Når staten bliver kirken. 

 

I oldtiden kunne religion ikke skelnes fra det, der i dag er kendt som ‘mytologi’ og bestod af regelmæssige ritualer baseret på en tro på højere overnaturlige enheder, der skabte og fortsatte med at vedligeholde verden og det omgivende kosmos. 

 

Disse enheder var antropomorfe og opførte sig på måder, der afspejlede kulturens værdier tættere (som i Egypten) eller undertiden engagerede i handlinger, der var antitetiske over for disse værdier (som man ser med guderne i Grækenland). 

 

Religion, dengang og nu, vedrører sig det åndelige aspekt af menneskets tilstand, guder og gudinder (eller en enkelt personlig gud eller gudinde), skabelsen af ​​verden, og menneskets sted i verden, livet efter døden, evigheden og hvordan man kan flyve fra lidelse i denne verden eller i den næste; og enhver nation har skabt sin egen gud i sit eget billede og lighed.

 

Jeg en diskussion af religion og politik i det antikke Middelhavsområde kan vi stå over for at gemme forhindringer: den geografiske og kulturelle mangfoldighed af traditionerne, der er ændret af denne rubrik, og meget vanskelige muligheder ved at definere begreberne religion og politik i hver kultur. 

 

Ingen af ​​samfundene i Mesopotamien, Egypten, Grækenland og Rom besad et ord for religion i moderne forstand som et system med tro på og tilbedelse af en transcendent magt.

 

Hendes fungerede stater som den institutionelle myndighed, der var ansvarlig for at formulere en panteon af guddomme og et system af ritualer og helligdomme, der ville organisere universet og den guddommelige verden i et religiøst system. 

 

Denne type system var religion og stater grundlæggende sammenflettet. 

 

I dag lever vi nu i en verden, hvor religioner igen og mere er en del af politiske idealer. De politiske ledere trækker flere og stærkere grænser mellem forståelsen af ​​den menneskelige interesse for, hvad der sker i borgernes sind (tanker) og hjerter (følelser), naturligvis på en måde at få indflydelse på og kontrol på religiøs måde at tro på. 

 

Religion in politics covers various topics related to the effects of religion on politics. Religion has been claimed to be “the source of some of the most remarkable political mobilizations of our times. 

 

We call this a secular religion. 

 

A secular religion is a communal belief system that often rejects or neglects the metaphysical aspects of the supernatural, commonly associated with traditional religion, instead placing typical religious qualities in earthly entities. 

 

Among systems that have been characterized as secular religions are capitalism, communism, Juche, progressivism, transhumanism, Auguste Comte’s Religion of Humanity, and the Cults of Reason and Supreme Being that developed after the French Revolution.

 

Revolutionary France was well noted for being the first state to reject religion altogether. Radicals intended to replace Christianity with a new state religion, or a deistic ideology. Maximilien Robespierre rejected atheistic ideologies and intended to create a new religion. Churches were closed, and Catholic Mass was forbidden.

 

In history various political doctrines have been directly influenced or inspired by religions. Various strands of Political Islam exist, with most of them falling under the umbrella term of Islamism.

 

Some Christian political movements range from Christian socialism, Christian communism, and Christian anarchism on the left, to Christian democracy on the centre, to the Christian right.

 

Beyond universalist ideologies, religions have also been involved in nationalist politics. Hindu nationalism exists in the Hindutva movement. Religious Zionism seeks to create a religious Jewish state. The Khalistan movement aims to create a homeland for Sikhs.

 

And with an extreme form of religious political action is it religious terrorism. 

 

According to Emilio Gentile, “Fascism was the first and prime instance of a modern political religion” – “This religion sacralized the state and assigned it the primary educational task of transforming the mentality, the character, and the customs of Italians. The aim was to create a ‘new man’, a believer in and an observing member of the cult of Fascism. 

 

Through the World War II among committed [Nazi] believers, a mythic world of eternally strong heroes, demons, fire and sword—in a word, the fantasy world of the nursery—displaced reality.” Heinrich Himmler was fascinated by the occult, and sought to turn the SS into the basis of an official state cult.

 

In 1936 a Protestant priest referred explicitly to communism as a new secular religion. 

 

A couple of years later, on the eve of World War II, F. A. Voigt characterised both Marxism and National Socialism as secular religions, akin at a fundamental level in their authoritarianism and messianic beliefs. 

 

Klaus-Georg Riegel argued that “Lenin’s utopian design of a revolutionary community of virtuosi as a typical political religion of an intelligentsia longing for an inner-worldly salvation, a socialist paradise without exploitation and alienation, to be implanted in the Russian backward society at the outskirts of the industrialised and modernised Western Europe”.

