The Union of Church and State Hurts Both

I haven’t had a chance to watch this video yet (it’s an hour long), but it looks incredibly interesting:

David Domke, professor of communications at the University of Washington, explains how the union of government and religion tends to degrade the integrity of both.

Here’s the video:

If you see any part of it, feel free to share your opinion. Is it worth watching the whole thing?

(Thanks to Karen for the link!)

  • MeagD

    I just watched the video from beginning to end. I also have an honours degree in political communication. The lecture was interesting at times and his data was well explained. Unfortunately, a lot of what is said is kind of “old hat”… Nothing we don’t already know (or at least we haven’t thought about before).

    The last 20 minutes or so, in my opinion, is overly optimistic and not really all that well grounded in fact. Sure, he states that there is a shift in peoples’ articulated beliefs about the separation of church and state. But he doesn’t account for how people actually feel about issues like homosexuality, abortion, and race. Sure, there may be a slow decline in religious affiliation in the states, but to think that we will see a noticeable shift in the way American politics are done is naive.

    If you have an hour to waste, watch it. If you don’t know much about the shifts in right-wing policy and rhetoric, watch it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t really worry about it. You aren’t missing much :)

  • chinaman

    David Domke, professor of communications at the University of Washington, explains how the union of government and religion tends to degrade the integrity of both.

    integrity? lolwut

  • Pseudonym

    Yeah, integrity. Just look at all of the blame that’s been (not unfairly) levelled at religion over the years for actions of states.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    I’m sorry but which one is supposed to have integrity to begin with? Religion or government? Or is this not about “moral soundness” but about “consistency of action”? Either way I’m not seeing it for either.

    It would be good if there could be some though. That new chap in charge has some good ideas on the subject.

  • Ron in Houston

    Loved chinaman’s comment. What integrity?

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

    At an hour long, I won’t be watching it either, but even back in my fundamentalist period I was against too close an association between church and state. My rationale at the time was that, when Christianity gets identified with earthly power, people start joining for all the wrong reasons, inevitably corrupting the church’s moral mission. As evidence, I give you the history of the Catholic Church and the Roman Empire, post-Constantine.

  • MeagD

    The funny thing about the synopsis is that he doesn’t discuss integrity at all throughout the video… And certainly not in depth.

  • Charon

    I listened to it while doing other work, and I think it was worth doing that. Much of it is old news, but what was fascinating for me was the extent to which American politics went overtly religious post 1980. I was born in 1980, so like the students that Domke mentions, I grew up thinking that saying “God bless America” in political speeches was just the way it was. Very irritating, because I’m an atheist, but still thought it had always been like that.

    And Domke’s not going to spend the lecture bashing religion, people. His wife is a pastor. As someone dealing with my own religious significant other, I’m having to learn how to deal with these things…


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