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Religion And Politics Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

Believing in an idea that regulates your life, will influence all aspects of your life. One simply cannot live a “Christian life” solely involving religion and divide themselves when they deal with politics. Thus believing in anything shapes you as a person: creates your boundaries, defines morality, and what is just and unjust. Therefore, religion will always be tied into politics.
In politics, today, religion overlaps politics in many aspects. Considering that religion has become more open and in America, supposedly separated from church and state, one would be lead to believe that the progression has separated them entirely, at least in the United States. However, looking throughout time, one can only make the argument that religion has become less influential, but is still predominate. Such as in political factions, where people tend to agree with like-minded individuals creating parties.
Throughout history, there have been many “enlightened” thinkers who have shared their contradicting and confirming of each other’s beliefs. Philosophers have tried to explain the phenomenon of religious zeal influencing politics, where some condemned and some confirmed. Voltaire wrote in the book Candide, as a criticism of the church and the state. He ridicules the philosophy in favor of the mantra, “…best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire 144), by showing his characters experience an extreme continuous suffering. They believed that since the perfect God created the world, everything must have a divine purpose. The clergy would sit back and allow suffering to continue because it did not benefit them to change the world, while the Protestants and Catholics both held political power; the Anabaptist, who didn’t believe in holding political positions could help others (Voltaire 27). He continues with the misery of the characters to produce an over-exaggeration of how the ignorant and small minded people, fundamentalists, will always exist because they are not open to believe in another set of ideas, thus at the auto-da-fé, a government sanction of killing individuals who went against the Church dogma, he had “hung” Pangloss, burned the Jews, and flogged Candide (Voltaire 37). The church didn’t want dissenting opinions to exist, let alone be exposed to inflame hope amongst the people the Church was taking advantage of. Even in Eldorado, the utopian state, believed in a greater power, but they only praised him for his blessings and they didn’t ask for anything in return, (Voltaire 79) which was strange for anyone on the outside world to understand. Voltaire specifically put this city in his book to show how the religious mania of the world existed everywhere. In the chaotic world, unjust men with religious power would take advantage of the ignorant population through power they obtained via the government and the belief from the people that their power exists.
Philosophers, intelligent, tend to only preach their ideas to the few who would befit those most....

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