".
  10. May 30, 2008 #9


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Did you read what I said?

    Also, since you say "it's to prevent government from being religious" you still think it's right for religious groups to try to make religion an inseparable part of politics?
  11. May 30, 2008 #10
    Why can't preachers expressed their political beliefs? They are citizens of this country just like everyone else. The consititution does not (or should not)allow laws to made based on religious beliefs. That is the essense seperation of church and state.
    Last edited: May 30, 2008
  12. May 30, 2008 #11


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Of course they can express their beliefs, outside of their official capacity which is to teach the word of God. When they abuse their position within the church to push their own personal political agendas, they've gone too far, IMHO.

    Go back to my OP
    I feel that if the government should stay out of religion, religion should stay out of Government. I personally feel that there is way too much religious interference and control over our politicians.
  13. May 30, 2008 #12
    Why shouldn't religous groups be part of politics? There is a myriad of groups that are part of politics. Why single out religous groups as opposed to environmental groups, for example? That's straight communism.
  14. May 30, 2008 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If churches want to lose their privileged status and become a lobbying group, then that's different. They want their cake and eat it too.
    Last edited: May 30, 2008
  15. May 30, 2008 #14
    100 Points. We have a long way to go.
  16. May 30, 2008 #15
    Think of all the non-profit NON-RELIGIOUS organizations that have political agendas. Got to strip them too.

    Just because you don't like religion doesn't mean those who do should lose their right to free speech when it involves politics. Don't you see what that is?
  17. May 30, 2008 #16
    I disagree. Preachers/reverends/ministers (whatever you call them) have a lot of sway with their followers or "flock" and can influence them immensely...I do not think it's appropriate for people in these positions to propagate or openly support a specific political candidate, party or ideal.

    Apartheid is a classic example of why religion and politics shouldn't be mixed.
  18. May 30, 2008 #17
    Green Peace can't sabotage your chance at an afterlife if you decide to go against what they preach...You can't compare the two...Religious organisations hold a lot more power over their followers...
  19. May 30, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Churches have every right to speak out on issues of morality and ethics, but when they start pushing for a particular candidate or degrading others, then they should lose their tax exempt status.
  20. May 30, 2008 #19
  21. May 30, 2008 #20
    But religion is not a recognized political organization. It holds no real power in itself. What you guys are suggesting is censoring belief systems. That = communism.

    Fortunately, as long as the Constitution is the basis of our government, we won't see this kind of thing happen.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Preaching Politics from the Pulpit
  1. Political Academia (Replies: 11)

  2. Political Spin (Replies: 31)

  3. The Politics of Scale (Replies: 7)