Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red America - Be Careful What You Wish For.

I find it interesting that the current unrest that has erupted in the Islamic World seems to be mostly in Islamic countries that had designated Islam as their "state religion".   In the "Islamic States", that is the countries that have incorporated Islam as the foundation of their political and legal makeup, there is less visible unrest, but anyone who has been paying attention knows it boils just under the radar of public scrutiny.  The countries where Islam is practiced by the majority of citizens, but the government is set up as secular with no official religion, well, they seem to be the most stable.

Certainly there are many other variables that would cause a population to be content or unhappy, but often times it is how a government handles  its citizens that brings things to a boil.  Theocratic governments are historically inflexible and stuck in singular mindsets that do not allow for change.  Governments who place an emphasis, or maybe a stamp of approval on one religion over others set up barriers and divisions within its country that cannot possibly be helpful in the long run.  When a government takes no official position regarding the religions of it populace, it only makes sense that this would help smooth out the interactions in country some, by allowing the population to sort out the cultural structure on its own. 

I would hope that the current madness within the Muslim World would cause those Americans looking for more of an official recognition of Christianity  to take a lesson here.  When the government gets mixed up with religion, bad things happen.  Whether the government decides to stamp out religion (USSR, China, Cuba) or make it the law of the land (Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan), their interference is counter productive to that country's healthy progression as a culture.

Religion will never be stamped out.  Nor will it ever be totally embraced by all.  Belief cannot be dictated.  When it is, people get pissy,  people get arrested, people die.  Religion can be a positive force when left alone and kept out of the mundane reality of governance.  But try to incorporate it into state policy and the future is bound to be ugly at some point.  Besides, calling yourself a Christian because the government says so does not make you a Christian if you do not believe. 

Later................................................

18 comments:

The Blog Fodder said...

Well said.
Rebellion (or revolution) is simply a sign of bad governance. In China, the government is busting its ass to keep one jump ahead of revolution by not only trying hard to do things right, but slowly to do the right things (I hope).
And state religions are nothing but bad news in the long run, as you noted. Theocracies are very unjust.

Beach Bum said...

I would hope that the current madness within the Muslim World would cause those Americans looking for more of an official recognition of Christianity to take a lesson here.

Of course I agree with you but my Bible thumping brother would point out the mistake Muslims are making is that they do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God and their exclusive Lord and Savior.

Randal Graves said...

Given that we worship at the altar of the buck, we don't even need institutionalized sky fairies. Our cult's doing just fine.

BBC said...

Religion will never be stamped out.

To bad being as they cause so many of the problems on this rock.

ain't for city gals said...

I think nothing makes me more upset as when our political leaders use religion as a vote getter...I would have more respect for an individual if he would simply say he doesn't believe in God instead of saying God bless you or God bless America at the endo of every televised speech when you know he doesn't mean it.

BBC said...

Theocracies are very unjust.

Tell that to Mr. Obama.

Murr Brewster said...

I will promptly believe in anything I'm told to at the point of a gun. Otherwise, put me down for apatheism.

Kulkuri said...

Beach Bum beat me to it.

The way I see it, most of the politicians are "playing" the Bible-Bangers to get their votes. Sincerity is the key, once you can fake that properly, you got it made!!

T. Paine said...

Good posting, sir. For the record, I agree with you and would not want to live in a theocracy or in a nation where there was a state sponsored religion, even if that religion were my own Catholicism.

Ol'Buzzard said...

It’s pretty obvious that most of the troubles in the history of the mankind can be linked to religious differences. Even today we have Jews fighting Moslems, Christians fighting Moslems, Hindus fighting Moslems (Moslems seem to ask for it) and Protestants fighting Catholics. If you look at underlying causes you will find that most political conflicts, if not directly – then indirectly, spring from religious differences.

A Midnight Rider said...

We need different gods. These are not working out.

Doc said...

Hey Mike,

We have got Flash Fiction Friday up and running again with most of the old gang from Cormac's group. I'm hosting this week and I was wondering if maybe you'd like to join in again. It works just like the old one but the deadline is Thursday instead of Wednesday. Swing by if you get the chance.

the page is here: http://www.flashfictionfriday.com/

Thanks,
Doc

susan said...

So much of religion is a matter of interpreting doctrine and passionate disagreement is the norm. The separation of church and state was a very wise choice made by the Founding fathers.

Bull said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef Cthulhu said...

Well put, Susan. It's a question of principle versus dogma. A system that recognizes principle (don't kill, don't steal, do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is far preferable to one based in dogma, the source of most if not all disagreements.

Christianity, writ large, went through this phase centuries ago. It's how America became so good at worshiping the Almighty and the Almighty Buck simultaneously - and there are still plenty of issues domestically, and it still is a very powerful lever in western culture and its conflicts.

Islam is, in comparison, only just beginning to face this issue. Similarly you can see some of the more "liberal" states in the Islamic world figuring out how to bank, invest etc. in a way that is "friendly" to Islam.

As Crum says, we would be wise to look to what is happening and ask if we really want to "turn the clock back" in the name of government by dogma.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

So... my planned global campaign of forced conversions to Catholicism... If I'm reading you right, you may not agree?

Clarification prior to the late night "visit" to your home by my friends in Opus Dei would be appreciated.

Mr. Charleston said...

Suppression is suppression no matter how you craft it. I remember being in Mexico years ago riding past thatched roofed mud huts with televisions showing that Hawaiian sit-com with the guy driving around in a Ferrari and wondering what those people must think about it all.

Snave said...

Great post, Mac. I couldn't agree more! For all their goals, I'm not sure they know what the nation would look like should they get what they want...