Religion and Politics

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
Post Reply
User avatar
tobes
Posts: 1140
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am

Religion and Politics

Post by tobes » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:31 pm

Indrajala wrote:
tobes wrote:Indrajala, I think you far overplay secularism in contemporary western societies. It's a very common tacit assumption that 'the west' is increasingly secular, materialist, scientific etc.
Well, I'd say in most western societies there is a strong emphasis on secular values and secular government (i.e., separation of church and state). I'm well aware this isn't the case everywhere, but increasingly older organized religions are being held in contempt (like the Catholic church) while people look to "spirituality" in some form or another (yoga, astrology, "Buddhism as a way of life", etc).
Yes, there is obviously much truth in this kind of view. But my point is that it is increasingly problematised, and for good reasons.

Even on the level of governmental politics, we have to account for the very influential rise of religious influenced conservationism - think about American politics for a moment! We cannot say that American governmental politics is becoming increasingly secular. If anything, it seems to be becoming increasingly less secular.

In my own country, of the last three prime-ministers, two have been overtly and explicitly influenced by theological considerations. Without judging whether this is good or bad, it is quite simply, a fact of the matter. And Australia, of all places, has been very much a secular kind of society.

Beyond that squarely governmental level, we need to account for the incredible rise of pentecostal churches etc. Even Buddhism in the west is far more organised and institutional than it was 30-40 years ago.

You might also consider the agenda of the new atheist movement - people like Dawkins, Hitchins etc. Why are they so aggressively promoting western scientific rationalism against religion? Is it because they consider the battle well and truly won? Obviously not. And probably the most influential German social theorist is dialoguing with the pope on this matter: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=ERz ... pe&f=false

So check this thesis:

http://disgorgedintotalrecall.tumblr.co ... dern-world


:anjali:

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24964
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by Malcolm » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:42 pm

tobes wrote: Even on the level of governmental politics, we have to account for the very influential rise of religious influenced conservationism - think about American politics for a moment! We cannot say that American governmental politics is becoming increasingly secular. If anything, it seems to be becoming increasingly less secular.
That really depends on where you live. Where I live (Western Massachusetts), born again conservative Christian Republicans are about as common as Sasquatch, and their secular counterparts, also infrequently sighted in the wild.

In the Northeast and Northwest, as well as most of the left coast (and Canada) politics in increasingly more secular in general.

In the middle swath of the country there is a bit of a ambivalence i.e. Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

In the deep South up through the classic "West", there is a movement towards increasingly less secularism.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
tobes
Posts: 1140
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by tobes » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:45 am

Malcolm wrote:
tobes wrote: Even on the level of governmental politics, we have to account for the very influential rise of religious influenced conservationism - think about American politics for a moment! We cannot say that American governmental politics is becoming increasingly secular. If anything, it seems to be becoming increasingly less secular.
That really depends on where you live. Where I live (Western Massachusetts), born again conservative Christian Republicans are about as common as Sasquatch, and their secular counterparts, also infrequently sighted in the wild.

In the Northeast and Northwest, as well as most of the left coast (and Canada) politics in increasingly more secular in general.

In the middle swath of the country there is a bit of a ambivalence i.e. Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

In the deep South up through the classic "West", there is a movement towards increasingly less secularism.
Well yes, absolutely - the point is that from the reformation until now, it's always been a highly variable mess of contradictions. Nothing is settled on this question.

:anjali:

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:52 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by daverupa » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:55 am

Malcolm wrote:In the deep South up through the classic "West", there is a movement towards increasingly less secularism.
Oregon and Colorado seem to be moving in very secular ways. Utah accidentally legalized gay marriage. The West seems to be a wild card.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

User avatar
Wayfarer
Posts: 3484
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:57 am

actually, 'secularism' is often taken to mean an anti-religious attitude, but I don't think it really means that.

