Religion, Politics, and Government. What do you think?

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  1. tsmog profile image85
    tsmogposted 2 years ago

    What role does religion play in politics today while considering history? Which comes first – God, Religion, Government, or Political Party? Does it matter? How powerful/influential is it? One thing I consider is there is both a liberal view and conservative perspective with both religion and politics.

    Those questions I have pondered for some time now. Have you? Even though I used religion in the general sense it historically in the U.S. is/was definitely Christian of some facet. Yet, today we see the impact of other religions such as the Judaism and Islamism as well as those with non-affiliation or proclamation of spiritual in some manner. There are others too. And, we cannot leave Atheists/Agnostics, which are rising, though a small percentage, out of the formula.

    Footnote: This forum post is not meant to be U.S. specific as religion has been with us since who knows when. Also, I did ponder if to post in Religion/Philosophy as I see it is a woven rope of strands of those two as well as Politics/Social Issues.

    Some interesting articles to peruse if curious:

    Pew Research – Religious Landscape Study. There are easy to read charts ranging from party affiliation to frequency of prayer by party and more. Interesting for pondering.
    https://www.pewforum.org/religious-land … filiation/

    Gallup Organization - Religious Group Voting and the 2020 Election. This is a content article and it discusses a general view, white evangelical, and Catholic with a bottom line conclusion.
    https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling … ction.aspx

    Religion and World Politics – Georgetown University/Berkley Center. This is a website with vast information for the curious for a global view. Just a peek at the topics opens doors.
    https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/to … d-politics

    1. Stephen Tomkinson profile image92
      Stephen Tomkinsonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Government has to come first. The liberal democracies are cultural and religious melting pots that no single religion can represent. There should always be an ethical code behind government, but not one that is tied to one religion.

      1. tsmog profile image85
        tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I pretty much agree "but not one that is tied to one religion". That is why I like it is in our Constitution's establishment clause that separates church from state. Though that is true, there are those that desire government to be guided by religious doctrine/dogma while some vehemently believe God comes first.

    2. CHRIS57 profile image59
      CHRIS57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the links and the insight they provide.
      Of course Europe´s democracies leave little room for religious influence. There are no prayers in government events, and the phrase "so help me god" is not mandatory to take office.

      But, democracies are diverse and live from multiple social backgrounds and religious beliefs. I looked how matters are in my country and i couldn´t believe what surveys showed: 60% Christian, 4% Islam, 10% some other religion and the rest atheist/agnostic.

      This kind of contradicts to public appearance, where Islam takes a much greater role, at least tries to have more influence on the government.

      On the other hand my personal impression leaves not much room for Christians. In reality they are mostly Agnostic, they use church services once per year at Christmas or when somebody from the family dies. So much for Germany.

      The Pew Research results leave me with a mixed feeling for the USA. Reminds me that Magaret Atwoods book: "The Handmaid´s Tale" may not be so far off as we want to believe.

      On the international stage religion does play a role. Prominently in India/Pakistan and not to forget in China with their Uyghurs. Always Islam involved.

    3. Castlepaloma profile image75
      Castlepalomaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Three things I would not do put into artwork, Because want to keep my work honest and beautiful.

    4. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Government has to come first as no one can agree as to whose "God" and which religious tenets should predominate and which ones don't.

      1. tsmog profile image85
        tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the input Credence! I waffle on what your saying at this time in the sense of collective thought becoming institutionalized contrast individualism. For instance the way I see it it was individuals that inspired the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise clauses for the same reason as you said. Yet, those were debated, so some had a perspective of religion (God) came first. I am not a constitutional scholar by any means and just learned some on those two. I am very grateful of the wisdom placed in writing them and they were agreed upon. I think that demonstrates the uniqueness of our Constitution.

        1. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Delighted, tsmog

          I also remember that the founders were well familiar with the fact that a state sanction clergy was often times just an arm of the tyrannical monarchies of Europe that they did not want to emulate.

          I am curious what is it about people that insist that we all have to bow heads and bend knee to a common deity and faith? When the truth about this matter touches upon the most personal evaluation of life that any of us can make. You can't compel anyone to believe anything. Ask the Conservatives that promote this mindset the most often?  Is it just another form of the control of others?This cannot be subject to a herd like attitude.

          1. tsmog profile image85
            tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            All good questions while being insightful. Not as versed history wise especially with the founders/writers of the Constitution I agree with the sentiment that, yes, they did consider as you said the "tyrannical monarchies of Europe" while remembering the Church was central to them.

            I first looked into God, religion, governments, and politics and how they interact last year. It is a passing theme over the year. I did look closer at here in the U.S. while skirted world history and religions. I know enough to be dangerous wink What I took note of in the media was two things:

            ** The controversy of Ilhan Omar being a Muslim from the right
            ** Amy Coney Barrett being a Catholic with a history of one might say more loyalty to the Church. There were some distinct questions during the confirmation hearings with a somewhat aim at that.

            What I didn't know at the time is our Supreme Court Justice's religious make up is:

            Catholic - 6
            Episcopalian - 1
            Jewish - 2

            So, for me, I fall back on what I was taught in how the line of authority goes within of least the protestant faith.

            God
            Family - self, wife, children, extended family
            Government as known depending on nation

            As far as your first question I don't know. However, IMHO, it begins with childhood does it not? As to is it a form of control if it is it is being justified by doctrine and dogma. It is supported by desire to belong as well as the forces of sociological principals.

