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Comparing Canada and the U.S. On Religion in Politics

Watching the political debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton there was a moment when taking questions from the floor i had a cringe reflex. A lady whose background was in education asked Bernie point blank - "Do you believe in God?" She then went on to ask Hillary some religious broad based question about prayer.

I didn't gag at this as an atheist, it was more as a Canadian. My wife who is religious remarked to me "what has that got to do with anything" when told about the "God" question.  I remember when discussing my atheist letter via email with a newspaper editor he said that Canadians see religion and politics differently than our neighbors to the south.  Just recently i watched Canadian political pundits on TV saying basically the same thing - that religion does not play the same way in politics in Canada as it does down south.

So the U.S. has a constitution that defends the separation of church and state and up here in Ontario we have a separate Catholic school system which goes against that principal - yet we are not as crazy with the religious freedom laws, denial of evolution and religious and non religious Canadians are more likely to cringe like me when someone on a national stage asks one of the candidates "Do you believe in God"

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Yes, inappropriate comes to mind, & I agree with your wife's statement.....what does that have to do with anything?

In the UK we don't have separation of church and state the C of E is the state church in England but religion plays such a small part in our lives. Our politicians wouldn't dream of bringing up their religion, people are just not interested. 

It seems the US is being split right down the middle. I just hope it doesn't get nasty. If the Republicans were to win the presidential elections there would be trouble, big time.

Daniel, it's no weirder than America's great awakenings, of which there were two, three, or four.

For info on the first two, see Wikipedia. For info on the third, check Kevin Kruse's One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Created Christian America.

The fourth resulted from President Reagan's inviting the religious to join the Republican Party without first counting them. Libertarian Republicans needed the xians' votes but in Congress the two factions lacked the votes to enact the xians' social program. The xians, eventually feeling exploited, were ready to rebel when Americans elected the first black president. KABOOM!

Republicans are splintering as they should be. If there's to be a valid conservative party they have to dump the religious rhetoric and start talking about governing. Every day you see another example of the rift, Boehner on Cruz: 

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” along with "Lucifer in the flesh."

You have McCain taking sides with Sanders on Veteran affairs. Damn, you even have FOX news having enough of the hypocrisy as Megyn Kelly rips into North Carolina governor Pay McCrory over his idiot anti-trans bathroom law. 

There's a possibility we could have four parties soon. If Sanders is rejected by registered democrats, a socialist/independent party that appeals to the very large group of independents could evolve; he's won every primary where they can vote.

Then if Trump wins the conservative nomination, and they toss him to the dogs at the convention, he could stick his head into the race. 

This year the crazy is running wild, and with any luck, the parties will become interested again in governing. Get rid of the money!

I mentioned some Canadian pundits who see a difference between Canada and U.S with religion in politics. Here is a better example i stumbled on. Pull the slider to the 10:00 minute mark and listen to Kim Campbell a Canadian politician state that we Canadians get a gut reaction to people like that lady asking Bernie if he believes in god on national TV.

Ex Canadian Prime Minister compares Canada and U.S. on religion in ...

I always liked Kim Campbell, thanks for this Russell. Will watch again.

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