The Horror of Religitics
By Omar Rais

The following article does not represent the entire organization’s stance on the issue, merely the opinions of one Trooper.

January 29, 2009
The common opinion heard often that suggests that religion should not be a part of the political system is rational and it based on the cons and consequences of doing so. These consequences are recognizable around the world in countries where the two simply can’t coincide. Religious and holy wars are not unheard of. The terms “Jihad” and “Zionism” have been embedded into the minds of every individual who has, at any day, simply tuned into a news channel and seen the conflicts erupting in nations, in the name of religion. These conflicts attempt to destabilize government. But, is religious extremism the only thing at fault? What about governments that threaten secularism? What about the laws of some nations that are based from a religion? It’s almost safe to conclude that religion has negatively impacted selected nations in terms of their political system(s) and their laws.

Leadership is certainly one aspect of a political system that has been impacted in many nations. The appointment of religious leaders as the head of government/state is extremely common. The Vatican City with the Pope, the Ayatollah’s of Iran, and the King of Saudi Arabia are just a few examples. Who is there to question the authority of these political and religious figures? The Pope is always right because he alone understands the word of God. And you just don’t mess with the King of Saudi Arabia unless you want a one way ticket to the execution square. Hmm….so, absolute power does corrupt absolutely. What is the result of this sad reality? Fear. Fear of expression, fear of going against the “norms” of society…fear of death.

Law-making and laws have also been affected as a result of incorporating religion in politics. Just take a look at the United States or even some of the Islamic nations. Religious beliefs have collided with laws that deal with morality. The issue of abortion is highly debated upon in the United States. On one hand you see the federal government who wants to look at the issue with a secular perspective (Or do they?) and on the other hand you have religious groups that take the idea of preserving life to an extreme level. Isn’t abortion a personal choice? Should abortion be the right of every woman? The idea of live and let live is so cliché…why do religious groups feel the need to interfere in law-making and laws? It’s understandable that everyone should have the right to change law but where do you draw the line?

And the most obvious characteristic of a government/nation that has been impacted by religion is its’ overall stability. A brief history of Iraq in terms of its’ leadership, will present that before the Saddam regime, Iraq had seen seven leaders over a span of merely four years. That’s equivalent to four federal elections in Canada. Here, if the government dissolves before the term-end, talks of elections start to occur and political terms like “coalition government” and “proroguing of Parliament” fly around. People worry about another election because it would mean getting out of home and having a say in political leadership. Obviously, that’s a great hassle for Canadians…this means that they have to take half an hour out of their day to go into a polling station and put a check-mark beside a name…WOAH that’s a lot of work. Our record low voter turnout for the 2008 federal election of 59.1% speaks for itself. But religion is the least of concerns on the agenda for the Canadian government. Back to the issue of stability of government…In countries where there is a lot of religious intervention in government, there is a constant change in power in short periods of time. This is because of religious differences that tend to oppress and segregate. In the case of Iraq, there was always one government that oppressed the Islamic Shia population of the country or another that chose to give them rights instead.

The consequences of mixing religion with politics are evident around the world. The evolution of religion in modern society has started to impact society on a political and social scale. Religion used to be a very personal connection between man and God. Now it has become a game which renowned religious and political figures play to make one religious group superior compared to others. Modern society should be more educated and secular so that all can coexist in peace and harmony.


Sources:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/story/2008/10/15/voter-turnout.html
http://www.forbes.com/2008/11/29/mumbai-economic-cost-oped-cx_ap_1129panagariya.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States
http://www.nodice.ca/elections/canada/



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