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Friday, January 3, 2014

When God Meets Caesar: Mixing Religion and Politics


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Religion and Politics are well known as two opposing forces, each with different roots and backgrounds which makes them virtually incompatible. Religion focuses on moral laws that gives great emphasis to humanity, while Politics focuses entirely on civil rights and governance of a human community. In a way, they are closely related, but the two are just not meant to coexist with each other.

When we hear the word “Religion”, we think about the Catholic Church formed by Jesus Christ which worships God. Although, there are many other religions which are similar to Catholicism. But since the Philippines is mostly a Catholic country, the Catholic Church is the well-known foe of Philippine Politics.

The Catholic Church is mostly rooted on the Bible, a collection of texts which tells a story of how God rules over all things, and how He shows His unconditional love to mankind. His son, Jesus Christ, is portrayed as the ultimate epitome of humanity, performing miracles and preaching the word of God which aims to send the good news of Eternal Life following an earthly life of humanity.

 

The Church continues to use the Bible as its basis for its own views. It’s these humane views that are in conflict with the political system.




Politics, on the other hand, is the practice of civil laws on a certain group of individuals. Its primary aim is to achieve order in a certain society e.g. a country. Politics is based on a set of laws which is fair and at the same time beneficial to all concerned. Politics can be traced back to ancient times as early as the time of Hammurabi and his famous set of laws, the Code of Hammurabi.


Politics is further enhanced by Julius Caesar, who became known as the ultimate ideal politician. In his life as a political leader, he practiced justice and order incredibly which made him the most ideal political leader anyone could ever imagine.

Some laws are meant to be good for all, although some are just fought over by Religion and Politics. An example is the RH Bill. There has been a long feud between the Catholic Church and the Philippine Government about the RH Bill. The government aims to uphold the RH Bill to improve our society by upholding reproductive health and contraceptives to lessen unwanted pregnancies that can contribute greatly to our exponentially growing population.

Since the Church values sex and life as greatly important things, they stand against this, as it opposes their own views. They value human life as a sacred thing, a gift of God that is never meant to be controlled or prevented. Sex is another gift from God that is meant to be enjoyed by couples blessed by the sacrament of Marriage. With this RH Bill in place, life and sex will be taken for granted, and its sacred value will be lost, according to the Church.

This example is one of the many examples that prove that Religion and Politics are two different worlds. Although their cause of existence is to do good, they are just two immiscible things. Mixing both could be a recipe for disaster!


When God meets Caesar, they flip a coin. A coin has two faces, the heads and tails. But instead of heads or tails, for them it is Religion and Politics. When flipped, there can only be one winner. That is how Religion and Politics are two incompatible things. One cannot exist with the other. The coin may stand on its side at one point, showing the two faces, but it will just continue to roll on its side until it topples over, showing one of its two faces once again. When at some point the two parties agree with each other, it is only for temporary. The day will end that these two are as incompatible as ever.

So how can both God and Caesar win? The ultimate solution to this is for them to never meet in the first place. They should just go on with their lives and not mind each others business. Religion and Politics should never coexist with each other. It is in this way that both of them wins and no one loses. Although, this is no longer possible. God and Caesar have met a long, long time ago.



Contributed by John Arjude Gerona

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