Can you be a person of morals without religion?

Yes, it is Saturday night, and I am posting. I know I have no life, but I did manage to go to see the movie Wolverine and I think avoided swine flu today. I also went to the Apple store to fix a key that this monster managed to destroy with his big funky old paw.

Anyway, as most of you know, I am faithless. I am not a big fan of organized religion, but I am not offended at someone's belief system or faith.This morning I went to a blog from a conservative black women. I have written about my opinions before about black conservatives, so you know I probably will disagree with her. I did. But the post isn't actually about that, but rather the belief that as a non believers, people cannot be morally good.

I guess I was frustrated because this conservative woman, told a man, a man with a great blog, that because she assumed him agnostic, she couldn't hold him to the same standards as a Christian. This belief that good can only come from religion bothers me. I would like to think that the tenets of the Bible are for the greater good of man, but I would also like to think that man or woman is capable of discerning good or evil without aid of the Bible. I know that helping people versus hurting people is good, not because the Bible tells me so, but because I know I would want someone to help, rather than harm me. I would also like to think I wouldn't need to tell me that murder or adultery is wrong because I know I wouldn't want to have a loved one taken away from me or for my husband to cheat on me. It would not make me feel good. So why is it assumed that the only way to develop a moral compass is through religion?

Can a person be moral, upstanding, and compassionate without using religious tenets or texts to guide them? I would hope so, but what do you think?

Also I found it odd, that there seems to be a belief by some that you cannot be a liberal or democrat and be an upstanding Christian, that you must be a conservative to be a true Christian is baffling to me. I know republican atheists exist and I know many a devout Christian who votes democrat. Why are so things cut and dry? Can you not be diverse in beliefs, even if you have a shared religion? Or is it all or nothing? Can you support or be ok with gay marriage, but be against abortion? Can you not approve of either and still be a liberal on other issues? Does your stance that might oppose the teachings of the Bible automatically make you a bad Christian?
As a result of this post, I am now listening to Jesus Walking On Water by the Violent Femmes.