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Help with essay plz? (bush and religion)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by DrunkPotHead, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    Help with essay plz? (bush and religion)

    I'm writing a research essay about how Bush mixes his religion with his politics.

    I'm planning to cover 3 issues: *** marriage, how he keeps saying "God" with a capital "G" in his speeches, and his faith-based initiative.

    I won't have enough room for other issues, so i'm focusing on these 3.

    Here's a link to several of my sources:
    Academic journal link: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-0554(196709)61:3<657:TCTSCA>2.0.CO;2-E

    faith-based initiative speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/07/20030716-2.html

    first amendment

    Everson vs Board of Ed:
    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/everson.html
    McCollum vs. Board of Ed:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=333&invol=203

    Bush answers questions about *** marriage:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/02/20040218-6.html

    Bush using religious rhetoric in his speech:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/12/20021220-3.html

    This is essay is supposed to be 5~7 pages long and is due tomorrow.

    Anybody feel like giving me any ideas? Good insight? Arguements againt or for that i can include?
     
  2. Canadia142

    Canadia142 Banned

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    Is saying God with a capital G bad? Maybe since he's a Christian God is a person so he will treat it as a proper noun.
     
  3. DuncanID

    DuncanID IncGamers Member

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    Do you have a thesis of some sort?

    Pointing out that Bush is religious seems a bit weak, in my opinion. I would say decide if you think he SHOULD be mixing his religion with politics, and go from there. Seargent created a very interesting thread on the subject of religious morality just the other day that covers this very topic.

    And not to be overly critical, but your source on *** marriage does not mention religion at all, and I would suggest finding something a little stronger than Bush's Christmas message.

    Unless, of course, your argument is that a President must be completely without faith in every action.
     
  4. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    No, there is nothing that says that Bush cannot use his religion to influence his decisions in office. Your whole essay is moot.
     
  5. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    I think most presidents so far have referred to God quite a bit in their public statements. Maybe you could argue that Bush does it more, or that he positions his faith as more of a guiding force in policy than it should be, but he's not the first person to use the G-word.
     
  6. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    Damnit, i posted a reply and it got lagged up.

    I basically said that Bush has no reasaon other than religious to oppose *** marriages because of the quote in the bible that has been used in these forums so often.

    He uses a non-generic form of "God" in his speeches, which supports a particular religion.

    Anyways, here's a short draft that i did in class, my conclusion is horrible, and i need to lengthen it out to 5~7 pages.
    Damnit, i posted a reply and it got lagged up.

    I basically said that Bush has no reasaon other than religious to oppose *** marriages because of the quote in the bible that has been used in these forums so often.

    He uses a non-generic form of "God" in his speeches, which supports a particular religion.

    Anyways, here's a short draft that i did in class, my conclusion is horrible, and i need to lengthen it out to 5~7 pages:

    George W. Bush's presidency is by no means a weak one. He came into
    office with a tainted record (the election was a mess) and yet, was able to
    change US policy more than the last several presidents combined. Bush is no
    doubt a religious person, and he never tries to hide it. In fact, he uses it
    to gain popularity in the South. Unfortunately, his religion and his foreign
    and domesitc policies seem to clash together, and religion ends up dictating
    many of his decisions.
    Bush, like all presidents addressed the nation many times. Unlike most
    recent presidents though, he used religious rhetoric like "Jesus Christ",
    "God", and "'There's power, wonder-working power" which is a direct quote
    from an evangelical christian hymn. These terms refer to christianity in
    particular, not generic religions where "god" is used with a lower-case
    letter. He even goes as far as to say that Jesus Christ is "our Savior"
    (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/12/20021220-3.html) and that
    he is "God's only Son". He blankets the whole country in his religion, which
    is a clear violation of the first amendment.
    Bush wants to implement a new policy called the faith based initiative.
    It gives federal money to religious organizations for charitable purposes.
    This is once again a clear violation of the first amendment because of how
    it will be implemented. Idealy, since religious establishments exist in
    every corner of the US, every one can benefit. The downside to this is that
    most of the religious establishments happen to be christian (just like
    Bush), which clearly go against "Congress shall make no law respecting an
    establishment of religion", because the money goes almost exclusively to
    christain establishments (churches). Even if some money goes to other
    religious establishments, the non-religious people are still left out of the
    loop. This is simply unacceptable because I don't want my taxes going to
    some religious organization that only benefits certain people. Even if the
    religious establishment is supposed to benefit anyone who applies, how many
    non-christian people will go to a church to seek help? How many non-jewish
    people go to a synogogue to seek help? How many non-muslim people will go to a mosque to seek help?
    Another hit that domestic policy takes from Bush's religious side is the
    issue of *** marriage. According to Bush (and the religious teaching he
    follows), marriage is specifically between a man and a woman. "Do not lie
    with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." [22] Leviticus
    18:22. This is what dictates Bush's ideals on gays and *** marriage. This is
    taken directly out of the Bible. Using this idea to dictate nationwide
    policy that affects everyone, including ***, non-christians violates their
    rights under the first amendment as well. Since supporters of no same-sex
    marriages have no logic to back this up, only the religious texts that they
    follow, this ideology is faulty in a secular society such as ours. Yet Bush
    sticks to this point without reason (other than religious). When did this
    great nation of ours become so intolerable to such petty differences?
    Bush has to be stopped before something even more severe comes out of the
    white house while he is in office. "If a man lies with a man as one lies
    with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to
    death; their blood will be on their own heads."[13]Leviticus 20:13. What if
    Bush decides that this policy must be implemented as well? It's obviously
    found in a religious text that Bush has used to make policies in the past.


