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Politics vs. Religion - Essay Example

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Past wars and conflict has taught us that religion is divisive especially among men and women who have different faiths. It is divisive because each religion claims to have the One True God which inevitably…
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Politics vs. Religion
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Teacher The conflict between politics versus religion and the secular History is replete with conflict that is wrought by religion. Past wars and conflict has taught us that religion is divisive especially among men and women who have different faiths. It is divisive because each religion claims to have the One True God which inevitably confronts other religions leading to conflict. The state on the other hand must attend to the welfare and general well-being of its citizen. If its society has several religions, it would be tantamount be unfair and chaotic if the state will favor only one religion.
The politics of the state seeks to include all members of society and strives to implement pragmatic policies that are good for the majority of its citizen. It is based on reason and practicability and seeks to improve the way and quality of life of the people. Politics is basically focused on the life here on earth on how to better it. Religion on the other hand is concerned on the life after our earthly existence. It seeks for the greater glory of God of whatever name it may call. It seeks to implement policy of what it believes to be consistent with divine mandate which could be impractical and counter-progressive. The classic example is the current debate in the Philippines where the Catholic Church is blocking the Reproductive Health Law because it believed it run counter to the Catholic teaching which is to go forth and multiply. This theological policy is impractical from a public policy point of view because higher population means more people to feed, shelter, educate not to mention that the resources needed to support overpopulation can take its toll to our already degraded environment.
Such, the secular state is conceived to avoid this problem. According to Laborde, “the secular state is not a state committed to substantive atheism or to the marginalisation of religion from public and social life. It is, rather, a state in which citizens share a language – a secular language – for discussing political matters. So, religious believers can be secularists and secularists can also be religious believers”.  Baggini mentioned that secular state is “neutral with regards comprehensive world-views at its core, but relaxed about the expression of such views in the public square”. It meant that citizens can freely elect their mode of worship but cannot impose its theological belief on policies which concerns public life and government.
Secular state can also prevent branding of certain religions. If there is a sectarian state which could be Catholics or Christians, they would most likely brand the Mohammedan’s jihad as a tool of terrorism when in fact it is just carried out as a last resort in defense of the Muslim faith; that Muslims equally disdain terrorism as everybody. Making a state secular or free from the influence of any religion will make all religion stand on equal footing and prevent animosity from each other.
Works Cited
Baggini, Julian. “A secular state must be neutral – what does that mean exactly?”February 16, 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/16/what-mean-secular-state-neutral[accessed May 07, 2012]
Laborde, Cécile. “In defence of the secular state”. 2012. http://www.thersa.org/fellowship/journal/archive/summer-2010/features/in-defence-of-the-secular-state [accessed May 07, 2012] Read More
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