Any foreigner in
As an example of this behavior, one has only to look at Walid Jumblatt. When he appeared on BBC’s program Hard Talk, he stated that he wanted a referendum among the Lebanese to decide if
As this anecdote shows, Lebanese politicians are not well known for their steadfastness of their convictions. So how come state and religion are so intensely mixed in
Frankly, I have no clue and I doubt anyone truly has. Most, if not all, issues the state has to deal with, have no bearing on religious considerations. Collecting garbage, providing electricity, making sure people have drinking water, all these issues should be dealt with in a proper manner without a role for religion. Even the more political topics, such as reducing the public debt, allocation of medical and educational services across
If you ask each and every clergy and any politician from any sect, they will all fully agree that drinking water, electricity, medical services etc should be distributed equally across all of
Suppose, however, that they do not trust the politicians, would that warrant their mingling with politics? If yes, that would mean that they are simply keeping check on things and when the political process gets out of hand (i.e., does not provide the desired results), they would step up and speak on behalf of their community. Would that be the role of institutionalized religion?
My answer to that question would be a solid “No”. Politics is the game of reaching compromises with your opponents, while religion is all about converting the other. Sure, Muslims and Christians can coexist, but would either of them be willing to reach a deal on religious topics? Imagine Christians willing to accept there is no Holy Spirit and in return Muslims will accept Jesus was the son of God. Imagine that indeed!
In other words, religion by its very nature is not about reaching compromises, while politics by its very nature is exactly about that. Introducing religion in politics will only serve to polarize the political process and thus making it next to impossible to carry it out.
There is no Christian foreign policy or a Shiite health care strategy or a Sunni approach to running power plants. The sooner the politicians and the religious leaders realize this, the sooner