Social and Political Sciences
Reply to classmates discussion about church and state
Religion in Governance
Support assertion with at least three (3) scholarly citations in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include textbooks, links to assigned reading and study materials, published journal articles, and website articles.
This is topic I am extremely passionate about. Last semester, I had the pleasure of presenting in the Helms School of Government sponsored conference; Culture Wars. There, I presented on the topic of Morality and politics. An issue I feel is plaguing our culture is that of social justice. When trying to figure out how to combat this issue, I read a compelling argument by Dr. Beisnerfor four basic elements Christians should hold as the center for true justice. Hebrew words show adherence to God’s standards of ethics and morality, and Greek concepts show fairness as well as legal judgment or the act of dispensing justice and fairness. On this basis, biblical justice must mean, “. rendering impartially and  proportionally  to everyone his due  in accord with the righteous standard of God’s moral law” (WordFoundations).
Social justice and the separation of church and state play a role within each other. We can see this as in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The argument for forcing the baker to bake this case failed the first element of Beisners definition for biblical justice. They were willing to forgo Mr. Phillips religious freedoms in the name of social justice, showing partiality of justice. A consistent phrase brought up often during this case was “separation of church and state.” However, many have seemed to forgotten separation of church and state is nowhere to be found in the constitution and is not a law we live by in America. This phrase was concatenated by Thomas Jefferson in a letter he wrote to the church. The phrase, nowadays taken out of context to promote social justice, was originally intended to protect the church from the state, not the reverse. This is the appropriate relationship between the church and state, and was
Sullivan, Author B. Nathaniel. “Five Ways Social Justice Stands in Opposition to Authentic, Biblical Justice.” Word Foundations, 18 Feb. 2020, www.wordfoundations.com/2019/03/16/five-categories-of-contrast-social-vs-biblical-justice/.
“A Biblical Perspective on Government and Christian Civic Duty.” Word Foundations, 14 Sept. 2019, www.wordfoundations.com/a-biblical-perspective-on-government-and-christian-civic-duty-2/.
Metzger, Paul Louis. “What Is Biblical Justice?” CT Pastors, Leadership Journal, 20 Sept. 2010, www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2010/summer/biblicaljustice.html.
The Salem Witch trials set the stage for the separation of religion from the state as it showed potentially how the state can be compromised. Religion as a tool for governance is showed to be irrational in the sense that it will only promote one particulate perspective and ignore the rest. It does not seek to recognize the role of the state with regard to position of authority but rather seeks to define God as the supreme being. Researchers opine that in societies where religion was closely linked to state and governance, there was a significant rise in conflict behavior by the state on its people (Maoz and Henderson, 2020). Additionally, its facets can be widely interpreted and in most cases take different authorial context for the benefit of the interpreter.
Personal vendettas, compelled by religion value systems, are assumed to take a huge role in the subsequent judgments in Salem Witch Trials. It is identified that the case created a distraction as it replaced focus from the deeper social crisis that was gaining momentum within the region’s population (Holmes, 2016). This is one clear aspect that is brought about in the Salem Witch Trials. Definitively, the Puritans defined their religious views as follows: Christianity was the only form of rule and it was to be absolute, its divine nature was invariable and immutable, it remained to be constant everywhere and was to be regarded as the sole order of things (Holmes, 2016). In the proceedings at the courts the Judges presiding over the case are described to have been adequately prepared.
They had been appointed by the governor and were well educated with extensive experience but still they chose to rely on spectral evidence mainly because no one would dare present a challenge to the authority of the God (Holmes, 2016) Significantly pursuant to the order of religious seniority it is seen that in the Salem Witch Trials, invoking Devil substituted the need to reasonably tackle the case in a rational matter.
The climate that dominated the period before the trial was one of fear, anxiety, doubt and panic. It is identified that the devil was intending to topple the church and disrupt the country a first in New England; it was heretical to question the validity of the stance of witch craft, the legitimacy of the evidence and the abilities of the court to make a final decision. All that remained skeptical were identified for trials. This is a direct result of dependency on religion to create rule of law. Religion was irrational in its application as it did not cater for deviations and remained to be absolute in its use (Hirschl & Shachar, 2018). The very nature of religion being ideological and dependent on multiple interpretation can thus be deemed to be unreliable.
Hirschl, R., & Shachar, A. (2018). Competing Orders? The Challenge of Religion to Modern Constitutionalism. The University of Chicago Law Review, 85(2), 425-456. Retrieved July 12, 2021, from https://www-jstor-org.sbcc.idm.oclc.org/stable/26455913
Holmes, C. (2016). “The Opinion Of The Cambridge Association, 1 August 1692: A Neglected Text Of The Salem Witch Trials”. The New England Quarterly, 89(4), 643-667. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26405817
Maoz, Z., & Henderson, E. (2020). Religion and World Politics—Theory and Evidence. In Scriptures, Shrines, Scapegoats, and World Politics: Religious Sources of Conflict and Cooperation in the Modern Era (pp. 1-24). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Retrieved July 12, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.11353856.4