            If curious see this article on Amy Comey Barrett by NPR, Sept 2020.
            https://www.npr.org/2020/09/29/91794304 … ation-issu

            And, this Pew Research analysis of religion makeup of Congress, Jan 2021 Worth a skim looking at the chart and tables.
            https://www.pewforum.org/2021/01/04/fai … hill-2021/

            1. Credence2 profile image78
              Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I am reminded of the late President Kennedy, who in the 1960 campaign  made in clear that he intended to assume the office of the presidency as someone who just happened to be a Catholic. This putting to rest the fears that he was going to adhere to the dictates of Rome and the papacy.

              I can expect Justice Barrett or any of the others not to be influenced by their religious background as part of their rulings, but must show ruling consistent with Constitution first and not make decisions based upon their own religious beliefs. The abortion question is a prime example.

              It is possible to do your secular based job and be a Muslim, Catholic or Jew as long as you recognize that as part of that job, adherence to the Constitution comes first.

              God
              Family
              Government

              Since all of our interpretations of God and family are relative, we all agree to work under the auspices of the  (Constitution), a template that we all can agree on and share.

              I have my personal beliefs regarding God and family, but I do not compel my neighbor to share them. But I do expect him or her to live under the rule of law (Government) that applies to me.

              I like to do my own thinking and not be led around by others for the mere comfort of being part of something. I, have, over my lifetime held such reasoning in suspicion.

              1. tsmog profile image85
                tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I feel I pretty much fall into the same line of thought you share. I believe we are very fortunate here with First Amendment.

            2. Nathanville profile image93
              Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I was intrigued by the fact that you are able to tell what religions the Supreme Court Judges are in the USA!

              In the UK there are 12 Supreme Court Judges; but to avoid a tie there is always an odd number of judges that sit - from 5 minimum to 11 maximum.

              However, in the UK one’s politics is personal to oneself, and below that of Royalty ones religion is personal to oneself; so although the names of all 12 Supreme Court Judges are listed, their religion and politics isn’t publically published.

    5. abwilliams profile image69
      abwilliamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      This response is my initial response to your specific question posed, "Religion, Politics, and Government. What do you think?", I didn't read any further than the headline.
      These are the things that I regularly write about. For me, it has always been, Faith, Family, Country, in that order.
      Faith covers "Religion", my personal relationship with {in my case} Jesus Christ, "Politics and Government" can either protect my faith, my family, my Country or get in the way! Here of late, they are getting in the way! They have put all in danger.
      It's a real shame that some believe that any mention of God/Church cannot be mentioned with 'State'; our Founders never meant that type of separation. What they did not want was for there to be one religion/one church, such as was the case with the Church of England. Stifling rules, regulations and restrictions are what sent so many to this land mass, which would later become a Country. They came for freedom in all things; including freedom of religion. Our Founders wanted us free to serve in the religion, the church, of our choice, not one mandated, but they never intended for God to be sent packing. If you've ever visited our Nation's Capital or read anything by our Founding Fathers, you'll know that!
      Yes, the majority in our humble beginning were Christian, but no one seeking to live their lives here, were/are, ever forced into Christianity. No one here, lives in fear of following a certain religion, with certain protocol, or facing a flogging or worse! My fear is that many in power, prefer that I worship Government and not God. I also fear that not enough understand that our Rights come from God and that the Government which we put into place...has but one role; protection of our rights and of our homeland. Politics were never meant to be in every aspect of our lives, but, sadly, today they are.

      1. tsmog profile image85
        tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the well rounded view I pretty much agree with. Good food for thought too. I would interject instead of some thing you should worship government it is party/ideology. At least that is my perception at this time.

  2. Stephen Tomkinson profile image92
    Stephen Tomkinsonposted 2 years ago

    Indeed so. The Constitution is clear that a state should not be a theocracy.

  3. Nathanville profile image93
    Nathanvilleposted 2 years ago

    Very intriguing, and stimulating questions, which I’ve had to put some thought to -

    In answer to your first question; “What comes first” from a British perspective, historically:-

    Religion - God - King - Parliament - Government - Political Party

    To quality my thoughts:-

    1.    Religion changes overtime, but the rule of the monarch and the institutions are all based on whichever religion is in favour.

    2.    In the English Political system, the king or queen, even to this day, is supposed to have divine power from god!

    3.    Historically, in Britain, Parliament was first formed in 1215 when the Magna Carta was signed; and initially consisted of Barons (Lords) whose role was to advice the King.

    4.    In England Government did not start to become a separate entity from Parliament until around 1275 to 1285 (the passing the Statue of Westminster) (two Acts of Parliament).  And certainly 1327 marked the emergence of Parliament as a true institution when in England King Edward II (a very unpopular king) was deposed in Parliament, as Parliament replaced King Edward II with his son King Edward III as the monarch to the throne.

    5.    In England the first political parties didn’t emerge until 1678.  Prior to then Parliament (House of Commons) and (House of Lords) primary role was to advice the king; and political parties didn’t exist.

    •    The split came because some members of the House of Commons strongly objected to the Duke of York (James) becoming the next king, because he was a Catholic.

    •    Those who supported the future king became the Tories (Conservatives), and those who objected to James becoming the future king became the Whigs (Liberals).

    •    The Duke of York did become King James II in 1685, but was deposed by William of Orange in 1688, and fled to France.  William of Orange and Mary II (his wife) then both became joint monarchs of England.

