New religion focused policies

Coming soon! I’ll update this thread soon, but interested to know peoples thoughts on the current policies (icons done, adding soon, will be in next update):

Ban women from driving (inspired by saudi arabia rules)
Religious Taxes (essentially a compulsory tithe… will go to charity)
Religious Banknotes (in god we trust etc, symbols on banknotes/coins)
State Religion (official endorsement of a specific religion by the government).

Let the debates begin :smiley:


Conveniently, I’ve actually posted about this before [here].(Religious Membership in D4)


I would add a policy called “Ban of religion” with a slider
1- ban promotion
2- prohibited religious functions
3- punishable by imprisonment
in the latter case, religious membership should decrease by -100% within a few shifts.

State Atheism

I just think the only voter group with a lifelong, soulful dedication to the greater good ought to be taken in better faith than to be understood as Conservatives 2. Most voter groups without native positions on the political compass can be appeased well enough wherever you are on it, except for this one, for which almost all policies have to be right-wing and authoritarian, and unilaterally create racial tension despite all Abrahamic faiths stressing the importance of tolerance in scripture.

If I can have liberal-socialist patriots and pensioners, I don’t see why religious people need to be fascists or non-existent.

It’s probably not realistic to ask that the whole voter group be redefined as sane. Maybe Democracy 5.

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Religious people don’t have a monopoly on lifelong, soulful dedications to the greater good. Nor do they all have such a dedication.

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That’s absolutely true, but this voter group is explicitly supposed to recite oaths every week/day for hours at a time swearing to dedicate themselves to being a positive influence on the world around them or else suffer for eternity.

Religious communities no longer possess a monopoly on ethical conduct as they have for the majority of human history, but that remains their intended function.

In a suitably educated, liberal and egalitarian society, theism wouldn’t act as a black hole that rejects those principals.

I don’t think the populist and conjectural fascination with religious fallibility renders the notion of spirituality a net negative influence. That fatalism could be applied to any voter group in the game.

Aren’t you assuming they’re a specific religion there? And also assuming a specific kind of religious person?

Yes completely. But specific kinds of patriots, capitalists, parents and liberals have been chosen for the game too, and they present a more measured spectrum of views for which strategies exist to keep them happy with more than one political direction, in some cases every political direction.

What makes you think the game is referring to the sorts you mentioned?

Democracy 4 liberals advocate for gun ownership like American libertarians, parents hate prostitution like pearl-clutching 1960s people and patriots dislike some but not all anti-racism measures like conservatives.

Many of these represent regionally specific or minority views not shared ubiquitously.

This is true, and likely reflects my own biases (and other people who have worked on the game) as UK-based white atheist people in the late forties or early fifties.
The game is likely filled with small biases, but the real problem is that it cannot support the infinite complexity that real life represents.

For example, the idea of gun ownership being liberal is true in some countries and very much NOT true in others (including my own). The idea that religious people oppose prostitution, or contraception varies dramatically depending on the country AND the religion.

The thing to remember is that the voter GROUPS are strong extremes, whereas actual voters only take partial influence from them. Someone with 100% religious membership is likely a preacher, people with 10% religious membership probably rarely, if ever, go to a church/mosque.

So when we have effects in the game that make what may seem like fairly cliched or extremist connections, for example between religion and gay marriage etc, we are hopefully only representing the extremes.

Its a VERY difficult subject, and it happens throughout the game. People only really notice it strongly when it applies to groups they themselves identify with. For example I’m a liberal, but I support both CCTV cameras and restrictions on handguns. The game is wrong from my POV, but I try very hard to have it take a global view.

Note that we CAN make country specific group changes. For example in the UK, religious people are altered so that they do not mind gambling and are not so bothered by gay marriage or stem cells.


I would hold fire on the ban on women driving, unless you can find an example of this being seriously proposed in a country represented in game.

As for the overall representation of religion, I’m inclined to agree that it is already 1 dimensional and that they seem to be natural antagonists. I generally accept that they won’t vote for me, implement enough security to not die, and eventually annihilate them with tech grants and space program, followed by secular education to finish them off once there are too few to form a terror cell.

This is out of character with how I generally like to play. I try to be a tolerant leader, but the details of game play force me to take this approach towards religion.

The only flip side is the dilemma regarding religious symbols in public settings. I’m not upset if a coworker or student wears a hijab or cross on a necklace. Recently the woman who renewed my driver’s license had a pentagram necklace, true story, no big deal. I think of this attitude as liberal, yet liberals are exactly who is annoyed by tolerance of religious expression.