 

An example from our new era is President Niyazov. During the long rule of President Saparmurat Niyazov (President from 1990 to 2006) large pictures and statues of him could be seen in public places in Turkmenistan. He makes himself to be a God, and takes a religious step in his politically manifestation. 

 

In an interview with the television-news program “60 Minutes”, Niyazov said the people of Turkmenistan placed them there voluntarily because they love him so much, and that he did not originally want them there. 

 

In addition, he granted himself the title “Türkmenbaşy”, meaning “Leader of all Ethnic Turkmens” in the Turkmen language. 

 

A book purportedly authored by Niyazov, Ruhnama (“Book of the Soul”, first published in 1994) was required reading in Turkmenistani educational institutions and was often displayed and treated with the same respect as the Qur’an. 

 

The theory of political religion concerns governmental ideologies whose cultural and political backing is so strong that they are said to attain power equivalent to those of a state religion, with which they often exhibit significant similarities in both theory and practice.

 

Political religions generally vie with existing traditional religions, and may try to replace or eradicate them. The term was given new attention by the political scientist Hans Maier. 

 

Totalitarian societies are perhaps more prone to political religion, but various scholars have described features of political religion even in democracies, for instance American civil religion as described by Robert Bellah in 1967.

 

Today in the USA the separation of church and state has come under scrutiny again this summer after the Supreme Court sided with religious conservatives in a series of rulings. One of the rulings allows states to fund religious schools indirectly, while another protects religious schools from federal employment discrimination lawsuits. 

 

Americans have been debating where to draw the line between religion and government since the country’s founding. And even as the percentage of religiously unaffiliated Americans rises, church and state remain intertwined in many ways – often with the public’s support.

 

Secularism continues its march. Over the last two decades, Americans belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque fell from 70% to 50%. Gallup found that adults declaring no religious affiliation have more than doubled.

 

Not long ago, the religious right was the bugaboo of the American left. Whether it was the Moral Majority in the 1980s or the Christian Coalition in the 1990s, Democrats warned of a right-wing theocracy if churchgoing Republicans seized the levers of power.

 

The good news for secular types is that this once-powerful voting bloc is hard to find these days. That’s also the bad news.

 

You might not have liked the Christian right, but you’re really going to hate the post-Christian right.

 

Nature abhors a vacuum, not only in the physical world but also in the spiritual. If people aren’t getting meaning from their local religious community, they’ll seek it elsewhere.

 

Increasingly, Americans seek fulfilment in politics of all things. Count the Arizona Republican Party among its devotees.

 

Some are willing to die for their party. We saw a right-wing activist with a very sketchy past claimed, “I am willing to give my life for this fight”; the “fight” being to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in November.

 

Most rolled their eyes, but the state GOP agreed that we should seek martyrdom to usher in the Kingdom of Don. “He is,” the party’s official account posted on Twitter. “Are you?”

 

In the early days of Christianity, believers would rather be thrown to Roman lions than reject their Savior. Now, we’re supposed to hold that same devotion so some flawed politician can have four more years in Washington, D.C.

 

We’ve replaced prayer with protest, but let’s be real. Politics is a grubby business in which amoral charlatans use fear and false promises to gain earthly power. They come back a few years later, blaming the other side for their lack of results.

 

In a republic, it’s a necessary evil. But with politics it is a terrible religion.

 

This divinization of democracy is sprouting up all over. Instead of spending Sunday at church, Republicans are flying flags in a “Trump Train.” Instead of listening to a sermon on racial tolerance, Democrats are accosting diners at sidewalk cafés. Instead of resting on the Sabbath, we waste our weekends cursing strangers on social media.

 

Both religion and politics have one common goal: that is to acquire political power and use it to fulfill their aims. However, to achieve this object, their methods are different. 

 

Religion mobilizes religious sensibilities of people in order to get their support to capture power; while politics uses intrigue, diplomacy, and makes attempt to win public opinion either democratically, if the system allows it, or usurps power with the help of army, if the society is under-developed and backward.

 

Therefore, in power struggle, both politics and religion make attempts to undermine each other. If religion holds political authority, its ambition is to exploit it to fulfill a divine mission. 

 

In its secular approach man is responsible to determine his destiny. He is not under the control of divinity to remain submissive and inactive. On the contrary, he is supposed to initiate and plan to build a society according to his vision.

 

There are groups of people in every society who want change in their practical life but at the same time they desire not to abandon religion. These people become supporters of a new interpretation of religion that suits their way of life. It causes the emergence of new sects. 