    •    In 1689, a year after James II was deposed in what was known at the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688, Parliament past the ‘Bill of Rights 1689’ that declared “henceforth, no Roman Catholic would be permitted to ascend the English throne, nor could any English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.”

    Moving on to your other question “what role does religion play in politics today, while considering history?”

    With respect to Britain (excluding Northern Ireland); while the Government institutions are steeped in religious protocol, it has been recognised that in recent decades Britain itself has become a secular society.

    •    The UK is the only country in the world, except for Iran, to have religious leaders as part of Parliament (government) e.g. 2 Archbishops and 24 bishops in the House of Lords; all Church of England (Protestants).

    •    King Edward VIII was king for just one year, in 1936 before he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorcee and it was considered by Government and Church that it morally unacceptable for a king to marry a divorcee.

    •    In both the House of Commons and House of Lords, Church of England Prayers are given each day at the opening of each new session of Parliament; Catholic Lords have complained that they can’t hold their own prayers in the House of Lords, and

    •    Catholic Lords have also complained that Catholics are prohibited by law from marrying in Westminster Abbey.

    •    And of course, in Britain, our monarch (the Queen) is the Head of the Church of England, and since 1689 it’s been illegal to have a Catholic monarch in Britain.

    As regards society as a whole; religion peaked in Britain in the mid-1950s, and since then has been on a slow decline, so that it’s now widely accepted that in recent decades Britain has become a very secular society.

    But when it comes to how religious or otherwise British society has become is dependent upon what question you ask, for example:-

    If you ask “what religion people are”, as in the 10 year censuses; then you get:

    •    In 2001 census = 71.2 people indicated they had a religion.
    •    In 2011 census (10 years later) = that figure had dropped to 58.8%

    However, if (as a number of surveys do) ask “are you religious”, then you get a different answer, which in recent years is always more than 50% saying they are not religious e.g. in the BSA survey on religion in the UK in 2018 it was 52% of the UK population who said that they were not religious.

    That is reflected in the Low Church attendance in Britain.  In Britain, only 11% of those who identify themselves as being Christian actually attend church regularly; and as a percentage of the population as a whole, those who actually attend church regularly are:-

    •    England = 4.7%
    •    Wales = 4.8%
    •    Scotland = 8.9%

    Going back to the census records of 2011 e.g. which religion are you; the result of that was:-

    •    Christianity = 59.5%
    •    No religion = 25.7%
    •    Islam = 4.4%
    •    Hinduism = 1.3%
    •    Sikhism = 0.7%
    •    Judaism = 0.4%
    •    Buddhism = 0.4%

    Of the 59.5% in Britain who identify themselves as being Christian:-
    •    Church of England (Anglian/Protestant) = 37.9%
    •    Catholic = 8.7%
    •    Other Christian faiths = 13.2%

    It gets further complicated in that in a recent survey (in 2013) a third of Anglicans (Church of England) even doubt the existence of a god, while 15% of those who are not religious believe in some higher spiritual power!

    That brings me onto my last point on this matter.

    Back in my parents days, when most people were religious, people were embarrassed to admit that they had no faith, so when they were asked to state their religion on official forms it was a lot easier to just put CofE (Church of England); less embarrassing - so putting CofE become a bit of a joke.

    Of course these days it doesn’t matter because most people aren’t religious, and no one is ashamed to admit it these days if they are an atheist or an agnostic, or just don’t believe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligio … ed_Kingdom

    I’ve so far excluded Northern Ireland because it’s completely different to the rest of the UK, and while the blasphemy laws (dating back to mediaeval times as common law) was finally abolished in England and Wales in 2008, and in Scotland in 2021, they still remain in Northern Ireland in spite of the fact that such laws contravene the Human Rights Act of 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Unlike the rest of the UK, in Northern Ireland religion is very much alive and kicking! 

    In Northern Ireland 48% of the population is Protestant, while 45% of the population are Catholic.

    In contrast to the rest of the UK, over 50% of the population in Northern Ireland regularly attend church: 61% of women and 39% of men.

    1. tsmog profile image85
      tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Very interesting and thanks! My perception is Europe is very much more secular than here in the U.S. Again, having an interest in Sweden I have read a little on their history seeing the influence of Christianity contrast the lore of the Norse gods. I did some reading on that too finding it very interesting, yet no expert here.

      Here there is influence of secularist thought as seen with establishment clause in our constitution for separation of state and religion and prohibits establishment of a national religion. Of course the ever on going battles in court for religious liberties. 

      Honestly, my perception being educated more from fiction novels and watching movies is the church in England was always an authority exercising its power with the monarch's. And, of course the crusades. Yet, that points to my ignorance in a sense. BTW . . . I did not know the Queen was the head of the church. Interesting.

      From what I was taught when I was a worshiping within a community church structure it kinda' goes like this:

      ** Family
      ** Church
      ** State

      Not to be a bible verse spitter as I call it, one verse is:

      "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1) And, of course "Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Mark 12:17) The point is that God is the ultimate authority.

      https://iblp.org/questions/what-are-god … structures

      As far as what impact religion has nationally take a peek at this Pew Research study with a skim. It says, 71% of Americans identify as Christian. Yet, like what you said I am sure many just indicate they are Christian just to identify or belong. Interestingly enough unaffiliated, which is growing while Christianity fades, is 29%.

      https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

      1. Nathanville profile image93
        Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Yes I too get the impression that Europe is more secular than the USA.

