Friday, 16 March 2007

Should Religion and Politics Mix?

This is in response to this (slightly confused) article on Pink News.

Being myself strongly opposed to organised religions and their interference in public life, I can see exactly what the author means, when he suggest that Politics and Religion should remain separate. Being French, this is also a major part of my republican education.

However, things are not that simple and I would contend that such a separation is nigh on impossible. People's political views are underpinned by their ethics and morals, whether they be religious or secular (and it is worth remembering that some liberal/secular views can sometimes take on the intencity of religious extremism). It would be impossible to ask someone to forget about the teachings of their religion, which presumably also underpin their outlook on life, before allowing them to contribute to social life.

Similarly, the obvious solution to the problem, the banning of religious people from public life, would be an unacceptable attack on democracy and freedom of speech. Yes, extremist religious people are the very ones who often go against those very principals. Exluding them seems the easy way. But this would mean behaving like them and in a way conceeding them victory. We, the LGBT community do and must rely so much on those democratic principals for acceptance that we must defend and uphold them at all cost, even that of allowing free speech to the very ennemies of those principals. An interesting conundrum, if ever there was one.

Religious groups and people are part of our society and as such must be allowed to participate in social life. Our only weapon against the more zealous fundamentalists among them is to remain vigilant and to put our points across more eloquently and more rationally than they do. Not a highly satisfactory solution but the only one offered to us if we really hold our own principals to be true.

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1 comment:

  1. There is no such thing as "non-political religion". Religion is politics conducted in "holy" rhetoric designed to give added force to the views of the religious.


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