I accept that the people running religion and the people running the state should be different people. Power corrupts, blah blah blah.

But religion pervades every aspect of life so at what point is a politician’s idea too religious?

“When political conflict is religionized, it is absolutized. What in politics are virtues – compromise, the willingness to listen to both sides and settle for less than one would wish in an ideal world – are, in religion, vices. Religion can therefore act not as a form of conflict-resolution but, rather, conflict-intensification.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (To Heal A Fractured World, p9)

Put simply, if you require God’s word to justify a political proposal, then it is invalid at best, and dangerous at worst.

Religion plays a great role in initiating dialogues about social issues, but the political argument for pursuing a social initiative should be that it benefits society, not that it has a religious source.

Why? Because religion is based on perceived objective truth and a free society is based on subjective ideals being compromised (so everyone can get by).

Cultural, historical, and security-based political motions are worth discussing. But religious precedent, by itself? Not enough.

 

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