Sunday, November 16, 2014

Religion and Politics Entwined

by M. J. Joachim

We finished watching Borgia this past week. Something Lucrezia said during one of the last episodes made me stop and think. 

“Religion limits the mind. Spirituality expands the soul.”

One has to understand that the Borgia reign took place during a time when religion and politics were entwined. It was a battle between Catholics and non-catholics. Religion has always played a role in defining our behavior, even when so many of those in authority didn’t follow the rules.

Subjects are expected to be submissive, willing to give up their freedom and right to think and act for themselves, considering it a greater good to act for the benefit of the Church. Yet, there were still many saints during this time, people who put God first, even at the expense of challenging the Church. Many of these same people were challenged by the powers that be in the Church, because as much as they obeyed the precepts of the Church, they also questioned those who imposed those precepts without following them themselves.

There is a difference in Catholicism as an institution and Catholicism as a faith, just as there is a difference in Mormonism as an institution and Mormonism as a faith, or Protestantism as an institution and Protestantism as a faith or even Buddhism as an institution and Buddhism as a faith. No group is exempt from the powers and authorities or rules and expectations vs. the spirituality of their faith. Individuals alone must determine how to respond to each in turn.

So I ask the question, 

Do we want to be limited by the rules that bind us, or do we want to fully open our hearts and souls to the God who made us? 

One does not necessarily need to exclude the other. Wisdom demands that we recognize abuses of power, keeping ourselves pure when others might defile us with their iron hand.

This does not apply only to religions of the world. As mentioned in an earlier paragraph, religion and politics were very much entwined. As much as things changed, perhaps they have also remained very much the same.

Can you think of one or more incidents in today’s times where politics and religion have joined forces to limit the minds of their subjects and followers? Can you think of one or more incidents in today’s times where politics and religion have butted heads, because neither was in the interest of the greater good, and both sought to keep their power and control?

It definitely gives one pause…

Thank you for visiting me here today. 

Wishing you only good things,

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Borgia Geneology, GNU Free Documentation License