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Lou Ann Zelenik Uses Abacus to Figure Out Islam is 15% Religion, 85% Political

OK, so I don’t know how Zelenik came up with these numbers, but she’s sticking to them:

Zelenik: “15% Of Islam Is A Religion, 85% Political.”


NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The question of religion is playing a major role in one of the most heated congressional primary races in the country.

Republican Lou Ann Zelenik is challenging incumbent republican Diane Black in the sixth congressional district. When asked if she believed if Islam was a real religion, Zelenick said she believed it to be mostly political.

“I consider 15 percent of Islam a religion, 85 percent political. It’s a total way of life. The only ones who do not call Islam a religion are the Muslims because it’s not a religion,” said Zelenik.

News Channel 5 Investigative reporter Ben Hall asked Zelenik asked if she felt Islam was a real religion or something else Zelenik was clear.

“I will tell you I don’t agree with everything that they say in the Islamic religion or ideology or whatever you want to call it, but I think it has been established by the Federal government and it’s protected as a religion and that’s what I am going to abide by is the law,” she said.

The entire interview of both candidates, including their take on the negative ads that have been such a big part of this campaign will air on Inside Politics on News Channel 5+ at 7 p.m. on July 27 or at 5 a.m. Sunday, July 29 on News Channel 5.

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  • Octane

    Cripes I keep forgetting to put the @ sign. My apologies. The above post directed at Nick.

  • Octane

    Well the initial implication of this discussion is that Islam is not a religion. This notion is then fortified by an argument that because Islam is all encompassing it cannot constitute a religion.

    My point here is that all religions are systems and are all encompassing whether or not you choose to observe those rules/systems is a personal choice. But that certainly does not negate those systems from existing.
    Your initial argument in which you were responding to Steve stated that “but there are features of Islam that distinguish it from “approved” political activities in Christianity.”

    But you haven’t formally stated what those “approved” political activities are. Really no inference is needed as to what is meant here based upon the article. Which Im sure you know as the argument you are putting forth is that Islam is a political ideology.

    Again to reiterate Im pointing out that it isn’t and if you hold Christianity to the same yardstick it would be considered the same or any other religion for that matter.

    While you do put forth an argument stating that there is separation of church and state. Based upon the aforementioned biblical passage. There are many others that dictate common decorum of social behaviour, political behaviour and economic behaviour in the Bible (the 10 commandments come to mind). Now we can debate the merits of the interpretation of the passage you put forward to be quite honest I think that passage does not insinuate anything at all about separation of church and state and if it did then it clearly contradicts many other passages depicting how a society should be run.

    So if you accept that Christianity is a system then it is in fact not a religion but a cleverly guised ideology being hewn into manifest political ideology as tool for whoever wields it most effectively. Again Im sure you have clearly seen this in American politics where faith Christian faith is professed and used as a tool to govern the masses and sway their vote to be under Christian rule. Why? Because they do not want non-Christian or anti-Christian laws in place. i.e. Gay marriage, abortion, etc etc. You get the idea. So really Christianity is coming up more as a political mores than simply a religious one.

    While to be sure you are stating that there have been walls erected. Those walls that separate religion from politics is more like a fence. It is porous and religion has infiltrated it perfectly. In fact if that was the case why would there be such a need for politicians to show how religious they are? Major politicians having a particular Christian minister praying for them, consulting them showing how “Christian they are”. So what you are saying is actually not correct. In fact I do remember Pat Robertson praying for GW Bush quite a bit. And the Christian right has had quite the impact on politics. Im not sure how you can argue otherwise when we can all see it clearly. =/

    With respect to your statement of secularism and you stating that a Muslim country has yet to establish that. I give you Turkey. Muslim country. Secular.

    As per the list or the criteria. There are basic tenants of what constitutes a religion. The fact is just because a few political hacks are trying to convince the world that Islam is not a religion is frankly ludicrous. While you have stated you are a PhD, I have to ask you if your leading institutions Ivy Leagues, Europe with its unbiased secular based government and institutions and respected scholars in the field of religion accept that Islam is a religion. Then really how is the word of a politician not trained nor vetted in the field of religion able to state with confidence that Islam is not a religion. In fact one has to wonder how anyone can even latch on to this idea is beyond me. The poster above gave a quick rundown of what constitutes a religion and we have it above. Islam fits the bill.

    That’s my two cents.

  • moosern

    @ Steve : Oman, they give the land to the different faiths to build on. They do regulate religions(have to be registered, sponsored by one of the official ones, etc.) and, yes they regulate mosques as well. The UAE also follows these principles. Bottom line, there are many Muslim majority countries that non-Muslims have less hassle and opposition to building houses of worship than in parts of the US.

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