Should religion and politics be kept separated?
In a wider sphere, considering the world at large, it is quite an overwhelming task to differentiate, analyze and then determine all the mystifying debate over how religion and politics interlink and vary. Countless scholars over the past decades tried to tackle all the ‘complications’ that hinder a curious one to understand the dynamics of politics and religion hand in hand. However, these grand debates can be humbly narrowed down to few regions and religions to set a standard estimation of a sheer sketch outlining the common phenomena of such an ever-perplexing argument. Through research and publications, answers to lingering questions regarding this issue can be expected to be found (Warhust, 2007).
Western Europe, America, Japan and China host few of the prominent leading governments that can be taken in to account which perfectly exemplify the twists and turns a nation endures in search of balance between politics and religion. Western European ideology in terms of ruling power and influence of religion claims to be a completely separate proponent in politics than American ideology. Distinctively different presidents from John F. Kennedy to Thomas Jefferson to George W. Bush successfully have structured the present political profile of the United States over the past decades. From the time of John F. Kennedy denying to follow direct orders from the Vatican City to the time of Barrack Obama, America took a stand to establish a solid platform for fair democracy. However, at the same time, America’s faith gained more political power intriguingly more because of the muscle of The Republican Party. Western Europe, on the other hand, had claimed itself as the first-born of secularism despite its only recent fall of supremacy and control of church. Secularism found to be the most logical solution in affirming the continuation of the integrity of its faith, digs deeper into the matter of democracy’s compatibility with religion. A religious state can never be open to negotiation and compromise for the greater mutual understanding among the mass which democracy is all about, as that in turn conflicts with its notion of setting forth strict rules and regulations via the government in terms of ruling a nation. Therefore, a democratic state fights to form a definite separation between the church and the state. In fact, this ideology is what that has been immensely maintained in the form of constitution in most of the United States and the Western Europe. A recent throbbing issue that has been raising much of world’s debate regarding this matter is the influence of the Muslim-society in terms of governance in Western Europe. Devout Muslims always opt to follow a lifestyle that may still be seen as orthodox in the eyes of the world, but that also remains to be the case for any other clan of people such as pious Jews, Christians, Hindus or Buddhists. Nevertheless, that seems irrelevant as the root of debate here is what to do with the growing number of Muslims in concentrated areas of Western Europe? From another angle, Asian ideology: at the time of adaption in the form of governance in regions known as the birthplace of Confucian politics, superior spirituality and religious tradition, was always respected by the West. In the end a conclusion which supports restricting religious views merely as guidelines to live serenely and affectionately could be drawn, at the same time respecting all human rights and taking ethical notions into account in terms of political rule (Motzkin and Fischer, 2008).
There is much more to this argument than a one-line straightforward answer. To comprehend this matter at full length, one must dwell into the doors of the surging socio-political phenomenon taking place particularly in Western Europe. Centuries ago immigration was just a simple concept taken on by massive initiators in search of a better standard of living and quality of life has been...
References: • Enns, P. 2010. “Habermas, Democracy and Religious Reasons”. The Heythrop Journal. pp.582-593
• Hanson, E. O. 2006. “Religion and Politics in the International System Today”. Sociology of Religion. Vol:70, No:1, pp. 90-91
• Harrison, D. 2003. "Religion and Politics: A Reference Handbook". Reference Reviews, Vol. 17 No: 1, pp.11 - 12
• Motzkin, G. and Fischer, Y. 2008. Religion and democracy in contemporary Europe. Alliance Publishing Trust
• Razavi, S. and Jenichen, A. 2010. “The Unhappy Marriage of Religion and Politics: problems and pitfalls for gender equality”. Third World Quarterly. Vol. 31 No: 6, pp. 833-850
• Warhust, J. 2007. “Religion and Politics in the Howard Decade”. Australian Journal of Political Science. Vol: 42, No: 1, pp. 19-32
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