Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Religion and State a.k.a. checks & balances

30 December 2014


While I consider myself as religious, I have no shadow of a doubt that Church and State should not overlap each other. Does that imply that I am against either one? No, not at all. I am a firm believer in both Religion (rather than Church) and State.

For me it is entirely clear that any State controlled by any religion is moving backwards rather than making any progress. Banning religion (e.g., in Communism) is not the solution. Banning the State (e.g., by ISIL) is not the solution either.

In my view, even American politics are too much guided by religion and especially by human interpretations of religious views. In Europe we have political parties based upon religion. At least then you know what you choose for during elections.

In my view, Religion and State cannot even live without each other as they provide some kind of checks and balances towards each other. The State should be aware of religious extremism while Religion should monitor the State’s moral values.

The problem with both Religion and State is mankind.

Both Religion and State are too often used by individuals for personal gain and power.

That is why we need both in order to have some balance in the lives of many citizens.

Early December 2014, 3 time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman published an article in the New York Times titled How ISIS drives Muslims from Islam. He describes a growing movement amongst Muslims towards atheism and Christianity.

Such a movement is not the solution but may trigger change within religious power and that is all that counts.

I am very proud of what Pope Francis is doing. Cleaning up the rank and file in the Church that he represents. Perhaps he will finally restore the hope and faith of many in the scandal driven Roman-Catholic Church.

Damage is done by mankind but heroism too. We need to choose our leaders wisely. History has taught us that time after time.

Political extremism is part of a parliamentary democracy. Political success is based upon real voters. Religious extremism is driven by a few who are hungry for power and ultimately religious totalitarianism. Religious extremism does not have real voters. Only men with guns and knifes.

So far we cannot elect our religious leaders. I suppose that is the real problem.


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