‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) continues to send ripples of unrest throughout various communities in France. Religion in question.
As a result of the killings of some of the top staff of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and in spite of the incredible demonstration of solidarity, with the biggest marches of 4 million people which followed, racist incidents have increased immensely. anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic incidents are on the rise and there’s an ill-feeling that things have changed… and maybe not for the better–at least not right now.
The Explanation is not a political or religious observer or commentator of contemporary events. Its role is to take an Inventory and do an Audit of the Universe. It does, therefore, survey events but, from a much much larger perspective. It exists with one sole question in mind: How would you bring peace and prosperity to Earth?
When The Explanation sees events–like anti-Semitism or anti-Islamism in France or anti-Christian acts in Syria or anti-Muslim acts against other Muslims in Nigeria or Hindu, Sikh and Muslim confrontations in India and Pakistan or Indonesia with multiple religions but only six which are officially recognized (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism) or Catholic and Protestant feuds in N. Ireland and the list goes on–it asks fundamental questions like:
Why can’t ‘religion’ propose solutions to local problems?
Why can’t ‘religion’ propose solutions to the world’s problems?
Why can’t religions LIVE solutions that herald a way of peace and prosperity?
Here’s an ‘if” question, one of those hypothetical (or maybe not) ones:
If religion–even a particular religion, with its governing body–was to obtain ‘political power’ would it be able to establish real peace and prosperity in its own territory? In a vaster territory? worldwide?
Let’s get practical, even if what I’m about to discuss is basically theoretical. I say ‘basically’ because in certain, local and even larger, national spheres ‘theocratic government’ does exist or is on the rise.
Theocracy is where those individuals with a religious orientation are a smaller or larger part of government in the civil sense. They are officially recognized not only as policy makers but also as governing officials based on their religious convictions. They rule over their subjects and apply laws and regulations as they see fit.
If your religion (assuming you are religious) or any one of the four thousand plus religions worldwide ruled a nation or had a major stake in the government of said nation how would such a religious body deal with day to day affairs?
- How would a religion designate who participates in civil government?
- What level of competency would be necessary and how and where would such an individual obtain this knowledge and wisdom?
- What would be and from where would come his/her remuneration?
- Who would the advisors to such a theocratic ruler be?
As with all governments, the ‘people’ would be a main focus. I believe–and that is the premise of The Explanation–that governments–theocratic or other–want peace and prosperity for their people. If their motivation is different from that, then we have a serious problem. Unfortunately, we know of a certain number of world leaders who do not have this fundamental motivation… but that is a subject for another blog post.
Desiring peace and prosperity for one’s people, leaders of a religion have some of the following preoccupations:
- How does religion explain the world of science to youngsters and adolescents?
- Where does the Universe come from? And the sun and stars? Astronomy?
- What about history and religious atrocities, geography, and races?
- Ethics and the role of family?
- How do science and philosophy fit into scholastic endeavors?
- How are teachers trained? What is the basis of their knowledge?
- How does ‘religion’ impact all of the above?
We’re facing some serious situations with AIDS, Ebola and Depression in certain areas of the world where various religions do play a heavy role. We are dealing with all types of beliefs, be they ancestral, tribal or advanced experimental yet unproven treatments.
- Is sickness just left in the hands of the ‘gods’?
- How acceptable and accepted is modern medicine and medication?
- What is the relationship between witch doctors, local healing methods and what the West would call traditional medicine?
- On a very practical level, how do you deal with epidemics? Especially when they break out?
Here we’re dealing with motivations (was it an accident? Or malicious premeditation?) as well as acts and all the processes involved in an investigation, the value of evidence, trials, judgment, punishment, rehabilitation… Remember, we’re discussion theocracy–how people of religion would manage civil rule.
- Who judges and how are they trained?
- What is the basis for judging such and such a crime? How is it decided whether polygamy (for instance) is tolerated or not?
- Who decides the punishment? Who applies punishment?
- What about rehabilitation and reintegration into a normal way of life?
- How does gun-control fit into this?
- How would they take care of internal crimes and offenses within their religion?
- What if someone won’t submit?
- What about lying on the stand in court (perjury), bribery, injustice?
There are a myriad of situations in a vast field of governmental areas. How would leaders of religion deal with ‘Defence’ if a neighboring country turned belligerent? How would they ‘cooperate’ with a foreign state with a different religion? etc. etc.
Can religion bring peace and prosperity to Earth? This is anything but a vain question… because that is the goal we want to reach for each one of us individually and for all of us collectively. In our quest, it’s a question that will be asked and which begs an answer. What’s yours?
In the context of The Explanation, I’m preparing a comparative chart as to how the major religions deal with the questions of the Inventory of the Universe. After all there is a real world out there with real living entities be they flora, fauna or mankind and we are all facing serious issues of survival according to what we’re being told.
Such a comparative will be quite revealing and will show us how each religion plans on dealing with these practical issues of civil government. The intention of this comparative is to help us find the right way in the labyrinth of ideas that abound in our quest for peace and prosperity.
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