Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Seperation of Church & State in Mizoram

With the prevailing situation in Mizoram, I have always wanted to write something about seperation of church and state and analyze it.

The Church’s View Point

The propogaters for involvement of the Church in the business of the state feel that it’s their duty to guide the morality of the people in matter of crime, treatment of convicts, gambling, child labor, immigration, prostitution, poverty, marriage, spousal abuse, adultery, abortion, ethics, drug addiction, labor practices & inequalities of wealth. The church itself often find it hard to distinguish the overlap between the church and the state. The Church often finds it necessary to involve itself in matters of the state so that the State does not legislate & legalize sinful things like abortion, gay rights, gambling, Prostitution & drinking of alcohol.

Biblical Perspective

The bible is basically a political history of the Jews and there’s no denying that the church was equally involved in matters of the state during that time. During the time of Jesus, the Jewish priests and Scribes were not just religious leaders but were also involved in the day to day management of local affairs like collecting taxes, building roads etc. But on the question of paying taxes he had said “render unto ceaser what is ceaser’s showing his position with separation of the church & state.

Double standards of the Church in Mizoram

There’s a lot of religious pomp and show on Sunday in Mizoram, the streets are deserted with no vehicles plying the road, people dress up on their Sunday best to listen to sermons preached from the pulpit with pomp & show but the irony is that the Elder of the Church preaching about meekness of Jesus & way of salvation in the Church is robbing the common man the whole week by diverting funds meant for the public for his own purposes. The same men who kill a poor drunkard in the streets of the city do not find anything wrong with attending church & finding themselves pious. They are also totally against alcohol whereas they also do not see any harm in smoking at home. The clergy also do not question lay men who give in a lot of offering to the church not questioning it’s source, weather it’s money stolen from the public, rather they elevate such layment to positions of importance in the church. I just hope that the church is not being used as a way of feeling good and covering up the barbaric crimes against the poor people, the drug addict & the alcoholic. Ironically the Church is being used as the last refuge of the hypocritical corrupt people.

Secularist Perspective

Over the years, history has shown us that Theocracy (Government by God) in reality means government by God’s surrogates who sometimes administer policies for furthering their own interest. People like Thomas Jefferson, an architect of the American constitution believed that separation of the Church and state was necessary because of the millions who had died in the hands of the Church in Europe (Roman Catholic Church) because of a movement towards uniformity. It’s sad to see now the dominant Church in Mizoram, the Synod prohibiting establishment of churches in some villages as well as prohibiting business on Sunday, a day of worship for them.

As a kind of conclusion, I would like to say that looking behind at the history behind us, when the clergy unite with the government, they have usually resulted in suppression of civil and religious rights of people as they try to propagate a uniform religion. Religion should be a matter between man and God and no one else, that the Government should not legislate any law for the establishment of a particular religon or prohibit the exercise of the other. Uniformity in religion may be unattainable but unity in respect for each other’s right in the boundary of the law should be everyone’s right.

Reference:

http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org /christianconservatism.html.

www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

www.zoram.com

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