The Religious Factor in Politics

Stephen Harper is the current Prime Minister of Canada. Carly Fiorina is a former business executive and now a politician. Both have extreme views on support for Israel that include extreme anti-Iranian positions. Why? What motivates them?

While their positions court Jewish money and votes, which are both important to politicians, I believe there is more to it if we are to understand the depth and passion of their motivations. Both have religious backgrounds that I hypothesize have influenced their thought and attitudes with regard to Israel. On Fiorina, see, for example, here. On Harper, see here, for example.

Religion and politics (church and state) cannot in reality be separated because they are fused within the persons of politicians. Harper and Fiorina are merely two obvious examples. They are the tip of an iceberg that includes many religions and political views. This fusion occurs in many other important instances. Furthermore, religion and politics can’t be separated within voters who wield power within the nation-state’s political systems.

The fact that religion plays an important role in influencing the quest for power and the uses of power, lodged as they must be within individual human beings who cannot separate religion and politics, is, to my mind, another important reason for rejecting the state as we know it and seriously considering radical alternatives to it.

Religion is not any more justifiable a basis for the manifold forms of aggression, overt and covert, against other human beings than any other rationales one can devise. There are thousands of religious viewpoints and as many notions of God, gods, spirits, devils, or none of the above. As a basis for political action that uses power to control other human beings whether they agree to it or not, a religious basis for such control must be arbitrary. Attempts to impose the “Truth” upon people are aggressive. Religious reasons for such impositions are just as unjustifiable as any number of other rationales.


7:57 am on August 7, 2015