Arquivo para October 17th, 2020

Politics and religion

17 Oct

Hannah Arendt will argue against the confusion between politics and religion, and clarifies the difference between a meeting place (being public) with differences in what she calls appearance and demonstration. The author says:

“Christian politics has always been faced with the dual task of ensuring, on the one hand, by influencing secular politics, that the non-political gathering place of the faithful is protected from the outside, and, on the other hand, preventing a meeting place becomes an apparition space, and with that the Church becomes a secular-mundane power, among others. Hence, it was found that the link with the world corresponding to everything spatial and making it appear and appear, is much more difficult to fight than the secular power claim, which presents itself from the outside in. When the Reformation managed to remove from the Church all that has to do with appearance and manifestation, transforming it again into a meeting place for those who, in the sense of the Gospels, lived in the recollection, the public character of these Church spaces also disappeared. “

The author has not lived until today to see the consequences of this, that is, that the denial of the public character of these spaces of the church, turned it into the opposite, that is, in a political opportunism to win the faithful who go there to seek a divine message. , a comfort for the soul, and often the change of life (conversion).

What happened were two apostasies, the religious one which is to deny the divine power of God, “my kingdom is not of this world” and the second much worse, which is to affirm it as a human power to which public policy must submit and so make religious believers linked to some political, ideological or cultural current.

Even though Jesus knew that the Jews lived under an oppressive and unjust Roman empire, this can be seen when he says, among many passages: “the tax collectors and prostitutes will precede you in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 21,31), which brings them together as sinners, and the publicans were responsible for the province before the Roman Empire, including income and taxes.

This is necessary to understand the meaning of politics and religion in the passage where Jesus is asked about the justice of paying tribute to the emperor, to which he replies: «Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is of God. » (Mt 22,21) therefore right after the previous section, where the right (and the power) to forgive sins is questioned, what was his authority in fact and then will compare it to the temporal (and spatial power according to Arendt) of which is “outside” the meeting.

In religious specific terms, the apostasy of betting on parties and ideologies, almost always with duplicate purposes and foundations, sometimes favor life, sometimes disadvantage it (abortion and euthanasia, for example), sometimes they defend the poor, sometimes they justify corruption, and so on, must not be compared to the infinite divine power, clear to those who believe, and to those who do not believe, the search for a guideline for society and for the world implies values