* a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
* a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects
Everything is religion and everything is politics. These two systems are interconnected and are actually the same things really. If we are to take our Christian Faith seriously and actually follow the commands of our Lord and Savior, to preach the Gospel and to live a virtuous and holy life by loving our fellow man, then we should be striving to support and maintain the political system that most closely and validly aligns with our "religion". We live according to our beliefs. We all do, we cannot help it. The thing about this that gets tricky is that some of us actually profess to believe one thing when in reality we believe something else, and our behavior or "politics" betray us, eventually. It's the very reason why there are so many Protestant denominations, we should probably give our Protestant brothers and sisters some credit, at least they acknowledge that they disagree with the True Church of Christ and "own" walking away to practice a "religion" that more closely resembles the actions and behaviors that they want to participate in.
I'm not sure that professing to be Catholic and then ignoring any teaching or belief that Catholic Faith requires is really any different than being a Protestant, except that you lie and misrepresent what your Faith truly is to all those around you. Which probably is a lot worse, actually.
If you are one of those among us who likes to espouse the idea of keeping religion out of politics, and, oh yes, vice versa, I want to state, that it's impossible. There is no way to separate the two. You will behave according to your beliefs. Your "politics" will be dictated by the belief system you live by. Some of us are so demented, that we fail to see the incongruencies of claiming a certain belief system yet behaving in the exact opposite way.
Many of us do this. There are, for example, pro-choice Catholics, which really is a lie, you cannot be a pro-choice Catholic. Catholics are bound to believe in the sanctity of life at all stages. Those using smoke screens like hunger and the environment to excuse total disobedience and schism from Church teaching regarding abortion, are only bringing peril upon ourselves. Sin corrupts our reason, and our sin then actually becomes the behavior that we crave the most. It is such a destructive battle, so much so, that Christ relentlessly and tirelessly pleads with us to sin no more and repent. He knows the dangers living in this state presents, and those who do so sink deeper and deeper into that quagmire with every sinful action they partake in, whether they believe it to be sin or not. Believing that the sky is red, does not make it so, it just make the one professing this error wrong, and leads them into an existence that is mistaken and perverse.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77"by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."80
"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."
It is interesting, because those of us on this path, loose little by little all sense of reason and rationality, and become so convinced of the lie that sliding down the slippery slope seems like an enjoyable ride; while in reality it is a miserable and despicable one. This goes for your sin of choice, any one of the major non-negotiable acts the Church restricts: abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia, human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, or the multitude of other mortal and venial sins as well that will erode our relationship with Christ and each other.
Any of us who have come to a true and authentic reversion or conversion of the Faith, and have been driven to learn it deeply, comes to know this. This is why the Liturgy and Sacraments are vital. It is impossible to live according to Truth without them. Which is why Mother Church makes it mandatory to attend Mass on Sunday, those of us who don't without good reason, commit mortal sin. If we then attend Mass in a state of mortal sin, we profane ourselves and the Body of Christ while just racking up more mortal sin. Many don't and won't accept this, even though we profess to be Catholic. Again, we can convince ourselves of anything, especially when we let pride and selfishness rule our life, as do those of us seeking to end unborn lives for the promotion of self, success and so called freedom.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118
2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.
So, we should just come to terms with this and align our beliefs with our politics, because our "religion will dictate our politics," unless of course we are lying to ourselves and the whole world, which isn't good for anyone, especially us. Believing a lie doesn't make it true.