A 'secular state' allows citizens to practice any religion, or none, but I don't think it actually amounts to the view that 'none' is better than 'any'. Or at least, that is not how it started. Secularism was part of the means by which church-state separation was enabled, and was originally intended as a guarantee of religious freedom, because if there is a state-sanctioned or 'official' religion, this often tends towards a theocracy (as the current theocracies in the world exemplify).

So I think the logical stance for an exponent of secular values is agnosticism, not anti-religion or atheism.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24964
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:22 am

daverupa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:In the deep South up through the classic "West", there is a movement towards increasingly less secularism.
Oregon and Colorado seem to be moving in very secular ways. Utah accidentally legalized gay marriage. The West seems to be a wild card.
The "Northwest" is Oregon and Washington. Colorado is moving towards a more secular demographic because of people from California and other places moving there.

M
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 5656
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by kirtu » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:38 pm

Malcolm wrote:
tobes wrote: Even on the level of governmental politics, we have to account for the very influential rise of religious influenced conservationism - think about American politics for a moment! We cannot say that American governmental politics is becoming increasingly secular. If anything, it seems to be becoming increasingly less secular.
That really depends on where you live. Where I live (Western Massachusetts), born again conservative Christian Republicans are about as common as Sasquatch, and their secular counterparts, also infrequently sighted in the wild.
Malcolm! Your state elected Sasquatch as Governor thus ensuring him national standing long after his semi-mythic salvation of the Salt Lake City Olympics had faded from memory. Just 1 1/2 years ago he was one of two conservative candidates for the Presidency from two supposedly diametrically opposed political parties (which are really just two wings of the same single National Conservative Party). Sasquatch's capitalist health care plan is now the law of the land even though he lost the election!

Massachusetts registered voter affiliation

So just over 11% of registered voters in Massachsetts *could* be a Sasquatch. Maybe it was just your former governor. And maybe all of these Sasquatch live on Cape Cod or outside of Boston.

Ironic that one of the most politically "liberal" states in the US propelled a Tea Party candidate nearly to the Oval Office.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 5656
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by kirtu » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:44 pm

tobes wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
tobes wrote: Even on the level of governmental politics, we have to account for the very influential rise of religious influenced conservationism - think about American politics for a moment! We cannot say that American governmental politics is becoming increasingly secular. If anything, it seems to be becoming increasingly less secular.
That really depends on where you live. Where I live (Western Massachusetts), born again conservative Christian Republicans are about as common as Sasquatch, and their secular counterparts, also infrequently sighted in the wild.

In the Northeast and Northwest, as well as most of the left coast (and Canada) politics in increasingly more secular in general.

In the middle swath of the country there is a bit of a ambivalence i.e. Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

In the deep South up through the classic "West", there is a movement towards increasingly less secularism.
Well yes, absolutely - the point is that from the reformation until now, it's always been a highly variable mess of contradictions. Nothing is settled on this question.

:anjali:
Come on - the European invaders had barely begun the conquest of North (and South and Central) America by the end of the Reformation. There have been regional and cultural differences between various expressions of Christianity and Juadism since the Reformation to be sure but the religious culture and history of North America doesn't have a direct link to these events any more.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24964
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:24 pm

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
tobes wrote: Even on the level of governmental politics, we have to account for the very influential rise of religious influenced conservationism - think about American politics for a moment! We cannot say that American governmental politics is becoming increasingly secular. If anything, it seems to be becoming increasingly less secular.
That really depends on where you live. Where I live (Western Massachusetts), born again conservative Christian Republicans are about as common as Sasquatch, and their secular counterparts, also infrequently sighted in the wild.
Malcolm! Your state elected Sasquatch as Governor thus ensuring him national standing long after his semi-mythic salvation of the Salt Lake City Olympics had faded from memory. Just 1 1/2 years ago he was one of two conservative candidates for the Presidency from two supposedly diametrically opposed political parties (which are really just two wings of the same single National Conservative Party). Sasquatch's capitalist health care plan is now the law of the land even though he lost the election!

