Should Religious Organizations Be Prohibited From Participating In Politics?

Secular politics is an important of modern governance and democracies. However, it is not always possible to stick to it, especially when there are politicians trying to cash religion in their quest for political authority. As apparent from history of the world, as also the history of electoral processes and governance, mixing religion with politics is always a dangerous affair.
Should Religious Organizations be Prohibited from Participating in Politics?
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Nations that call themselves secular perpetually face the dilemma of how to deal with politicians invoking religion or working for it. The Western values of democracy do not endorse religion based politics, but that is something every nation cannot just wish away. In many countries people themselves value religion above politics and therein lays the genesis of an imminent struggle that tends to threaten both democracy and religion ......

A Recipe for Disaster

Religion and politics cannot go together, without creating one disaster or another!

All attempts in history to mix the two have resulted in catastrophic consequences. Just think - religious

preachers hailing their own beliefs, and hounding those of others in the dirty field of political one-upmanship - it will be the end of secular, tolerant state as we know it, as the candidates elected on the basis of their religious rhetoric would be faced to carry it to the field of governance.

The Conflict between Religion and Democracy

Voting by the citizen to elect the best available candidate as the representative of the people is the very foundation of any successful democracy. This foundation can be strong only if the voting is free from any and every bias on the part of the voter.

Democracy and elections are based on logic. Religion is based on faith. The two can not go together for long. History of all nations is sufficient proof that whenever religion is mixed with politics, the results are bound to become catastrophic.

Imagine for a moment, politicians who base their credentials not on good governance, accountability, correct policies and responsive administration, but on some blind dogmatic beliefs, and ask voters to elect them because they are the real representatives and mediators of the almighty. Imagine that they become successful. The result will be a country that is run not on the democratic values and principles, but on religious bigotry. The result will be a nation that is not cosmopolitan in

nature with a free society, but a nation that is fixed in time and values.

The Impact of Religious Politics

Some may argue that merely allowing the religious organizations to participate in politics does not mean that they will win. So imagine the impact that these organizations will have on the overall society. Religious organizations are bound to involve in religious one-upmanship. When they do so, they will create, on one hand, a distraction from the real issues, and on the other hand, will tend to lead to two opposite reactions from people. Those who believe in ascendancy of religious faith over modern democratic values will react to these parties in a way that will be totally opposite to the manner in which people with modern values will react, thereby dividing the society into two sections. Either way it will not be good for the society.

It is not the intention of this article to put down the importance of religion in society. In fact, religion has perhaps a more lasting and moderating influence on human societies, than anything else, including politics and democracy. However, religion also has its own downsides. Faith always has a vulnerability to become blind, and such blind faith can always become a tool in the hands of unscrupulous leaders, who stupefy themselves along with others into believing things in the name of religion, that actually may have had nothing to do with it. This can happen even without politics, but when religion and politics get mixed this is an inevitable consequence.

Politics should not be mixed with most things, least of them, with religion, unless you are willing to get both of them corrupted.

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