How religion and state should relate

At our RiPL (Religion in Political Life) reading group today – organised by the incomparable Sean Durbin – we spent part of our time talking about religion, Confucianism and China. We were reminded that in China one cannot be a religious leader – bishop, pastor, reverend, imam, lama etc – in an officially recognised religion without being a member of the communist party.

So it should be throughout the world! All religious professionals should be required to hold a membership card of a communist party.

What would be the consequences if this became global law? For starters, it would swell the ranks of many communist parties doing it tough. Further, it would ensure that Marxism and the ABC of communism became crucial elements of the training for religious professionals. Finally, it would give me a shitload of further research on Marxism, religion and politics.

So maybe, just maybe China provides a glimpse of a promising future in relation to religion and politics.

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9 thoughts on “How religion and state should relate

  1. One Religion stands out from all the rest having the Lord God Jesus Christ in them. Their fruits show it. I see my peaceful Lord in them that is wise, and harmless believing that wisdom is better than weapons of war. The Sikh does not use his mouth to destroy his neighbor. The Sikh minds their own business. The Sikh does not seek vain glory. The Sikh thinks of others as better than they are. The Sikh is meek, and lowly not proud or boastful does not give evil for evil overcoming evil with good. The Sikh is happy when others are happy, and cry’s with those that cry. The others are the opposite to that. The scribes, and Pharisees,and chief priests that had many burdensome laws that they thought were necessary for a person to be godly. Those laws were used unmercifully against Jesus, and his followers even as state law does to people hand cuffing them arresting them, and then putting an orange jump suit on them to make them appear to be less that the person not wearing it. In this religion for the most part and the state are the same in spirit. Persecuted are Christians too. Sikh’s do not persecute anyone being like my Lord even if them don’t believe in divine carnation.
    No one persecuting anyone, and all will obtain an eternal prize worth more than any earthly treasure being completely free.

  2. Ernesto Cardenal–the Nicaraguan poet and priest–says that he experienced a second conversion to Marxism after his visit to communist Cuba in the early 70s. That is the main story of his book ‘In Cuba’–which I would highly recommend, if you have not read it. He describes Cuban communist life as the embodiment of gospel values, a place where a Christian can be more Christian by being a Marxist Leninist. So I eagerly await that promising future too. A party card for the Pope! She must normalize her situation with the party.

    1. Ah yes, as Lenin made clear in his discussions of religion, a priest is perfectly welcome to join the party. Should her or his position conflict with the collectively agreed position of the party, then it is up to the priest to sort that out. So also with the bishop of Rome, let alone the perfumed patriarchs of the eastern church. I must admit that I am more interested in your rank and file parishioner here.

  3. Does the Chinese Communist Party send you a check every month to spew such ridiculous ideas, or do you have direct deposit? Just wondering.

  4. I am always surprised by the hostility to the PRC across the political spectrum in the west. What could be the source of this very familiar refrain? Samir Amin does a good job of identifying the basis of the new “Yellow Peril” in this interview from the MRzine. Here are a few key excerpts. The entire interview is worth reading.

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/amin200612.html

    “The political strategy of the dominant forces — that is, generalized, financialized monopoly capital of the historical, traditional collective imperialist triad, the United States-Europe-Japan — is defined by its identification of enemies. For them, the enemies are emerging countries — in other words, China. The rest, like India, Brazil, and others, are for them semi-emerging.”

    “Why China? Because the Chinese ruling class has a project. I am not going to get into details about whether this project is socialist or capitalist. What is important is that it has a project. Its project consists of not accepting the diktats of generalized, financialized monopoly capital of the triad, which imposes itself through its advantages: control of technology; control of access to natural resources of the planet; control of mass media, propaganda, etc.; control of the integrated global monetary and financial system; control of weapons of mass destruction. China has come to challenge this order, without making any noise.”

    Amin reserves judgment on whether China is capitalist or socialist. Like Roland, I think the Chinese deserve the benefit of the doubt. They are confronting a technologically advanced, militaristic power. How does one go toe to toe with such a beast, and ensure development and national independence?

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