Massachusetts registered voter affiliation

So just over 11% of registered voters in Massachsetts *could* be a Sasquatch. Maybe it was just your former governor. And maybe all of these Sasquatch live on Cape Cod or outside of Boston.

Ironic that one of the most politically "liberal" states in the US propelled a Tea Party candidate nearly to the Oval Office.

Kirt
Kirt, I was very specific -- Mormons are not necessarily republican, though they tend to be conservative, and Romney is hardly a conservative Republican, which is one of the reasons he lost. He is fairly liberal by Republican standards, actually. I was talking about conservative born again evangelical Christians (who do not accept Mormons as being Christians (a big obstacle for Romney to overcome)).

And as I stated, specifically, in my neck of the woods, his kind are extremely rare. Most of the Republicans in MA live in and around Central MA and in Berkshire County. Eastern MA and Western MA (meaning Franklin, Hampshire and Hamden Counties) are about as liberal as you get anywhere in the country.

When Republicans get voted into office in MA (its happened twice in the past thirty years), it is generally because Democrats have botched something huge.

Romney is hardly a tea party candidate.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 5656
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by kirtu » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:22 pm

Malcolm wrote: Mormons are not necessarily republican, though they tend to be conservative, and Romney is hardly a conservative Republican, which is one of the reasons he lost. He is fairly liberal by Republican standards, actually. I was talking about conservative born again evangelical Christians (who do not accept Mormons as being Christians (a big obstacle for Romney to overcome)).
Conservative born-again Christians overwhelmingly do not accept Mormons as Christian. It doesn't matter. Most Mormons are fairly conservative politically and socially and would fit right in with most born-again people.
Malcolm wrote:When Republicans get voted into office in MA (its happened twice in the past thirty years), it is generally because Democrats have botched something huge.
Ok, but your selection is slanted. Republicans have held the Massachusetts governorship ten times since about 1946.
Malcolm wrote:Romney is hardly a tea party candidate.
He's not Sarah Palin and he reportedly had to win over the Tea Party. He wasn't their first choice. However I would disagree that he was not a Tea Party candidate. Do you have evidence that he significantly turned away Tea Party voters? I ask because when I vote Green, I am turning away from the Democrat "choice" (something I have done in about 1/2 the elections since 1990 and will do forever now unless Sanders is the Dem candidate).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24964
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:17 pm

:focus:
kirtu wrote: Do you have evidence that he significantly turned away Tea Party voters?
He lost.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 5656
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by kirtu » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:40 pm

Malcolm wrote::focus:
kirtu wrote: Do you have evidence that he significantly turned away Tea Party voters?
He lost.
Republicans are a minority nation-wide. Republican presidential victories are only possible if a large enough proportion of Democrats do not turn out or vote for the Democrat candidate and independents vote with a > 50% for the Republican candidate.

So the fact that Romney lost tells us nothing about Tea Party voter turnout or their vote.

BTW - Republicans have held the Massachusetts governorship *four* times since 1984: Weld, Weld, Cellucci and Romney.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24964
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist neglect of academic findings.

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:12 pm

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote::focus:
kirtu wrote: Do you have evidence that he significantly turned away Tea Party voters?
He lost.
Republicans are a minority nation-wide. Republican presidential victories are only possible if a large enough proportion of Democrats do not turn out or vote for the Democrat candidate and independents vote with a > 50% for the Republican candidate.

So the fact that Romney lost tells us nothing about Tea Party voter turnout or their vote.

BTW - Republicans have held the Massachusetts governorship *four* times since 1984: Weld, Weld, Cellucci and Romney.

Kirt
Weld is a RINO, he does not really count.

M
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1790
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: Religion and Politics

Post by Seishin » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:33 am

Moderator note: Topic split from here Sorry for any continuity lost.

Gassho,
Seishin

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests