Religion and PoliticsMotivations, Traditions and Milestones A presentation by Andrea Marquis June 6, 2007
Questions We’ll Answer • How does religion effect motivation to participate in politics? • How does this vary by religion? • By era in time? • Who have been milestones in involvement in the public office?
Definitions • Government • the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration • Politics • The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
Judaism on Politics • Jewish people and political tradition-3300+ years… from enslaved caste, exiled community, to modern state • 1 Samuel 8, Judges 9:7-15 transition, want for King • recognition of the Jews as a separate people, not merely a religion or set of moral principles • Isaiah 33:17-24 -- “the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” • how the Jews managed to maintain their polity over centuries of independence, exile and dispersion
Judaism continued.. • Tradition based on power and justice • edah --a coming together -- constituted through the Sinai covenant • concern for relationships rather than regimes • governors and the governed • Embodied in principle of covenant • Genesis 17:1-27 “Between you and me I will establish my covenant” • binding obligation rests on both parties
Judaism continued… • Jews must assume responsibility for the effort to build the "kingdom of heaven" on earth • vital for Jews to rediscover the Jewish political tradition to pursue the Jewish vision & root their institutions • Ezekiel 20:1-44 “I will count you with the staff and bring back but a small number”
Christianity on Politics • Emerged from Jewish tradition • Romans 13:1-7” “for it is the servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer.” • Reigning supreme over human rulers • 1 Kings 2:36-46 “ The throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever” • Jewish heritage
Christianity Continued • service of God and the respect for kings are bound together • 1 Peter 2:13-17 “Fear God, honor the king” • Bishop Bossuet • “Kings should tremble then as they use the power God has granted them”
Christianity Continued • Citizenship • As an Israelite, Roman citizen • Citizen of heaven • Ephesians 2:14-22 • Philippians 3:17-21 • “But our citizenship is in heaven” • Concern with heavenly vs. worldly affairs
Christianity Continued • Church & State • Long tradition of tension in separation • political and social movements drawn upon religious institutions for authority, inspiration, organization
Islam on Politics • Surah 4:105, 5:44-45 • 2 people mentioned • allatheena aslamoo- judge according to Allah= Muslims • Kafiroon- do not judge according to Allah • Today, no government which rules, solely according to what Allah has revealed • All Governments are of Kafiroon…no Islamic Government that exists on the face of earth today
Islam Continued… • Al-Hukm-Judgment, Rule, Command • Belongs to Allah alone • Surah 6:57-62 “Command rests with none but Allah” • Although all-powerful, Allah does not change laws • Surah 33:59-62 • Invisible, Muhammad central authority
Islam Continued… • Death of Muhammad • Division of Sunni and Shi’i Islam • Affairs decided mutually • Any disagreements refereed to Allah • Surah 42:10-15 • Democratic conflict • objective standards and the absolute criteria given in the Qur’an
Joe Lieberman • Four terms on U.S. Senate, 2000 Vice Presidential candidate, won popular vote • Orthodox Jew, won’t campaign on Shabbat… Keeps Kosher home • Politically: “I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy” • Says there is a “constitutional place for faith in our public life”- controversy
Al Smith • Democratic Presidential Candidate in 1928 • First Catholic to be nominated • Swept Catholic vote • Critiques feared he would answer to Pope instead of to U.S. Constitution • Long-term voter realignment • Changing nature of American Politics • Lead to JFK's victory in 1960
Keith Ellison • First Muslim in U.S. Congress, Minnesota • Raised Roman Catholic, in college converted to Sunni Islam • For Muslims, encourages civic empowerment through participation in the political process