In addition, there are liberal consequentialist concerns about establishment, such as the possibility that it will result in or increase the likelihood of religious repression and curtailment of liberty (Audi, 2000: 37-41).
In addition, there are liberal consequentialist concerns about establishment, such as the possibility that it will result in or increase the likelihood of religious repression and curtailment of liberty (Audi, 2000: 37-41).While protections and advantages given to one faith may be accompanied by promises to refrain from persecuting adherents of rival faiths, the introduction of political power into religion moves the state closer to interferences which are clearly unjust, and it creates perverse incentives for religious groups to seek more political power in order to get the upper hand over their rivals.Tags: Personal Statement Advice Law SchoolCatw Essay SamplesOne Side Can Be Wrong EssayEmail Covering Letter For ResumeProblem Solving LessonsSmall Business Financial Planning
This article surveys some of the philosophical problems raised by the various ways in which religion and politics may intersect.
The first two main sections are devoted to topics that have been important in previous eras, especially the early modern era, although in both sections there is discussion of analogs to these topics that are more pressing for contemporary political thought: (1) establishment of a church or faith versus complete separation of church and state; and (2) toleration versus coercion of religious belief, and current conflicts between religious practice and political authority.
If all people have such a right, then it is morally wrong for the state to force them to participate in religious practices and institutions that they would otherwise oppose, such as forcing them to take part in public prayer.
It is also wrong, for the same reason, to force people to support financially (via taxation) religious institutions and communities that they would not otherwise wish to support.
Contemporary liberals typically appeal to the value of fairness.
It is claimed, for example, that the state should remain neutral among religions because it is unfair—especially for a democratic government that is supposed to represent all of the people composing its —to intentionally disadvantage (or unequally favor) any group of citizens in their pursuit of the good as they understand it, religious or otherwise (Rawls, 1971).This cohesion in turn is dependent on a substantial amount of cultural homogeneity, especially with respect to adherence to certain values.One way of ensuring this kind of homogeneity is to enact one of the forms of establishment mentioned above, such as displaying religious symbols in political buildings and monuments, or by including references to a particular religion in political ceremonies.For example, Islam has traditionally held that all people owe obedience to Allah’s will.Thus, it is probably inevitable that religious commitments will sometimes come into conflict with the demands of politics.Similarly, liberals often argue that fairness precludes devoting tax revenues to religious groups because doing so amounts to forcing non-believers to subsidize religions that they reject.A different approach for liberals is to appeal directly to the right to practice one’s religion, which is derivable from a more general right to freedom of conscience.Contemporary philosophical defenses of outright establishment of a church or faith are few, but a famous defense of establishment was given by T. As a result, he argued, such a society would degenerate into tyranny and/or social and cultural fragmentation.Even today, there are strains of conservatism that argue for establishment by emphasizing the benefits that will accrue to the political system or society at large (Scruton, 1980).A weaker form of an established church is what Robert Bellah (1967: 3-4) calls “civil religion,” in which a particular church or religion does not exactly have official status, and yet the state uses religious concepts in an explicitly public way.For an example of civil religion, he points to Abraham Lincoln’s use of Christian imagery of slavery and freedom in justifying the American Civil War. Trained as a philosopher (he completed, but did not defend, a dissertation at Harvard on the philosophy of F. Bradley) and deeply influenced by Aristotle, Eliot believed that democratic societies rejected the influence of an established church at their peril, for in doing so they cut themselves off from the kind of ethical wisdom that can come only from participation in a tradition.