Monday, 14 May 2012

Is it that simple?

I ended my last post with stating that we need to acknowledge the dangers of mixing politics and religion. I’ll go into depth as to why it’s a dangerous concept, and how it all started. It is extremely hard to pinpoint the exact origin, but there is sufficient evidence, from historic events and even modern-day society, which shows that a mixture of politics and religion can be used by leaders to further their own agendas. It can theoretically be attributed to the nature of human beings - maintaining and gaining wealth and authority.

History implies that religion has always had a political “edge“ to it, which is why it is frowned upon by analysts in a political context. In fact, most religion-bashers jump at this opportunity. We’ll take the example of the infamous Rodrigo Borgia, also known as Pope Alexander VI. He was a man who utilized his wealth to bribe cardinals to ensure his influence in Europe. He was a skilled politician, and was able to use the power he had as Pope to ensure his rule and his wealth. When Giovanni Savanarola, a preacher, defied his ways, he was publicly tortured and executed. In fact, he was made an example of in front of the people of Florence. Historically, even though he was a man of religion, Alexander VI abused the authority of his position to further his own goals.

Rodrigo Borgia - Pope Alexander VI

It is theorized that when men are put into a place of position, they utilize everything in their disposal to keep themselves, and their party of interest, in power. History has taught us that power corrupts. A rather infamous dictator, who we are all familiar with, used this method to achieve his goals. This man has been tarnished in history as one of the worst examples of a human being. He led to the deaths of millions, and his name is Adolf Hitler. His religious beliefs, though not belonging to a certain religion, extended into his politics; his idea of God wanting to create a “perfect race” seeped into his destructive practices. In fact, he preached of the supremacy of the “Aryan Race” to further serve his political cause. 

Propaganda picture of Hitler leading the German army to fight for racial supremacy.

Although I did not specify the root of the mixture of politics and religion, I theorized the causes from historical evidence and the basics of human nature. Greed has a major role in this situation, as it gives a person the mindset to be selfish. The dilemma it sparks as a result, drives a person to mix teachings with their own beliefs to yield a desired result. It is simple human emotions, which serve as the spark for creating these moral problems that we face as a society.


  1. Hi Edison,

    Your post today helps me to better understand the documentary we watched in class today. It is evident that religion has proliferated into politics in the past as well as currently. I would be interested to know more about the injustices today and how those who are resistant are punished or how they take action. I am also curious to see what sort of solutions there are to this problem.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      There are definitely solutions to this major issue, but we will also have to address on how intricately placed this issue really is in our societal infrastructure. I will discuss possible solutions to this issue in future posts.

  2. This is a very interesting topic. I like how the image of Hitler posted here had very definite religious overtones and motifs. Perhaps you can clarify this in your writing to strengthen your argument that Hitler had religious motivations or was able to tap into religious beliefs to gain popularity.

  3. Hey Edison,
    I understand the relationship that exists between politics and religion; however, I'm curious as to how fear ties in also. Do you think that people abuse the idea of religion in fear of not being powerful? And that religion puts fear into those who believe in order to keep control?

    1. Hi Emily,

      I think that people abuse religion because they are aware that some people put religion to heart which then become a perfect tool to control and influence them. Religion puts fear into those who are very unsure of the life after death. Throughout history this has been the case. But of course, it's only a number of the worshipers that feel this way, there are some that believes in a religion because it helps them develop spiritually and provide them an outlet to express their faith.