The Power of Religion in American Government

Even though American politics has separated the state from the church, it would be naive to think that religion isn’t still embedded in American politics. Considering the overwhelming number of people that simultaneously identify with a political party and a religious practice, as well as the issues being discussed in the political sphere that stem from religious beliefs, it is difficult to avoid a debate about the role religion plays in society.

However, I don’t think the problem is religion itself; I think the problem is which religions have been traditionally misconstrued to attack disenfranchised groups, and that those are the religions getting publicity.

Well, we should first review which religions are predominantly associated with which political party, and how important these religions are to these groups. The Pew Research Center surveyed Republicans and Democrats and showed that seventy percent of Mormons and fifty-six percent of Evangelical Protestants are Republican (the two largest percentages of Republicans in any religion). Meanwhile, eighty percent of Historically Black Protestants and sixty-nine percent of Buddhists are represented by Democrats (the two largest percentages of Democrats). The Pew Research Center also did a survey that determined how important religion was to each political party, and showed that sixty-one percent of Republicans believe religion is important and only forty-seven percent of Democrats believe in the same thing.

Now, the problem lies in the Republican Party because Evangelical Protestants are notorious for oppressing people due to differences in race, gender, sexuality, etc. Often times, they have used the Bible to justify their hatred of people who fall outside of their category as normal. Religion offers people a way to put their trust on an all-powerful, all-knowing Being that no one has concrete evidence on. People can believe in this Being so much so that they can be persuaded into believing that this Being wants them to discriminate against other people for not being “normal.” Many people who are stuck in this brainwashed mentality are Evangelical Protestants, or Republicans. Republicans incarcerate black people at a massive rate, take away women’s right to choose, neglect young people’s right to be educated about contraceptive and safe sex, and blame survivors of rape for being violated. Why? Because their interpretation of religion alludes to the idea that this is right. Even though they are oppressing people and making their lives more difficult than it already should be, they truly believe what they think is right because their faith is so strong. Republicans, essentially, are being manipulated to carry out an agenda that is set on empowering the people who preach this hateful language. The Republican Party is built on this lie that religion makes everything they stand for legitimate, when in actuality, religion is a cover up for Republicans to move forward with their hateful agenda. As the elections come up, I implore everyone to truly dissect political parties’ views on certain issues and why they have these views. Because for the Republicans, it seems to be the case that they have tried hold onto self-righteous views only to hide their evil intentions.