Faith and politics not a good mix on every occasion
The Easter weekend, which traditionally sees millions of people flock to religious conventions all over the country, is a strong reminder that the church and other religions - plays a significant role in the lives of the majority of our citizens.
Politicians are not indifferent to this fact.
Thus, where the crowds gathered they had a captive audience and did not miss the opportunity to turn pulpits into platforms.
This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself.
After all, it is reassuring to believe that political leaders are influenced as much by the gospel of peace, love and forgiveness as they are by the need to lure voters to polling stations by promises and policies.
And it is a positive that the church can set the moral and responsive compass for those in political leadership.
At the same time, faithbased organisations can also be reminded that religion’s true benefit belongs not in sermons from a holy book but in the practical, positive impact it has on the daily lives of people.
It’s an interesting dynamic. However, while there are things of common benefit in seeing religion and politics coming together, there is always the ultimate danger of both a church-run-state, or a state-run-church.
History is replete with examples of these recipes for disaster, generally manifesting in ‘holy wars’.
The church and state differ in one fundamental aspect: one is concerned with matters pertaining to this life alone; the other to issues that relate to eternal life.
Politics has the naïve belief that some form of peace, equality, justice and prosperity can be attained through management by mere mortals, and the laws they enact.
And so politicians sell the illusion.
Religionists believe they could run the country better, since their Leadership is infallible.
But every attempt by churches to enter politics has proved a disastrous failure, or at least a serious disappointment.
When it comes to politics, ‘oil and water’ don’t mix all that well.