When Politics Meets Religion Essay

When Politics Meets Religion Essay

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When Politics Meets Religion

Much of the history we are taught in grade school and secondary education is filled with stories upon stories of political movements and uprising. The vast majority of these movements had one or two political leaders at the forefront whose ultimate goals included such things as liberating an oppressed people or reclaiming a status taken from a group of people by an outside force. Leaders of such movements have used a wide range of tactics to gain support for their political agendas, but one particular tactic has been so often used by said leaders that this tactic certainly deserves a closer examination. This tactic is religion. No matter what the nature of the movement may have been, so often we have seen and continue to see today how political leaders have made claims that God is supporting their cause. From the Crusades to the recent activities of Al Qaeda, the need for God’s support has been shown to be very important to establishing the legitimacy of a political agenda. What happens when the political agenda fails to faithfully correspond with the religion it claims as its backing? Is there a relationship between the effectiveness of a political agenda and the faithfulness with which it adheres to the tenets of the religion it claims as its support? Indeed there is such a relationship, and upon closer examination, we will not only see that political agendas that faithfully adhere to the tenets of a proposed religious affiliation tend to be successful, but we will also see why this is the case. We will then consider how this knowledge can be used today to address current instances of oppressive regimes. First, however, let us examine why it is at all desirable for a political leader to ...

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McClennen, Scott. Lecture. The role of religion in current politics. Fall 2003. Ethics and Development in a Global Economy. Stanford University.

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