        Thanks for your links; I note from the ‘Religious Landscape Study’ that only 3.1% of Americans identify themselves as ‘atheist’, and just 4% agnostic; which is in stark contrast with Britain.

        I don’t know how many atheists there are in Britain, as that data doesn’t seem to have been collected?  Although according to the NatCen carried out in 2019, it identified that 18% of the British public are agnostic.

        1.    The British Social Attitudes survey of 2018:

        •    In the British Social Attitudes survey of 2018 only 1% of 18 to 24 year olds identified themselves as Church of England, while over 75% of people over the age of 75 described themselves as Church of England.

        •    Also in the survey 52% of Brits said they do not belong to any religion, with 38% identifying themselves as Christian; compared to a similar survey in 1983 when only 31% said they did not belong to any religion and 66% identified themselves as Christian.

        •    And 33% of Brits stated they are “very or extremely non-religious”, compared to just 14% in 1983.

        2.    In accordance with a YouGov (opinion poll) of 2020:

        •    Only 27% of Brits said they actually believe in ‘a god’, and 6% said they believe in the existence of ‘a higher spiritual power, but not a god’.  Even in those aged over 60 (the most religious age group) only 36% believe in a supreme deity.

        •    Also in 2020 only 56% of Christians in Britain actually believe in the existence of a god, whilst 16% believe in a higher power, but not a god; and 10% of British Christians say they do not believe there is a god or higher power. 

        •    And overall 41% of Brits believe there in neither a god nor a higher power – 50% of 25-39 believe this, 45% of 16-24 believe this, and 32% of those over 60 believe this.

        •    The 2020 survey also indicated that 48% of women and 36% of men believe in the existence of god or a higher spiritual power; 28% of women believing in god and 20% believing that there is some form of higher spiritual power.

        The NatCen Social Research in 2019 and an article published in the Independent Newspaper in 2017, and data on the ONS (Office of National Statistics)(Government Department) all show the same general data.

        In 2014, even the Archbishop of Canterbury admitted his doubts about the existence of God!

        Yep, from the fiction novels and movies I’ve watched I would say they do portray the Church of England’s authority over the monarch quite authentically, and thus does tend to be quite a good representation of historic fact.

    2. Nathanville profile image93
      Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      One point I forgot to mention where there are still ties between State (Government) and the Church in England is the Official National Anthem “God Save the Queen”.

      Back in the 1970’s when most people were still religious the National Anthem was always played at the end of the film in the cinemas; and you were expected to stand during the National Anthem, and could only leave the cinema once the National Anthem had finished.

      Likewise, back then, the National Anthem was always played last thing at night on ALL TV channels, when they closed for night (before the days of 24 hour TV).

      But by the 1990’s those traditions faded away so you almost never hear the official National Anthem anymore.

      However, far more popular these days, and what you do hear being played quite often in England now, is the ‘unofficial’ National Anthem; albeit that to has religious connotations? 

      The Unofficial National Anthem for England which is frequently played at large events such as major football games etc.  https://youtu.be/rT1HEXNI9c4

      So I’m not quite sure what that says about the British psyche?

      1. tsmog profile image85
        tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I had to go peek at the formal anthem seeing, yes, it is 'God save our gracious Queen' with the first line. That led my thought to she is the head of the Church of England too. And, I saw originally that the national anthem was 'God save the King'.

        I see more emphasis of God/divinity within England's anthem than our's. It is not until the last stanza we have any emphasis of God/divinity. Which, frankly, I did not know nor would I imagine anyone else. The emphasis of our anthem is rooted in the revolution seeking freedom from England inspired by a battle.

        The lyrics
        https://www.classicfm.com/discover-musi … er-lyrics/

        It is common tradition to play the National Anthem at sporting events here. And. seems to me reaching back in memory they did play when TV stations stopped broadcast. Like you said with 24 hr. broadcasting that is long gone.

        The tradition of playing the National Anthem at sporting events in recent history brought great controversy here as black players at NFL pro-football games knelt during it as protest for social justice sparked by Colin Kaepernick. Did you see or hear anything about that? It is kinda' lingering now, yet at one time was a very hot subject. There is history of protesting regard the National Anthem. I  learned from reading at the link below.

        https://www.politifact.com/article/2017 … nd-sports/

        1. Nathanville profile image93
          Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks for the info and feedback.

          Yours isn’t the only anti-English anthem; the Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Cornish anthems are all anti-English; one gets the distinct feeling that England isn’t popular with other nations!!!!

          •    The Scottish National Anthem “Flower of Scotland” lyrics is about Scotland’s victory over England in Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when Robert the Bruce (Scotland) won against the army of King Edward II of England.

          Scottish National Anthem (with lyrics): https://youtu.be/RPaJhlIIYjM

          Fhlùir na h-Alba (Flower of Scotland) verse sung in Gaelic: https://youtu.be/2vcAIHRJE6Q

          •    The Irish National Anthem “Amhrán na bhFiann” (English translation – "The Soldier's Song") was written and composed shortly before the Irish Civil war in the 1920’s when southern Ireland won independence from British rule:-  the chorus of their National Anthem is:-


          Soldiers are we,
          whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
          Some have come
          from a land beyond the wave,
          Sworn to be free,
          no more our ancient sireland,
          Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
          Tonight we man the "bearna bhaoil",
          In Erin's cause, come woe or weal,
          'Mid cannons' roar and rifles' peal,
          We'll chant a soldier's song.

