Religion and Politics: a Symbiotic Relationship

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Religion and Politics: A Symbiotic Relationship

Maria C. Quijalvo

SOC 315

Professor Mitra Rokni

December 19, 2011

Religion and Politics: A Symbiotic Relationship

Can religion exist without politics? Can politics exist without religion? How do they affect each other? I believe that they feed off each other and, although man will always try to separate them, it is not possible. Here, we will examine how the two areas interact and influence our society, to our detriment and to our benefit. First, we must explore, in my view, the big three religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), main political structures (Democracy, Socialism, and Communism), and how they are similar.

I read Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions, to gain a greater understanding of how and why various religious organizations can and do affect politics. Following are my thoughts about some of those religions.

Across the world, there are many variations of religious life and many different ways in which people worship. Several faiths have one or more supreme beings, which they refer to as their god or gods. Although a number of deities are praised, usually one deity in each religion holds sway over the others. In Judaism, the Jews call Him Yahweh, to the Muslims of Islam, He is Allah, for the Christians, He is the Lord God and Jesus. Is He the same god? Although there are many different creeds for comparison, these three in particular have immense similarities, despite seeming to conflict and appearing to have no common ground. While studying them, I concluded that the Judaism, Muslim, and Christian religions have a number of parallels in their beliefs, ethics, and politics. They are nearly identical in origin; they believe that one God is the creator of life. The existence of only one God is paramount to their beliefs, as it efficiently explains our existence and the world in which we live. They closely follow their distinctive Holy Scriptures, the teachings and principles...