December 23, 2007

Religion and Politics

Oliver Kamm has a great article up about the separation between the two here- afraid I won't post much more today- too much Christmas shopping- but there may be an article tommorrow.


Ashok said...

Thanks for the comments on the blogposts! Things are quiet in Texas where I'm visiting right now, and it's good to hear from you.

Drop me an e-mail and let me know how things are - any special Christmas plans?

Tamerlane said...

I usually like Oliver Kamm but he makes a rather confused argument at one point here. Regarding Parris's article he says 'I'm a non-believer and I'm not at all puzzled at the notion that strong religious conviction might be without practical implication for a statesman's public conduct. Religious doctrine is consistent with any political position.' Kamm then goes on to consider the large range of political ideas that can be justified by different readings of the Bible.

Kamm is surely mistaken here – a deeply religious person's political position originates from their theology. Kamm seems to imply that a religious person's public conduct could be unaffected by religious dictates because they would twist the theology to fit their behaviour. But in reality one's theology is a fundamental element of one's religious identity. Opposition to abortion or the death penalty is for many Christians a fundamental part of Christianity. And for other Christians the opposite is true. Neither group however would easily change their opinion on these issues by citing a few supporting Biblical verses.