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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » "God's work" or personal agenda?

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Author Topic: "God's work" or personal agenda?
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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(from the news log)

Is "God's Work" -- especially from only one religious tradition, regardless of any countires other traditions -- really the sort of work an administration should be doing globally?

Richard Reeves addresses the merging of church and state in the US government, even as it addresses global issues, such as what groups are being sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) assembly this year.

"Usually the U.S. government sends officials of... the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association. Forget it. They've just been kicked off to make room for organizations like the International Right to Life Federation, a prominent anti-abortion organization. Other recent delegations on health questions have included the National Law Center for Children and Families, a group whose stated mission is 'the protection of children and families from the harmful effects of illegal pornography.' I suppose that's a good idea, particularly if you know the difference between legal and illegal pornography -- or if children in Africa live long enough to be threatened by illegal pornography."[/i]

Read the rest of the piece here

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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BruinDan
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There are two issues here that get to me a little bit. First of all, the International Right to Life Foundation (IRLF) is a far-reaching anti-abortion group. They have come on the record as being against the Morning-After Pill. This seems odd, since the Morning After Pill can prevent unwanted pregnancies and therefore prevent some abortions before they become an option! It seems to me like the IRLF is less about being pro-life, and more about being anti-birth control. And even as a relative conservative, I can see that this is a ludicrous proposition.

My second problem is the role that religion plays in governmental policies worldwide. By sending the IRLF abroad, we are espousing our beliefs upon the world and expecting them to sit back and enjoy. I find this a bit embarrassing, since every time I travel abroad I always get at least one person who sneers at my country of origin.

And it isn't just the United States. Look at some governments who hold religious beliefs as part of their constitution. The Taliban (the junta which rules Afghanistan) ordered all non-Muslims in the country to wear a badge upon their clothing identifying them as such. Does this smack of Nazi Germany to anyone else? Or look at Iran, where public floggings and executions are handed down upon women who dare to go outdoors without completely covering themselves in clothing; and where laws exist that consider homicide justifiable for people who do not practice Islam. (remember Salmon Rushdie?)

I don't think religion is a necessary component in government at all, and I find it especially unnecessary in international policy.

[This message has been edited by BruinDan (edited 09-26-2002).]


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Confused boy
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Well honestly this seems like a bit of a token gesture for Bush. I dont believe any country in Europe are going to listen to these people that are aggressively anti-choice people(which is a better term to describe them than anti-abortion as its less easily defended). So if world opinion isnt going to change to much because of these people, and they already have plenty of coverage in America, there is not going to be an awful problem. I suppose it will just mean the more deserving people in the health services of America will not be able to share their wisdom with those from other countries. Its a fairly silly move by Bush that will not achieve much for him and just cause people to get more annoyed with him. Oh nice to hear the Republicans have lost their majority in the Senate, the Democrats might be able to block some of Bush's plans now I suppose.
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Lynne
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quote:
Is "God's Work" -- especially from only one religious tradition, regardless of any countires other traditions -- really the sort of work an administration should be doing globally?
"God's Work" isn't something that a United States administration should be doing, period, whether it's at hoem or abroad. America is not a theocracy. Church and state are supposed to be separate; Bush and his lackeys just seem to be conveniently ignoring this.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Funny you should metnion the Taliban, Dan, given the Bush administration just gave them 43 million dollars last week.

Sure is comforting to know the kinds of "friends" he's making. Jesus.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
Funny you should metnion the Taliban, Dan, given the Bush administration just gave them 43 million dollars last week.

Haha...I just saw that on CNN at the same instant I noticed your post! What timing...

Yup, I tell ya...There are some days when I feel embarrassed to be an American. I love my country and everything, but every once in a while I just slap my head and think "What are we doing?" Grrrrrr...

[This message has been edited by BruinDan (edited 09-26-2002).]


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alaska
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quote:
Originally posted by BruinDan:
Or look at Iran, where public floggings and executions are handed down upon women who dare to go outdoors without completely covering themselves in clothing; and where laws exist that consider homicide justifiable for people who do not practice Islam. (remember Salman Rushdie?)


Let's not forget that the situation in Iran has changed immensely over the past years. Credit where some credit is due.

While they still don't have a decent, reliable legal system, ever since Khatami (who I think is an extremely intelligent man) was elected president (back in 1998, I think), Iranians have hope that things are getting better and that the religious leaders will - down the road- loose their power for good.

In contrast to what it's like in Irak, while the hejab (the islamic law that regulates that wowomen have to cover their hair and bodies) is still in place in Iran, women on the streets do NOT have to cover their faces (such as in Afghanistan and Irak); apparently in Teheran and other bigger cities, you can show some hair, make up and fancy clothing on the street. At home, girls and women wear modern western clothing.

My mom's best friend (they've been friends for the past 40 years) Turan is from a place called Isafhan, and we had a big discussion on the issue earlier this year. In her opinion, things have improved so much that she will go back to Iran (with her partner) in a few years time to be with her family (even though all of her siblings did they same as her and left the country in the early 60's.). She invited me to come over for a visit, too. If I find the time and money, it would sure be an interesting thing, simply because I think the only way to get to know a country like Iran is by having a local show you around.

Anyway. Things in Iran are still a lot different from what we are used to in Europe or North America, no doubt about that.

National Georgraphic had a fab article on Iran back in July of 1999, you can read it right here.

Just my 2 cents.

In general though, I think I am all for a complete split of church and state and I don't think "god's work" should have anything to do in politics.

I agree with Confused here, people in Europe will die laughing at those anti-choice people. We laugh about those already anyway . (excuse my cultural evilness)

And re: the Taliban and 43 million dollars
http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/05/17/us.afghanistan.aid/index.html

quote:
The package includes $28 million worth of wheat from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $5 million in food commodities and $10 million in "livelihood and food security" programs, both from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

[...]

Powell said the U.S. aid is administered by the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, and bypasses the Taliban, "who have done little to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people, and indeed have done much to exacerbate it."

The sum brings U.S. assistance to $124.2 million for this year, making the United States the largest Afghan donor for the second year in a row.


Let's hope that those who need it will profit from this. I have this sneaky suspicion that the Taliban leaders could buy a decent amount of weapons from places like Irak with wheat worth 28 Million $.

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"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi


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alaska
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Speaking of Iran:

Khatami was just re-elected with a whopping majority. Let's hope during this term, he manages to bring through more of his reforms.

Check out this short article on CNN on the preliminary results:

Khatami headed for victory in Iranian ballot


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alaska
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OFF TOPIC Random fact bit (I keep coming up with stuff on Iran, apparently, bear with me):

In the year 2000, the United States performed more executions then Iran.


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JunkiePanda
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"i love my country but fear my government"

when i am eighteen i plan on moving to canada so bush cant send me off to china to die for the fourth reich.


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