          Irish National Anthem, sung in Irish but with English lyrics in the sub-titles.  https://youtu.be/OetAvMnzO_k

          •    The Welsh National Anthem “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadauis” ("Land of My Fathers") is more patriotic towards welsh and the Welsh Language, than anti-British; but one translation of the first part of the anthem reads:-

          The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
          Land of bards and singers, famous men of renown;
          Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
          For freedom shed their blood.

          Welsh National Anthem, sung in Welsh, with English sub-titles:  https://youtu.be/dWdWrTQpoHc

          •    The Cornish National Anthem is based on Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Baronet (1650-1721) who was the Bishop of Bristol, Exeter and Winchester; he was instrumental in events leading up to what’s known as the ‘Glorious Revolution’ e.g. the deposition of King James II in 1688; and therefore a hero in the eyes of Cornwall.

          National Anthem of Cornwall, sung in Cornish, but with English sub-titles:- https://youtu.be/mxPc9RZeTyg

          And this video below, made 7 years before 2014 when England granted Cornwall its ‘protected status as a minority nation’ reflects some of the anti-English feeling in Cornwall at the time:  https://youtu.be/-nN9I_7djgo

          I didn’t know about Colin Kaepernick until you mentioned it, so I looked him up on Wikipedia.  But the practice of taking the knee by all footballers before football matches (regardless to race) became widespread in the UK and across the world in 2020, following the murder of George Floyd in the USA; albeit in England conservative MPs on the far right of the conservative party oppose the kneeling because they see it as a political statement!

          1. tsmog profile image85
            tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            The history is interesting. Thanks. One thing as a side note seems to me the anthems you mentioned were about Freedom/Liberty. Maybe I got that wrong. So, that may lead to the forum post "Is it a Question of Liberty?"

            Yes, the kneeling at our NFL games was a spark circling the globe in my view. I remember the US women's soccer team doing at international matches. Yes, it does seem the George Floyd incident reinforced it as political statement on a social issue.

            1. Nathanville profile image93
              Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Yep, you're absolutely right, all the anthems of the Celtic Nations are all about Freedom and Liberty. 

              Yeah, I'll make a note to remind myself to perhaps raise this in the post "Is it a Question of Liberty?" when I've got a spare moment.

  4. MG Singh profile image80
    MG Singhposted 2 years ago

    There are two clear-cut lines of thought as far as this topic is concerned because we cannot use the word religion in the general sense. Government and religion are specific to a particular religion; for example, in most Christian nations government is liberal but in a few Islamic states there is no liberalism and there are some states like where if you convert from your religion of Islam you face death. Then there is Pakistan where religion is a state policy and the blasphemy law has been passed that makes death a mandatory sentence for this offense. Just for the record, a hundred people are on death row for blasphemy in the world, out of which 85 are from Pakistan and the majority are from the minorities which constitute 3% of the population. My point is there is that there are two clear demarcations between Islamic and non-Islamic states, even the Buddhist and Hindu dominated states are extremely liberal and so are the Christian states. One cannot say the same for some of the Islamic states.
    One can say that religion and extremism are the driving force of governments in most Islamic states and that includes terrorism which is not a state policy in any non-Muslim state. There are close to 56 Islamic states in the world and apart from two or three which claim to be secular others do not.

    1. tsmog profile image85
      tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the input and, yes, religion is a general term that should be clarified. Especially if we consider there are 10,000+ religions world-wide, though there are clearly less mainline religions. However, that is what discussion is for, eh?

      I kind of disagree with using Islam as not being liberal. I ask more than state what about the consideration of Sunni and Shia? Do you think the Sunni are more liberal than the Shia? Not being versed I am more curious than anything.

      Generally most see the opposite of liberal thought be that religion, politics, or government is conservative. Yet, what was introduced in the reply to me sounded more in the line of authoritarianism, which is conservatism on steroids as I see it. Some thought is religiosity itself lends to authoritarianism. I read the article below for some insight, however I am sure it is much deeper than what it shared.

      https://bigthink.com/politics-current-a … tarianism/

      1. Nathanville profile image93
        Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        An interesting article, and in the opening paragraph “….a growing body of evidence shows that those who tend to be very religious, often bend towards authoritarianism.” Seems to state the obvious:

        In Britain the death penalty for blasphemy was abolished in 1676.  The last person in Britain to be sent to prison for blasphemy was John William Gott on 9 December 1921, and the blasphemy laws were only finally abolished in England and Wales in 2008 and in Scotland in 2021; although they still exist in Northern Ireland.

        Before 1883, prosecutions were "much more common" in Britain.  From 1883 to 1922 there were only five prosecutions, and then just one successful prosecution in 1977.

        Following the English Civil War (1642-1651), where Oliver Cromwell defeated King Charles I, England became a Republic for 10 years ruled over by Oliver Cromwell for most of that time, as Lord Protector, until his death of natural causes in 1658, when Oliver Cromwell’s son then briefly took over as Lord Protector, until 1660 when Parliament reinstated a monarch, making King Charles son the King, King Charles II.

        Oliver Cromwell, a Protestant was a puritan, so during his rule England was very much an authoritarian state.  And a generation before that, in 1605 Guy Fawkes tried to rebel against the persecution of Catholics by the Protestant State in his failed attempt to assonate King James I by blowing up Parliament.

