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Let's Talk About Religion

March 17, 2005

(broadcast stream) (.mp3 download)
It’s often said that you can discuss anything in public, except religion and politics, because those are the subjects most likely to offend. Well, I discuss politics every day, so I think it’s time we broke the other taboo.

The topic today is a tribute to you frequent bloggers. It seems every time we have a political discussion, a religious discussion breaks out! And I understand why. Religion is something we hold fast in our hearts, and for many of us, religious sentiment (or even anti-religious sentiment) controls our politics and informs our daily lives.
Religion is becoming increasing political, with everything from Bush’s faith-based initiative to the battle over teaching evolution to prayer in school to the display of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms. Concerns about allowing gay people to marry, abortion, and sex education also stem from a religious agenda. And groups like the “Christian Coalition” are increasingly entering the political sphere. There are even proposals in Congress to allow tax-exempt religious charities to have the right to support political causes and candidates without losing that exemption.
Should there be a separation of church and state? How should Government restrict Religion (if at all)? How should Religion restrict Government (if at all)?
And — though this is perhaps the most difficult issue to discuss of all — what are our personal religious views and how do they affect our politics and our daily lives?
I want this to be a discussion, not a monologue, so today, even more than usual, I would welcome your calls.
— Mark Levine

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