 

Therefore, we find that in every religion, there are new sects, which fulfill the demands of a group of people within a span of time and then disappear in oblivion of history.

 

Most of States have adopted various attitudes towards religions, ranging from theocracy to state atheism.

 

A theocracy is “government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided”. Modern day recognised theocracies include the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Holy See, while the Taliban and Islamic State are insurgencies attempting to create such polities. Historical examples include the Islamic Caliphates and the Papal States.

 

In the Islamic history, conflict between religion and politics settled after the Abbasid revolution (750.A.D.) when the Iranians, who made the revolution a success and subsequently assumed positions of power and authority in the government administration, formulated the state policy of their liking. 

 

They wanted to make the Abbasid Caliph just like the Persian monarch having absolute political power with religious authority. 

 

With the decline of the Abbasids, provincial ruling dynasties emerged and introduced the institution of the sultanate (kingship). Muslim jurists justified it on the plea that it would prevent chaos and keep law and order in the society.

 

Similarly, the “Adab” or the literature of the Mirror of Princes made the Muslim king free from the shariat and allowed him to rule absolutely.

 

The method was to control absolute power by asking him to follow and adhere moral and ethical values in order to govern people.

 

In India, the Sultans of Delhi (1206-1526) adopted this model but the Mughal king Akbar shaped a different theory of kingship which suited the Indian environment. Abul Fazl (d.1602), the court historian and close friend and advisor to Akbar provided the philosophical basis for Mughal kingship by exalting the position and emphasizing the importance of royalty. 

 

Ziauddin Barani, a historian of the Sultanate period, explains his theory of kingship in his book fatawa-i-Jahandari that it is very difficult for a king to rule following the shariat. 

 

Therefore, Muslim rulers in order to rule did not follow the shariat but formulated their own rules and regulations that were in favour of practical politics.

 

In the 19th century, the Islamic world passed through a crisis of colonialism that engulfed it and gradually established political domination nearly in all Muslim countries.

 

One example of a religious-political domination is the city-state of Geneva that was established by the Christian reformer Calvin (d.1599). After acquiring political power, he was in a position to realize his religious ideals. First thing done by him was an announcement that those who were not in favour of his religious ideas should leave the city. 

 

As a result of these strenuous laws, every individual and family in Geneva was completely under the control and supervision of the spiritual police of Calvin.

 

If we take a step a little further and look for a new villain to account for the polarization and sheer meanness of our current politics, what do we find? 

 

Instead of blaming deep divisions over race, misogyny, immigration, income inequality and the bellicose Twitter reign of President Trump, many have seized on secularism as a scapegoat for everything that keeps politically conscious and conscientious Americans awake at night.

 

But the concept of secularism as a breeding ground for aggrieved politics is a delusion, rooted in contempt for the beliefs of nonreligious Americans and ignorance of or indifference to the role of secularism throughout American history. It is also based on ahistorical nostalgia for a nation in which religion — particularly Christianity — was a totally beneficent influence.

 

The relation between religion and politics continues to be an important theme in political philosophy, despite the emergent consensus (both among political theorists and in practical political contexts, such as the United Nations) on the right to freedom of conscience and on the need for some sort of separation between church and state. 

 

All religious beliefs and practices also potentially support politics in many ways. The extent and form of this support is as important to political philosophers as is the possibility for conflict.

 

Moreover, there has been a growing interest in minority groups and the political rights and entitlements they are due. One result of this interest is substantial attention given to the particular concerns and needs of minority groups who are distinguished by their religion, as opposed to ethnicity, gender, or wealth.

 

During the Arab Spring, in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, debates weren’t about health care or taxes—they were, with sometimes frightening intensity, about foundational questions: What does it mean to be a nation? What is the purpose of the state? What is the role of religion in public life? American politics in the Obama years had its moments of ferment—the Tea Party and tan suits—but was still relatively boring.

 

The United States had long been a holdout among Western democracies, uniquely and perhaps even suspiciously devout. From 1937 to 1998, church membership remained relatively constant, hovering at about 70 percent. Then something happened. Over the past two decades, that number has dropped to less than 50 percent, the sharpest recorded decline in American history. 

 

The same has happened in the European countries. The separation of church and state has separated people from their beliefs and the state has become the new trend of belief. With other words the state is now the new church, and the religious statement. 

 

The theory of political religion concerns governmental ideologies whose cultural and political backing is so strong that they are said to attain power equivalent to those of a state religion, with which they often exhibit significant similarities in both theory and practice.

 

This is the new world of today. The State has become the Church. 

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