I always used to say:” Politics reaches your door step, religion follows you into your bedroom”
A sad truth we had to observe, and still do. The simplest marketing strategy of religion is working with fear and reward, not even real fear and reward, like in the political world, but with the imaginary celestial ones; and maybe that’s why people are even more afraid and yearning with hope, because humans are primitive when it comes to the dark, the unknown.
At the same time as the noted in high tide periods, the “Return of the Gods” religious topics have been added to the agenda of contemporary history and the present times. In particular, the interaction between the religious and the political revolves around new questions that suggest re-addressing the relationship between religion, modernity and secularization, a comparative anthology on the relationship between religion and politics.
A methodically and theoretically founded discussion, as it has been given about the concept and strategy of religion of the 19th century, is missing deliberately so far, for the ones that don’t take a deeper look, which takes the time after 1945 into the view. Is this due to the increasing disappearance of religion in the second half of the 20th century, which also makes the study of religious topics superfluous; again because its wanted to be like that? During the 19th century, religion was pushed back in many countries, not only the west, but strongly.
Thomas Paine explains his personal beliefs by saying: “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” He also said that “My mind is my own church.” This belief in the danger of religion having too much power, and a belief in the value of religious freedom, was enshrined in the Constitution of the United States in 1787. He would also criticize the Bible rightly for being internally inconsistent and historically inaccurate. Paine was also offended by how tyrannical and immoral God was in the Bible, valid reasons a clear separation of Church and State. Why should a State support a religion if its holy book is inconsistent, inaccurate and immoral? Thomas Paine wrote that the State and the Church are a single corrupt institution which do not represent the interests of the people. Finally, and for the sake of a hard change: “Soon after I had published the pamphlet “Common Sense” in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion.”
In fact, however religion and its relationship to the state and the world has recently taken on a new historical dimension, after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk i.e., who initiated a rigorous program of political, economic, and cultural reforms with the ultimate aim of building a modern, progressive, and secular nation-state. He made primary education free and compulsory, opening thousands of new schools all over the country of Turkey; to name someone who was not from the west.
Fact is, that the more religion loses grip, the more people are educated, the less they are vulnerable and victimized by religion, the less need there is for such an imaginary construct.
We can nowadays observe a so called “Return of the gods” in places where religious masses influx countries and continents where religion has been disappearing. The question is now, if that is purposely done, so that politics have a strong partner in controlling the people, or if many non-religious, and we are talking about the third largest group in the world, have been to detached, that they don’t even know the dangers and the negative impact this brain hijacker can have. We have a brain to think and not to follow, but many humans are tormented by ignorance, the “need” for a “saving leader”, whilst they forget that there is no need to be saved, not can empty promises save anybody. We are the creators of our own problems and can therefor solve them or accept that some things can’t be solved.
It’s a waste of precious life time, to believe that gods can make our lives better, or even gift us with a better life after death; which is illogical already within its statement. Worse yet, is the trap, that earthly leaders and politicians promote their being as being godly, their knowledge about a “holy book” making them above all, and then using all their power to corrupt the system, empty people pockets and chaining the masses by abstaining them from truth, knowledge and opposition even.
History repeats itself over and over, and maybe one day humans will be able to leave the hamster wheel finally.
The truth is: “Fear can’t hurt you more than a dream, and rewards are taken by the thinking mind!”
By Thomas Fleckner