Politics and Religion: Two distinct Institutions

Often time people complain lack of religious intervention in politics. They believe that since political leaders are part or submissive to one religion, hence, religion should intervene when these political figures strews from orientated policy.

The problem with this assumption is that most countries practice more than one form of religion. Should religion be allowed to influence politics, determining the religious group that controls governmental affairs will pose a bigger problem, thus, war of religious supremacy will be inevitable: silently the war is going on as seen in the Asia where Buddhist fight Christianity (e.g. Vietnam war); Muslim against Christians in the Middle East; Christian denomination against others some sees others as the said antichrist proclaimed in the bible, etc. Nigeria is a typical example of a country with heterogeneous culture, political orientation, religion etc. yet some expect religious intervention.

Religion as a concept deals with abstract world (making heaven), more concerned with metaphysical world: whereas, politics is interested in the physical world. The nitty-gritty of politics is to organize the physical world, while religion tends to prepare the soul for the world beyond. Hence, the two are distinct in its orientation and ideology. Historically, monarchy and theocracy where the first form of government witnessed; theocracy (religious government) failed; as they tend to rob people freewill, freedom to think outside stipulated norms and autocratic in the sense that one must follow its stipulated dogma or face execution (the dark ages). Power corrupts, capitalizing on its hold on humanity, some religious leaders took astute and subject mankind to semi-slave – totally precluded freewill, at worst, relegated mankind robot statuesque (Do whatever the dogma programmes).

Politics originates from the Greek word: “city state”, is after having an organized state, patterned life style that will limit man’s brutality on a fellow. Politics is subjected to changes, whereas, Religion is not. The static nature of religion forms the bulk of its advantage and disadvantages when bend to serve as governing apparatus. For instance, before a law is passed in normal political setting (Democracy), the bill will pass usage at the House (Parliament, Senate, Congress etc.), where amendments would be done. And even after its passage, it can still be reviewed or overridden when discovered it no longer serve the masses. Take this process to religion, one gets serious backlash, as it is more concerned with obeying directives from supreme being (supernatural being) which the masses are not aware when it was made. They don’t even take part in process of enacting such dogma or laws; by implication, it is not people oriented.

Politics has always been a game, and a game of interest. Therefore, if at all religion can influence political gladiator, it must be in areas outside of his interest. Since, Religious leaders cannot allow politicians/political leaders to adjust their norms and dogma, one naturally should not expect politicians to avail their backs for religious leader to ride.

“for one to effect a change on an already existing institution, he must be open to change himself”.