    And yes, Yaboosh, nothing says that Bush can't use his religion to influence office decisions. I just don't think it's very responsible of him. What i do have issue with is him making policies that include giving my tax-dollars to religious groups (faith-based initiative), while other issues i have include something along the ling of government favoring a certain religion.
     
  7. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    So argue against whatever policies you think violate the Establishment Clause, but not that Bush himself is violating it by being open about his religious affiliation.
     
  8. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    He's not the first person to use the word "god" in his speech. But most recent presidents (abe lincoln is the one i'm thinking of as the exception) used god with a lower-case "g", which arguably can refer to the god of any religion, while bush uses "God" with a capital "G", referring specifially to christianity. (That's how his speeches are written on the whitehouse website).
     
  9. DuncanID

    DuncanID IncGamers Member

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    Well, just a quick reply before I go to bed, I think you'll have a hard time proving that Bush "only" opposes *** marriage on religious reasons. Off the top of my head I can think of all sorts of reasons a person might oppose it, and the White House press release you cited makes no mention of religion whatsoever.

    Also, as Durf and Yaboosh pointed out, if you're going to single Bush out, you need to mention the actions of past Presidents, and you also need to explain why a person should not be allowed to make decisions based on religion. I don't think Bush referring to God is anything close to a violation of the First Ammendment, and I think you'd have a very hard time proving that.

    And finally, it could be very easily argued that the First Ammendment gives the government the right to sponsor any religion they want, they simple can't select a state religion and force everyone to participate.

    EDIT: If I were a teacher, I would also not be impressed by your god/God point. Bush is clearly a religious man, should he be forced to disrespect his G/god simply because he wants to mention G/god in a speech?
     
  10. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    How does one capitalize a spoken word?
     
  11. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    This is more of a dissertation topic than a 5-7 page paper topic. I almost guarantee you will not be able to support your topic in any significant way in the pages allotted. I would recommend a new topic, such as the ridiculousness of Bush's proposal for the Marriage Amendment or something.
     
  12. Canadia142

    Canadia142 Banned

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    So he's not allowed to capilalize God? He's Christian so of course he's gonna capitalize it!
     
  13. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    The first amendment doesn't allow government to sponsor religion. Even if you can't realize that form the actual amendment, try reading the supreme court cases that dealt with it, i provided several links for you in the first post.

    I'm also interested in the non-religious reason(s) he would be opposed to *** marriage, it would be nice to include some counter arguements, and to argue against them.

    He uses blanketing statements using religious rhetoric. In this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/rele...20021220-3.html
    He leaves no room room for any other religions. He also uses the word 'our' savior, clearly supporting christianity over other religions, and the government isn't allowed to support any religion.

    I'm surprised how many negative replies i'm getting. The teacher liked the first draft, and told me it had a lot of potential.

    Any positive feedback? Or any more contructive criticism?
     
  14. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot about the clause in the First Amendment that said the president cant express religious beliefs. Good luck with that paper.
     
  15. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    I'm not saying he's doing anything illegal, (except the faith-based initiative) only that he's mixing his religion with his policies which seems a bit crappy for me, an athiest chap.
     
  16. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    So you as an atheist wouldnt mix your beliefs with your policies?
     
  17. th5418

    th5418 Banned

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    Answer the man's question man.
     
  18. SaroDarksbane

    SaroDarksbane IncGamers Site Pal

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    ??!??

    You mean he talked about Christ?! On Christmas? No WAY! [/sarcasm]

    And as to "leaving no room" for other religions, what other religions is Christmas about, anyway?

    I suppose he could have talked about Santa Clause, but then you could have argued that he was clearly supporting a belief in Santa. :rolleyes:
     
  19. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    Since i am an athiest, i have no beliefs outside of science. So i would not base it off something written in a 2000+ year old book, not what some mystical supreme being said, not anything similar to that. I would base it on necessity of the society.

    Legally, he's allowed to do it, and i can't argue about it.
    To me, the word 'god' also should have no place in a president's speech, but at least 'god' includes several other religions like Judaism and Islam. "God" excludes them. By saying 'god', he is not excluding christianity, he's simply including other religions as well.

    He makes statements using the word 'God' and implies them to be correct. In a way, this supports christian beliefs. It obviosuly supports the idea that God does exist...
     
  20. DrunkPotHead

    DrunkPotHead IncGamers Member

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    I interpreted the phrase 'our savior' as refferring to the whole population of the US, not just the christian portion.
     

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