        So while many Islamic states may currently well have a tough regime because of their strict religious beliefs, Britain, and I’m sure many western countries have had their share of religious authoritarianism, persecution and prejudices in our past history; so nothing is set in stone.

        1. tsmog profile image85
          tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks! I found it interesting there were laws against blasphemy in England, though it makes sense with things like the crusades influencing my thought. After all that was a religious war was it not? I did not know until MG brought it into the conversation. It gives me the impression of, yes, with some nations religion is a very significant component of government/politics. I kind of had that impression any way with Islamic states. Maybe one day I will look more at it

          I found the article interesting while pondered the drift here in the U.S. moving from an identity of Christian with its many denominations to unaffiliated while those do recognize there is a higher power of some sort. I ponder in comparison with Europe that in my mind distinctly is moving toward secularism in more a purist sense. I hope I made sense, hmmm . . .

          1. Nathanville profile image93
            Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, considering how tolerant British society and State are these days of ‘all’ religions, and ‘non-religions’, it’s difficult to imagine and appreciate just how intolerant Britain was in centuries past; quite a turnaround of attitudes in such a short time.

            A couple of interesting links if you’re interesting in learning more about the blasphemy laws in Britain:-

            •    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy … ed_Kingdom

            •    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Nayler

            The one that caught my eye was James Nayler (1618-1660) a Quaker, because he was charged with blasphemy for entering Bristol (where I live) on horse, enacting ‘Christ’s Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem’.

            For his crime he was put in a pillory, and while in the pillory he had a red-hot iron pushed through his tongue, and the letter ‘B’ branded on his forehead (for Blasphemy), then when he was subsequently released from the pillory, he was imprisoned for two years of hard labour.  Now if that isn’t barbaric, I don’t know what is; but times have changed, fortunately.

            Image below of a typical pillory:-

            https://hubstatic.com/15873059.jpg

    2. Misbah786 profile image87
      Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      . . . Too much Islam here…. Dear brothers Islam means ‘Peace’ and ISIS is not not ‘Islamic’. When we are talking about liberation and especially ‘Pakistan’ let me remind to Mr. Singh about the incident of Gujarat where thousands of Muslims were killed just because they were Muslims. And it happens everywhere and not just with Muslims. Cruelty is in every corner of the world whether it’s a Muslim state or a non Muslim state smile I hope this statement finds you well smile

      There would be fewer Islamic states in the globe if Islam was/is such a bad religion. There are 56 Islamic states, which make for more than a quarter of the world.

      …. What about Babri Masjid? What about Kashmir under curfew for so long? And in curfew when the world is going through the crisis of corona virus. . . Where there is no food, no medicines, no shelters, no protection of women, they are being raped by their own country’s army?

      No religion teaches terrorism, terrorism has no religion. It is an act of cruelty and brutality that is found in each and every corner of the world. 

      I have no desire to hurt anyone's feelings. You are all wonderful people with wonderful souls, excellent writers, and wonderful friends, but as a Muslim, it is my right to speak up for my religion when I notice some incorrect claims. smile

      Blessings and Peace to all!

      1. Nathanville profile image93
        Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I’m with you all the way Misbah:  Although I’m an atheist I’ve always firmly believed in respect of all faiths, religions, beliefs and non-religions; provided they are not extremist e.g. ISIS.

        My wife, who’s an agnostic, worked for a Multi-faith Chaplaincy at one point, which organised a close co-operation between all the various faiths in Bristol, including the Muslim community.

        Multifaith Britain:  https://youtu.be/bZTVW6Y83Bs

        And although I’m from Bristol, I was proud when the London people elected a Muslim as their Mayor. 

        Sadiq Khan elected new Mayor of London - Results and Inaugural Speech: https://youtu.be/ChY4nooWgGs

        And I’ve very impressed with the work of the Muslim Council of Britain, founded in 1997.

        The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is a national umbrella for ‘all’ Muslims in Britain regardless to their sect e.g. Sunni and Shia.

        In the MCB vision statement is "empowering the Muslim community towards achieving a just, cohesive and successful British society"

        The MCB received modest funding from the UK Government in 2005 to help it set up its infrastructure.  And in 2005 the Secretary General of the MCB received a Knighthood from the Queen for his longstanding service to the community and interfaith dialogue.

        My personal impression is that in Britain at least, the Muslim community have generally received a good press in the News Media e.g. during terrorist attacks by ISIS the British News Media has always gone to great lengths to distinguish between ISIS and the main stream Muslim faiths.

        Also, there’s no uh-oh about Sharia courts in Britain because the British News Media has generally highlighted the fact that the misconception that Sharia Courts circumvent British law is false e.g. in Britain Sharia Courts can only deal with civil matters, not criminal matters, and only acts as an arbitration service (just like ACAS acts like an arbitration service in employment matters between employer and employee); and as such any aggrieved party in a Sharia court can appeal to a British court.

        Introducing the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)  https://youtu.be/g0Q6pC7A8FY

        Leap of Faith: Church of England en route to extinction:  https://youtu.be/dEPp4xeFZPA

        1. Misbah786 profile image87
          Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Very interesting. Thank you so much, Arthur. I've lived in Birmingham, UK, for more than a year and am familiar with many of the rules and regulations. smile

          Brits are lovely people, and I admire how they respect and care for the Muslim community. smile

          It's great to connect with you! smile

          Blessings always!! smile

          1. Nathanville profile image93
            Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks, and likewise, it’s great to connect with you.  In my last five years at work (before I took early retirement) I used to travel from Bristol to Birmingham once a week on business – Birmingham is a lovely city, and the people there are very friendly.

