Opinionator Speaks: State ReligionDisclaimer: This post has my opinion and point of view on the subject, and it does not mean to be the objective answer to the topic and also has no intention to shove my opinions/beliefs down your throats. It also does not intend to attack any of your personal beliefs, morals, ethics and nationality. The answers use Christianity as an example but they also apply to all other religious bodies.
Religion and Politics are really big topics when it comes to social issues. There are states that have separation of Church and State, and there are others that implement a Union of Church and State. That is, on the case of Christianity and Catholicism, in different countries around the world. Many states had a union of religion and government throughout history, and it was just mainly about the 20th century when state religion has been abolished. State religion and the separation of Church and State had been controversial topics in the past, and is it really a good thing to abolish this union? Should state religion be deemed as illegal? And could the church interfere with the affairs of the state? These are really important questions to answer, and this post will answer those.
Could the state prescribe a National Religion?
It could, considering the basis and foundation of the state, but the state has to give its citizens the Freedom of Religion. The government may have a prescribed religion because it had been founded that way and their ancestors had this religion, and this had been a part of their culture but they still have to respect the people in the country that have a different religion. It's like a school. There are Catholic schools and ofher schools with a curriculum that has religion on it. But those schools give the students a freedom of religion which means that they just teach the students about the faith, but the students can still profess their own beliefs. Such schools also consider activities for non-Catholics. The school respects the students' beliefs but the students also have to recognize the fact that the school was founded as a Catholic institution so they have to agree with the policies of the school. The same applies to other schools with a different religious curriculum and to countries with a state religion.
Back to the very definition of "State Religion". It means "a religious body endorsed by the government". It may range from a state that endorses a religious body but gives freedom of religion to its people to a state that fanatically endorses a religion and shoves it down to everyone's throats, where anybody who does not adhere with the religion will be ruthlessly persecuted. As long as the state does not discourage any religion and gives the people the right to choose their religion, then prescribing a national religion is not that bad. It's just a matter of the state and the majority body respecting the beliefs of the minority and vice versa.
On the subject of Christian religions, could the Church interfere in the affairs of the state? If yes, to what extent?
They can interfere in issues on all aspects of morality. The Church (in any Christian denomination) serves as a guide to its people and the people have to look up to them as a role model. People can understand which choices are good and morally acceptable by reading the Bible but the Church should also give a modern interpretation of the passages written on it so the people would understand it more. However, they can only give suggestions, voice their opinion and convince the people about one issue and not to directly turn their ideals into law or else they would be violating people's rights by not giving them freedom to choose which choice they would make. This would also be violating their freedom of religion.
This also applies to other religious bodies and not only the Christian Church Denominations.
Should the Church choose the leader of the State? (Or should the leader be chosen by a religious body?)
No. This is a violation of the Separation of the Church and the State. It's the choice of the people, not the Church. This would make the Church look like a bad role model to the people, choosing someone over the other and not giving the people the right to vote. There could be corruption within the Church and that such issues can divide it into rivaling factions just because of politics. They'd just serve as a guide to who you'll vote, but they won't tell you who to vote, who you should vote and most especially, they won't put the leaders into office.
Does having a state religion violate the people's freedom of religion?
It depends. As stated earlier, it means "a religious body endorsed by the government". It may range from a state that endorses a religious body but gives freedom of religion to its people to a state that fanatically endorses a religion and shoves it down to everyone's throats, where anybody who does not adhere with the religion will be ruthlessly persecuted. The former does not violate the people's freedom of religion, while the latter does. It is not a violation of people's freedom of religion for a government to endorse a religion as long as they respect the fact that other people have a different belief from the majority of the government and they don't discourage people to adhere with other religions.
This post may be a little idealistic, but I hope you guys get the point. State religion isn't all that bad. As I've said, I also have a religion, I'm a Christian, but I believe that everyone's beliefs will be accepted. This is just my point of view, and you can share yours if you want, as long as you're not shoving your beliefs down our throats.
This is gonna start another religious debate, and those are as annoying as hell. - Therandom
I'd delete all of such comments. I hate those. And I stated stuff about freedom of religion. Not about hating a specific religion or some discouragement like that. - visitor
Plus, I'm being defensive here, and I don't have any intention against other religions since I have my beliefs. Did you read my disclaimer? - visitor
Did. Just telling you what people will end up doing. - Therandom
We'll see. I'd take this down once the first shot has been fired. - visitor
I now know the origins of the pledge of alleagence! - Ihaskitty1234
Anyways, the politics are part of the illuminati. Nothing like this will happen, the illuminati will be destroyed soon. - Ihaskitty1234
Sweg. - Therandom
This is confusing - bobbythebrony
I did my religion class homework using this blog post. - visitor
That made my day! Well said - jmepa1234
All theists and atheists are the same!
Muslims eat pie! - Ihaskitty1234
Great argument, I think of religion and politics aren't the same. Also, I'm a Muslim. - 05yusuf09
A lot of Muslims know about this topic, for sure. - visitor