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Christianity and Democracy in America - Term Paper Example

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Christianity and Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville Tocqueville says that during his stay in America, the state of democracy in the society was the best thing he witnessed (Tocqueville & Goldhammer 56). He discovered the benefits and the influence of democracy in the society…
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Download file to see previous pages In democratic countries, society is controlled in a lesser degree than the government. Consequently, democracy leads to the creation of opinions, sentiments, suggests ordinary practices of life, and modifies what it does not produce (Tocqueville 5). “The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that the equality of conditions was the fundamental fact from which all others seemed to be derived, and the central point at which all my observations constantly terminated. I then turned my thoughts to our own hemisphere, and imagined that I discerned there also something analogous to the spectacle which the new world presented to me. I observed that the equality of conditions, though it has not yet reached, as in the United States, its extreme limits, is daily progressing towards them; and that the democracy which governs the American communities appears to be rapidly rising into power in Europe. From that moment I conceived the idea of the book which is now before the reader.” (Tocqueville 6). According to Tocqueville, American democracy is the best example that should be followed by other countries. He considers democracy to be the greatest and the most important issue of his time. However, America was seen by both democrats and aristocrats as a force that tries to divide Europe. Democrats argued that democratic principles should be exercised in the society while aristocrats tried to withstand the democratic spirit. Jacques Maritain Maritain, who was a Frenchman, majorly reflected on the church and the state. The state, according to Maritain, is political and is concerned with the common welfare of the people, the public order, and administration of public affairs. Further, he states that the state is a part of a society that protects and promotes the interests of the people. The state is not a person or a group of persons but rather an institution or institutions working together (Dougherty 13). Maritain further explains the importance of a spirituality or Christianity in the state. From a religious point of view, the common good of the politics in the state is in direct ordination of something which transcends it. The state is controlled and is under the order of a supreme being. From a secular perspective, the church is an organization or a set of instructions concerned with the spiritual well being of an individual or of a believer. In political perspective, the good activities done by the citizens have an impact on the lives of the members of a community. Therefore, the church is necessary for the common good of the state and to the society. He further states that the church and the state cannot work in isolation or the ignorance of one another. In the body of a person, there is a part which is a member of the church and another part which is political. An absolute division of the church and the state cannot occur. The state and the church must cooperate (Maritain 15). Further, Maritain says that the state owes its political authority to the people. Citizens must be given a right to self government. The right of self governance is foreseen in the constitution, whether written or not written. The citizens are the group of persons who unite under just laws to achieve their common goal. However, the citizens are concerned not only with politics. Every individual has a spiritual soul; therefore, the people are above the state, the sate works for them not the citizens working for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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