            What is the city of Birmingham like?  https://youtu.be/rxQqoWYEG0g

            Take care, and best wishes.

            1. Misbah786 profile image87
              Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Thank you so much, Arthur. You too take care.

              Best wishes and Blessings!! smile

      2. CHRIS57 profile image59
        CHRIS57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Pardon me, Misbah786, but we cannot neglect that Islam is reaching out at the organisation and administration of countries. What else is Sharia good for?

        And this intertwining of religion and government creates the problems in Islamic countries.

        Isn´t there a huge difference between a law (you call it Sharia law) and a guideline, a moral guideline?

        Western democracies follow the principle of moral guidelines with religious, Christian background. With its nuances:  the protestant, Calvinist approach creates a different country in comparison to catholic, all are children of god attitude in the Mediterranian or Central-/South America.

        And if you include philosophy into the guidelines, then also China is following these moral guidelines with their Confucian, hierarchical philosophy, sided by harmonic glue of Taoism.

        1. Misbah786 profile image87
          Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Knowledge is something that's never enough. smile

          With all due respects, my question is have you studied the law of Sharia? And it is just implemented on Muslims not on the whole world. smile

          1. CHRIS57 profile image59
            CHRIS57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Is that so?  ... And it is just implemented on Muslims not on the whole world...

            The topic of this discussion is on religion - politics - government. As long we don´t have a world government, isn´t it this statement off track?

            No - i haven´t studied the law of Sharia. But i have been to many countries on our planet and my analytic background allows me to make conclusions. They are not favourible for Muslim countries, to be polite.
            The only place i found the coexistance of Islam and Christianity or Atheism to be inspiring was the Autonomous republic of Tatarstan, in Russia.

            1. Misbah786 profile image87
              Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I think it's not fair enough to judge a book by its cover. smile
              If you will read the law of Shari'a you will uncover many truths you are unaware of. smile
              Secondly as I said before distinguishing between good and bad is a nice thing but we should not do it on the weight scale of religion. There is no Religion that teaches anything bad or cruel. Good and bad people are everywhere on earth. smile

              Peace and Blessings!!

              1. CHRIS57 profile image59
                CHRIS57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I agree - "There is no Religion that teaches anything bad or cruel. Good and bad people are everywhere on earth."

                Though, isn´t it about the influence of religion on government and politics?

                For politics, it is clear. Politics is only about interests, nothing else, no morals, no ethics, no religion.
                For government and administrations it is very well a matter of how religion influences or dominates.

                Having said this, my objections are not about individuals of any specific religion and how they live. However problems arise if people live in a society, in a country and deem their religious beliefs, laws higher that administrative laws. This is problematic, on an individual level and in a society.

            2. Nathanville profile image93
              Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              We do have Sharia Courts in Britain but here in Britain such courts are limited in their powers and influence by the ‘law of the land’ (British Law) e.g. in Britain Sharia courts cannot deal with Criminal matters, they are restricted to arbitrating in civil matters only; and their decision can be challenged on appeal in a British Court.

              In Britain Sharia Courts are no more than an ‘arbitration service’, similar to the free arbitration service offered by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)(a Government Department), to settle disputes between employer and employee.

              Also in Britain, if one side is not satisfied with the Sharia Court’s decision then they are fully entitled to appeal to an English Court of Law, just as any aggrieved party in any arbitration service is fully entitled to appeal in the English Court.

              I understand the Jews have a similar court, known as a ‘Beth din’.

              Inside a UK Sharia court:  https://youtu.be/Ctyr5FaZJtI

              That being said, I’m not disputing the fact that where there is a strong bond between Church & State that such Governments tend to be authoritarian; we’ve had plenty of that in our British History.  But my experience in Britain in this day and age is that multi-faith including Christianity, atheism and Muslims can and do coexist peacefully.

              1. Misbah786 profile image87
                Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                +1

                Great response. Yes, people can live peacefully, and there are many countries that can serve as examples, such as the United Kingdom. smile

              2. CHRIS57 profile image59
                CHRIS57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Arthur,
                we have no official sharia courts in Germany. However in family affairs the law of the country applies and that can mean in some cases Sharia laws.

                Sometimes causes strange verdicts. There was the case of a widow who did not want to share the pension with the 2nd wife of deceased husband. They had been married in Tunesia, so German court decided that 2nd wife was also entitled.

                But these are civil cases. Has little to do with government influence by religion.

                A last one: Just recently Germany had a diplomatic dispute with Morocco. A mentaly disabled Moroc citizen lived in a German care facility. The guy died and he was cremated. Cremation is apparently is not allowed for Muslims and poor family was offended.
                This all understandeable, but why a diplomatic dispute? What does government have to do with religous practises?

                1. Misbah786 profile image87
                  Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  I believe it is the government's responsibility to protect people's (especially citizens') religious practices. Do you know that in the United Kingdom, the food served to Muslim prisoners in jail is Halal? They even take care of the food they provide to prisoners in Jail. How one would not respect such a country? smile

                  1. CHRIS57 profile image59
                    CHRIS57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Religious practices have nothing to do with political and diplomatic reactions.

                    Of course people can eat what they want, be it Halal or Kosher or no beef, or vegetarian or vegan, or diet for diabetes. And they can do it and they get their food in a restaurant, in prison or on a birthday party. As first article of our constitution says: Human dignity is untouchable.

