With the NSW State election just gone (and a landslide Coalition win,) I started to look around at some of the other candidates that didn’t make it in, especially those from the Christian Democratic Party. The way I see it is, CDP are extremely unlikely to get any seat, but how bad is it?
After reading an article on Christian Today about Peter Madden, the local CDP member for Sydney (I’m not in the Sydney electorate,) I thought it’d be interesting to see how he actually went. Turns out, he was absolutely slaughtered.
After doing some Googling to find out what policies he actually stood for, to try and find out where it went so wrong, I came across a news.com.au article about what he stood for. Upon reading the comments, I was reminded once and once again what the view of many secularists out there is: politics and religion shouldn’t mix. My attention suddenly turned from one man’s loss to “what does it mean for politics and religion to mix?”
The question has to be raised, because there are many scenarios in which it can be said to “mix.”
- A particular religion or religious group is in control of a country or area. Modern day examples are Islamic dominated countries, where the law, for all intensive purposes, says you have to be Islamic. A historical example is the Catholic church throughout history that had more power than a single church should, and mis-used that power.
- A single religious group has a majority in the number of representatives in a democratic government.
- A Member of Parliament who is of a particular religion, and because the person is of a particular religion, their conscious vote issues are different from the majority.
The first one in the list I am dead set against: no government should be completely controlled by a religion, a government is there to represent everyone. It should never force that religion upon people, as what happens still today in many Islamic dominated countries.
The second one I don’t think it likely to happen (especially in Australia). If it ever did happen somewhere, I wouldn’t be against it: those people have been voted in by the people, so if that’s what the result is, it’s what the people want. (Of course, it does rely on a completely fair election, which may not always happen in certain countries.)
The third one is what happens the most in developed countries such as Australia, and are what people call a mix of politics and religion. Though I am struggling to see what is wrong with it. The way I see it is, if a Member of Parliament is Christian, and because of this votes against key issues such as abortion, euthanasia, legalised prostitution, and many other key issues, should they be told they’re not allowed to because they’re “mixing politics and religion?” They aren’t bringing their religion to politics, but their conscious votes are likely to be influenced by the fact that, for example, they are Christian (granted, there may quite well be Christian MP’s who have different views, but I think the majority would share fairly common views.)
The way I see it is, people who yell “Politics and Religion shouldn’t mix” are scared. Their underlying motives for saying that is: they don’t want to see a Christian MP get elected. Of course they don’t, it’s completely understandable, but it seems to be almost forgetting one thing. We live in a democratic country: if a Christian MP get’s elected in, they were elected because members of the public elected them in. Why should a single person be able to yell “politics and religion shouldn’t mix,” when the MP was elected by the public?
Just because someone is religion shouldn’t exclude them from running for parliament. If they were excluded, then MP’s wouldn’t evenly represent the whole country or state, they’d just be representing the people that claim that politics and religion shouldn’t mix.