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Religion And Politics Essay

1825 words - 8 pages

Believing in an idea that regulates everyone’s life, will influence all aspects of everyone’s life. One simply cannot live a “Christian life” solely involving religion and divide themselves when they deal with politics. Thus believing in anything shapes each individual as a person: creates their boundaries, defines morality, and what is just and unjust. Therefore, religion will always be tied into politics. Consequently, I am researching the inevitability of the two seemingly separate ideas overlapping and impacting one another.
In politics, today, religion overlaps politics in many aspects. Considering that religion has become more open and in America, supposedly separated from church and ...view middle of the document...

In The Apology, Socrates was on trial because he was following what God had sent him out to do, basically to inform the ignorant people to not assume they are universally intelligent but that they specialize in certain areas (Plato 29-30). This problem has continuously repeated itself: men and women on trial for religious beliefs. For example, Joan of Arc was a young woman who believed that God told her to support Charles VII, a Frenchman, to help win the crown; she was caught and was burned at the stake in England, more for her powerful strides in the war, but they claimed she was a heretic, until many years after her murder, she was pronounced innocent (Warner 103-104). Firstly, the English should have never persecuted her, but they also lacked proof that she was a heretic. Secondly, the government has no place in deeming anyone’s religious convictions worthy of the death penalty. The English were in a hurry to rid her, because she was advancing the other side too much for their comfort, and settled on persecution of religious reasons, because she claimed that God spoke to her to advance Charles VII. They tried to correct their mistakes, post-situation, but the punishment was already felt and dealt. Freedom of religion was almost unheard of during this time, but it is an idea that protects citizens from complete conformity. Religion and politics have impacted one another in propitious conditions for the few, because people are unable to separate their personal opinions and what is best for the general will. Even Machiavelli, believed that a ruler should rule with a religious influence, or at least appear to have one so the public will have faith that the ruler will rule with the idea of morality influencing him, thus his mantra in The Prince: the ends justify the means (184). It doesn’t matter what religion a person may be: Catholic, Christian, or another religion, for all religions play a part in politics.
John Calvin and Martin Luther were both leaders in the Reformation who influenced religion and politics. John Calvin wrote in Institutes of Christian Religion, about how, “…the Church and State ought to be structurally independent. He noted that magistrates receive their authority from God and are obliged to apply the law of God to the affairs of civil society” (McNeill 200). In God and Political Duty, Calvin uses call and response to answer how spiritual liberty can consist with civil servitude, and he claims that is the law of nature that is instilled within us to not kill, but to pity, to have a sense of justice, not necessarily for oneself but for thy unchristian neighbor (Calvin 202). Basically, Calvin explains how Christians have morality because of their religion, and non-Christians have some morality because of the influence of the Christians, where without them, the world would be ridden in chaos. Furthermore, Luther concluded that the church does not give people the authority to rebel against their government, as with the German...

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