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Religion is one of the most fundamentally crucial aspects of humanity which defines people’s morals, believes and culture. In essence, it determines the manner in which people conduct themselves, socialize with their fellow human being, and how they uphold the societal values.
Since the church covers such an expansive scope in regard to its roles, there are many controversies which revolve around the roles it should play and those that it should not accomplish.
In addition, there is much contention on whether religion should be used as basis of making certain decision especially when it comes to matters of public interest such as politics. This paper will thus develop an argument contending that religion should not play a role in matters of public interest.
Making Political Decision
It has been profoundly evident that religion has been used as a tool of making critical political decisions in the public sphere. This tendency has rendered such decision inappropriate owing to people who hardly understand that religion is more of a personal rather than a public value.
For example, Benoit revealed that religion was one of the reasons as to why the citizens of USA rejected Mitt Romney’s bid for presidency (176). In this regard, Benoit pointed out that Romney believed in Mormonism which is a religion drawn from the Later Days Saint (LDS) movement.
The Mormons broke up from the LDS to adopt other values such as polygamy. On the other hand, Obama when responding to a question concerning his faith admitted that he believed in Christianity. In essence, most of the USA citizens believe in Christianity more than Mormonism.
Additionally, Christians oppose some of the values of Mormonism including polygamy. They believe that a religion that purports such ideologies is impure and unacceptable. Based on this aspect, most citizens preferred Obama’s to that one of Romney.
Whereas the Christians consider the Mormonism as an impure religion, Dawkins provide a compelling argument where he contended that religion has misdirected people on issues concerning the appropriateness of morals. He states that religion is the main aspect that purports the existence of absolute wrongs and rights (266).
He then compares this absolutism with the philosophy of consequentiality which determines the legitimacy of actions according to their impacts on the decision maker. This comparison shows that believing in Mormonism or Christianity was not either right or wrong. Instead it was only a depiction of what a person believes and what the other one does not.
As a result, Romney’s decision of believing in Mormonism was not wrong. In addition, it could not impair his capability to drive the economy of USA bearing in mind that the Governor had won over Obama during one of the debates concerning the future economic strategies (Benoit, 123).
In essence, the most pertinent aspect that could have determined the elections outcome appropriately was the leaders’ capability to articulate their issues rather than dwelling on petty issues such as religion.
Basically, religion is more of an adopted culture rather than a personal decision. When he was substantiating this argument, Dawkins stated that children should be forced into religion (25). He further points out that there is neither Christian nor Muslim child.
Instead, we have children who belong to Christian and Muslim parents. Although this statement does not directly express the opinion of the author towards the roles of religion in public sphere, there is much to draw from the sentiment.
Basically, the author seeks to imply that people adopt the religion that has been instilled by their parents. This implies that most people embrace believes which are not personally adopted. Since religion does not mostly originate from personal willingness, they should not be used in making critical public decisions.
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Discriminatory Nature of Religion
Dawkins focuses on the use of religion as a parameter of discrimination in the public sphere (46). He pointed out that the religion has provided a broad platform that allows religious and moral discrimination. In fact, he stated that USA has been affected by the religious profiling of people according to their faith.
He further exemplifies this by elaborating that the Arab-American citizens have experienced adverse discrimination from the Christians and natives. In this case, there have been a lot of conflicts between the native citizens and the Arabs where Arabs are even murdered. In fact, the Arabs are always associated with terrorism, robbery and Jihadist mentality.
This discrimination extends to government offices where the Muslims are secretly denied some privileges that can be accessed by other religions. Essentially, religious profiling does not take consider the individual values and the capability. Instead, it generalizes the conduct of Muslims collectively rather than individually.
The same case has been evident in Kenya owing to the recent terror attack which was allegedly launched by the Al-Shabaab military that are associated with the Muslim religion (Lawrence, 72). After the attack, various Muslim employees were retrenched owing to the stereotypic association with terrorism.
Since the personnel were playing critical roles, the retrenchment impacted on the operation of various governments thus impairing their functionalities. This implies that the employees had outstanding capabilities which led to the smooth running of those offices. Consequently, it is inappropriate to relate religion with certain stereotypes and use the when making public decisions.
In addition, since the religion has become a parameter of profiling and discrimination, it should not play any role in public determinations in order to prevent the intensification of conflict and rivalry in public entities.
Religious bigotry has been one of most adverse vices we have experienced in the world. It has impaired the social, political, and economic progress of various nations owing to blind beliefs and reactions in the public circles. Have you ever thought of what could happen if an Arabian president converted from Muslim to Christianity?
Dawkins provided a hint to this question when he elaborates about the persecution of Abdul Rahman where the court sentenced him to death owing to his religious conversion from Muslim to Christianity (Dawkins, 324). It is completely out of order for a court to impose a death sentence on the basis of religious change.
In this case, a court is a public institution that should limit its verdicts to the constitutional rules governing the country. Instead, it should not deny the citizens’ right of choosing religion. In fact, this is not one of the offenses that could amount to capital punishment.
It is thus evident that if public institutions were to use the aspect of religion making public decisions, it could lead to deadly implications to humanity. Consequently, Dawkins concludes by stating that the use of religion in public sphere is not only wrong but also deadly.
It is evident that religion should not play any role in the public sphere owing to the impairment of various crucial factors of public interest. It cannot be disputed that religion is a core aspect that misleads people when making political decision.
Additionally, it factor of discrimination that divides people along their faith. Lastly, the discussion depicts how religious bigotry impact of the rationality of public institutions such as the judicial systems. Conclusively, religion should not play any role in the public sphere.
Benoit, Peter. Romney vs. Obama: Election 2012. New York: Children’s Press, 2013. Print.
Dawkins, Richard. The God delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008. Print.
Lawrence, Ben. High stakes: political violence and the 2013 elections in Kenya.. New York, NY: Human Rights Watch, 2013. Print.