I’m not sure how it could be better broken down, but I think currently “liberal” is a bit too big of a tent in the game. People who want more gun rights and people with strong anti religious sentiments don’t seem like the same group to me. I also agree that there should be more ways to please religious people than by dumping on the LGBT community.


Exactly. I was galled by that decision too. Freedom of religion is a human right, and often considered a founding principal of a democracy’s constitutional documentation. If there were a technocrat voter group, I could see them being opposed to -checks notes- being allowed to wear a hijab to school, but would’ve thought liberals would be the last to object.

Cliff’s been very diplomatic about how and why the game works this way, and I appreciate that, but I think religious voters’ predilection to overlap with conservatives ought to satisfy modelling regressive undercurrents, rather than suggesting they’re a natural part of faith.

Adjusting religious perceptions by country is nice though. That’s something I guess.

Agreed. Not even the most ardent religious conservative would approve of that in any of the countries represented or even planned to be represented in the game.

It’s not that that’s a sub-variety of liberal, it should not be considered liberal at all. This absolutely should anger conservatives, not liberals. And just from a gameplay perspective, if the religious group is going to be completely redundant with conservatives, there’s no point to having it in the game. However, one thing the game doesn’t do a great job of representing in general is left-wing illiberal policy (which I would classify things like France’s lacite as). Conservative represents both social conservatism and authoritarianism, which are correlated granted, but not identical.

For social issues like this, would it maybe make sense for the polarized effect (cons/religious angry, liberals happy) to diminish over time? So when gay marriage is just introduced it’s highly controversial, but over time people get used to it.

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Doesn’t answer my question

I’m very open to suggestions for effects or policies that should make the religious group happy but currently do not. We do have, IIRC, a link between religion and charity. You can already make religious people happy with marriage and faith school subsidies (and soon…religious taxes), none of which can really be thought of as ‘negative’.

None of the current countries in the game actually have banned women driving, but I want the game to be moddable for a much wider range of countries. I think its interesting to include policies that are outside the normal western-european consensus, as it stimulates debate.

Also…politics changes a LOT over time Multiple countries are now setting a date for banning the sale of new petrol/diesel vehicles, a policy unthinkable even just 10 years ago. How long before a policy to ban consumption of meat becomes an actual political platform?

I’m not suggesting that the ‘ban women driving’ policy is going to make sense for most of the countries, and most of the players. It basically craters gender equality, drives liberals absolute crazy, and is unlikely to make sense, but hey… this is a game :D.

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Maybe charity tax relief should make religious happy.

I’m glad you asked Cliff, and I’ll take that as an invitation to not shut up.
-Religious Allowances (suggested by @AvianOverlord) - The granting of special exemptions and personal liberties on religious grounds.
-Interfaith Dialogue Program - A program to promote understanding and collaboration between religious groups through community organising, educational material, and interfaith facilities such as universal prayer rooms
-Religious Festival Grants - Funding and metropolitan allowances for the festivities of public religious holidays, (like Holi, Christmas, or Eid, all of which have been functionally practised as celebrations shared across faiths, for which people travel the world to observe) drawing tourism and potentially Everyone approval.
-Miracles of Science Campaign - An educational campaign quoting from religious rationalists and liberalists, distributed to theistic communities to explain how cosmic science, bodily autonomy, and free will fit into their practice, substantiated by their own scripture.
-Decision: Preacher comes out closet - A religious figurehead in your nation has announced their LGBT identity, leading to international outrage. Will you support their actions or recommend they are stripped of their station?
-Decision: New age religion gains traction - An esoteric new religious community has gained enough popularity to be considered for formal recognition, and are pleading to be considered with the same respect as those with longstanding histories. Will you recognised them under the same terms offered to traditional sects, or suggest their beliefs are ludicrous?
-Situation: Progressive Religious Movement - High education, liberalism and low racial tension have given rise to religious sects widely dissenting from fundamentalist canon, cultivating humanist spiritual understandings in step with modern thought.

-Situation: Fundamentalist Religious Movement - Government enforcement of traditionalist religious tenets have led to a revival of religious fundamentalism in your society, leading to a more regressive, unquestioning population who zealously support the state.
(This situation could be an opportunity to rehome the racial tension effects previously applied to faith schools and public religious broadcasts, (which ought to also affect charity) or the democracy effects of State Religion (Religious leaders are usually elected representatives))

For the record, I do enjoy controversial and radicalist policies too, I’d just like to see a balance between radical regression and radical progression.


Interesting suggestions, thanks.

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