                    So this is nothing to politicise and that is the point i want to make. Don´t drag this onto the political stage. Doesn´t belong there.

                    With the case i mentioned before: It was a mistake by some employee of the care facility. Probably by now some rules have been adapted. Matter is settled.

                2. Nathanville profile image93
                  Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Chris, I think you might have highlighted a fundamental difference of the justice systems between Germany and the UK?

                  In the UK if a civil case goes to a civil court then the matter is decided under ‘The Law of the Land’ e.g. under English Law - so Sharia law has no place whatsoever in an English civil court.

                  If in the UK a married couple can come to some amicable arrangement in a Sharia court, and provided that arrangement isn’t illegal under British Law, then that agreement has been settled without taking up the expense and time of the civil courts. 

                  However, if subsequently the wife (for example) is not satisfied with the decision of the Sharia court, then she has every legal right to raise the matter in the civil court; and while a judge will consider any agreement made in a Sharia court, that agreement is not binding under civil law and the judgment will be made in accordance with the civil laws of England (the law of the land).

                  In the UK the Sharia courts are just an arbitration service, nothing more – And any decision made in a Sharia court must be legal under British Law, and if the matter is pursued further in a civil court the judgement in the civil courts are based on English Law Only.  So in the UK I don’t see that there is any issue with Sharia Courts.

                  In essence, it’s no different to a club having club rules that its members must abide by; and of course, such club rules cannot be illegal under British Law (law of the land).

    3. Misbah786 profile image87
      Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I would love to know about which state has such rule. Can you please provide some backup resources  :

      there are some states like where if you convert from your religion of Islam you face death.

      I am seriously asking about it because I don't know about any state that implements this rule in this era not even the countries which follows the law of Shari'a  smile Please don't count things like honour killings in it. I believe, honour killings are wrong and sometimes they are not even honour killings. And yes not all Islamic countries support honour killings.

      The punishment for apostasy

      Why only question Islam for the  punishment for apostasy?

      Don't confuse blasphemy with apostasy. Yes, the punishment for blasphemy is 'death' in all Muslim states.

  5. Stephen Tomkinson profile image92
    Stephen Tomkinsonposted 2 years ago

    Well said.

    1. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Stephen....

  6. Stephen Tomkinson profile image92
    Stephen Tomkinsonposted 2 years ago

    You are right, Misbah. I am not religious myself but let's have some respect for different views.

    1. Misbah786 profile image87
      Misbah786posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Appreciated! Freedom of Speech!
      The point is that cruelty exists all throughout the world. smile We simply cannot declare that one is wrong while the other is without any flaws. The only statement  I  am making is that you can't make a sound of clap with one hand. I don't mind if anyone disagree with me. smile

  7. Misbah786 profile image87
    Misbah786posted 2 years ago

    As for Islam, I would recommend you to watch this video:

    https://youtu.be/vVitLXZYQFc

    … And as almost all of us are following each other I would recommend you to read this article, I published it about 2 months ago I think you may find it interesting:

    https://discover.hubpages.com/religion- … rty-at-all

  8. Misbah786 profile image87
    Misbah786posted 2 years ago

    Every state has its own set of rules, some of which are religious in nature, such as sharia law in some Islamic countries. Shariah law teaches peace, not terrorism. But there are always good people and terrible people, and there are always people who will benefit you and people who will injure you, so distinguishing between the two is a good thing, but counting their good and bad deeds in the weight scale of religion is incorrect. There is no religion that promotes inhumanity. Politicians use religious labels to divert and blind the people of the country; it is an old game that will continue as long as politics and politicians exist. I hope it makes sense smile

    When The Power Of Love Overcomes The Love Of Power The World Will Know Peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

    Love, humanity, and brotherhood should take precedence over religion, politics, and government. Only then can there be peace. Humans must unite as one while respecting, accepting and appreciating all the differences. smile

  9. profile image0
    Vladimir Karasposted 2 years ago

    The whole deal between religion and government is a pathetic farse, as a leader will "faithfully" attend the Sunday mass (or an equivalent in another religion) only to issue an order for an attack on Monday, with many "casualties" being a norm.
    Who really cares who is preaching what in this world where the main religious tenets -- love and peace -- are perverted into a garden variety of hate, intolerance, in short -- conflicts.
    Holy books don't have human element in sight, so it doesn't really matter what they are preaching. It makes no sense to defend a book that's full of ethical theory -- while praxis is telling another story.
    History is a "his-story", and all are interpreting it their own way, according to their intellectual and/or political favoritism. Every generation seems to have their own problems based on stupidity, and I like that saying that "history only teaches us one thing -- that it never taught us anything".
    As for political fetishisms, whether they are called dynasties or political parties -- we should sharply switch to the theme of manipulators and the sheepish brainwashed masses.
    But I have already occupied enough space here with my wise crap, so -- next, please.

  10. tsmog profile image85
    tsmogposted 2 years ago

    Just to give some  perspective from a peek I did last night is the following:

    ** There are 4,000 accepted religions in the world
    ** There are basically five main religions in the world while there are atheists, agnostics, pagans, and unafilliated
    ** There are 195 recognized countries in the world
    ** There are five main forms of government
    ** More than 20% of countries have an official state religion
    ** There are thirty countries the head of state must belong to a specific religion

 
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