Should Religious Leaders Be Political Leaders

2 February 2017

A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal. The types of leaders vary but in this case, we will be dealing with the religious and political leaders. A religious leader is one who is recognized by a religious body as having some authority within that body while a political leader is a person actively engaged in politics especially a full time professional member of a deliberate assembly. A political leader can also be a person who is experienced or skilled in the art or science of politics, government or government administration. In this era, the need to have ethical leaders in politics is wanting.

The number of vices is arising at a very alarming rate. Regardless most people insist that politics and church are like oil and water never to be mixed. Religious leaders should strive to lead the people towards the Supreme Being and not away. Religious institutions like churches have been converted into political arenas where the pulpits have been converted into political stands driving away followers who go for spiritual reasons. For instance take Kenya’s very own Bishop Margret Wanjiru and Pius Muiru who have politicized the pulpits and are getting more members into their churches for the wrong reasons.Religion and politics for instance in Palestine everything is related to Islam where people are restricted from doing whatever they want, but instead have to follow the strict rules. Earlier this month on the 11th September 2010, a pastor by the name Terry Jones threatened to burn copies of the Holy Qur’an and claimed that it was a way to seek honor for those who lost their lives on the September 11th when the world trade center collapsed after a terrorist attack, alleged to be instigated by terrorists of the Muslim religion.

Should Religious Leaders Be Political Leaders Essay Example

The planned Qur’an burning promoted a lot of protest and this just goes to show further that religious leaders cannot be political leaders. But still on the same incident there are religious leaders who released a statement saying they were “alarmed by the anti-Muslim frenzy” and were “appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text. ”(According to Reuters) There is a very big difference between religious and political thinking is that religious thinking would look and make decisions on religion which most of the time doesn’t flow with facts and reality.We shouldn’t be labeled according to our religion but rather a nation or country where everyone can enjoy prosperity and peace. Besides not everyone in a particular nation believes in the same religion and this leader may enforce his religion to members of a different religion thus going against their freedom of worship. Good examples of religious leaders who did not indulge into both politics and religion concurrently and did a fairly good work are Mother Theresa whose selfless service is recognized worldwide today, Kofi Annan, John F.Kennedy, Wangari Mathaai, Daniel Moi, Winston Churchill, and Nelson Mandela and that is just to mention a few.

Others argue that a good religious leader would make an exceptional political leader. Take examples of leaders like John Pope II the 256th Pope who went out of his way to learn many languages so as to be able to spread the message of peace all over the world as he travelled. He also served as the Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City for 27 years which is a political post. There is also Desmond Tutu who was one of the outspoken critics of apartheid – the system of legal racial separation.He used his position as the Bishop of Lesotho to work against it. Students’ rebellion against apartheid started in Soweto, in 1976. This protest came to be known as ‘Soweto Riots’.

Tutu played his part by supporting an ‘economic’ boycott of his country. He also fought against the racial discrimination by constantly preaching reconciliation between different parties associated with apartheid, through his writings and lectures at home and abroad. Confucius was also involved in the political scenario and was appointed as the Minister of Justice, the state of Lu. Eventually, his position was enhanced to that of the Prime Minister of Lu.Adhering to his counsel and advice, the Prince of Lu became increasingly powerful. The state of Lu also became one of the most prosperous states and rose in terms of fortune. In addition his religious teachings were directed on moral and ethical grounds, focusing on the practical aspect of living Mahatma Gandhi is also remembered as a successful religious and political leader where to end the devastating famine and poverty in India, Gandhi organized detailed survey and study, based upon which he began leading the cleaning of the villages, building of schools and hospitals, encouraging villagers to condemn and combat many social evils.

Gandhi also organized protests and strikes against the landlords that resulted in to the cancellation of the revenue hikes and collection of taxes until the famine ended. Martin Luther King Jr. became the elected President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference which was a group aimed at harnessing moral authority and organizing power of black churches to conduct non-violent protests in the interest of civil rights reform A good leader should be open to all possibilities until they are clear about what is going, for instance according to Christianity; Jesus did not pass judgment too quickly on the Good Samaritan.Some of the religious leaders follow by this example while for others they only consider what their respective religion deems as right. This goes against the fact that a political leader should treat everyone the same regardless of the gender, religion, race, ethnicity among others. If a country wants to be a democratic country, then its leader should be a strong leader. If a leader wants to be a political leader, then the people must be satisfied with his actions and support him in everything he does.

A religious leader might face troubles because not everyone in the country could agree with what he does or says.A Political leader should aim to accomplish what his subjects’ desire and more so be unbiased. On the other hand a good leader should always lead by example, accept change without fear but at the same time be ethical. Any leader should always look at all the facts before making decisions and just not rush into conclusions. So who is exactly a good leader because whether it’s a religious or political leader; they should all strive towards achieving the goal similar to those who have elected or appointed them.The only difference is that both parties sometimes get to be engrossed in them and forget about whom they should be putting first. Majority of people believe and strongly support the fact that there should be a line drawn between preaching and politicking.

Isn’t this accepting defeat and hypocritically supporting discrimination? A religious in a political position should be able to separate religion from his job. If the people of the country are satisfied with a religious leader being a political leader, then he/she won’t face troubles. Therefore, I think it’s based on the opinion and how the people of the country think.

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