Skip to main content

Should the state define religion?

Dianne Wood

9:30 AM on June 15, 2010
It would be helpful if we had a definition of religion. Prof. Young says there should be a supernatural dimension, it should help people to live with such paradoxes as life and death, good and evil, and order and disorder; have a source of authority from scripture or ancestral teaching or a magisterial structure like the Catholic Church; a system of symbols; sacred times, such as holy days, and sacred places, such as temples or pilgrimage routes; rituals; an ethical system and taboos; offer a comprehensive way of life; sustain a group, not just individuals; and have an identity that is passed from one generation to the next.
I think a religion should also be universal, meaning it is open to everyone. Also I think a religion should allow freedom, where a person is not and cannot be forced to belong.

Fr. Tim

9:50 AM on June 15, 2010
It can also be dangerous for the courts/state to define a religion. The very act of establishing the boundaries by the court MAY imply a preeminence of powers, with the state & courts reigning over the Church. This has caused complications in England (to name one Christian country) and Iran (the easiest of many example to use); complications that have resulted in the spilling a great deal of blood.


There must be a balance or, to steal a line from John Ralston Saul, an "Equilibrium" (at least he got the concept correct even if his definitions skew his conclusions) that needs to be maintained between the various institutional embodiments of our values (religious-church, political-government, justice-police & courts etc.), it usually is a bad result when one institution interferes with another.


It will be interesting to see the result.


Fr. Tim

Comments

  1. No. The state has no business defining religion any more than religion has defining a state.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sisters of Life

Here is an excellent website for any and all interested in the pro-life cause. The Sisters of Life are a religious order than began in New York City under the authority of Cardinal Jon O'Connor (RIP) in the 1980's. Their traditional religious lifestyle and clear charism have led them to grow much faster than many other orders. As a result, these wonderful women are moving beyond the boundaries of NYC and have opened a convent in Toronto. Here is a link to a news account from LifesiteNews which explains in greater detail their history and mission in Toronto. The Sisters of Life count among their numbers a woman from our Parish here in Mattawa who is soon to take her final profession. This is one of the greatest blessings that we have received as a parish. Anytime a religious vocation comes forward from a parish community, many graces flow back to the local church. I can only pray that as the Sisters of Life establish their ministry in Canada that more and more women will join
 

Canadian Euthanasia Information

The May 2010 Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter can now be found at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Newsletters/Newsletter108(May2010)(RGB).pdf Bill C-384 was soundly defeated by a vote of 228 to 59. Check how the Members of Parliament voted at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/HowTheyVoted.pdf On June 5, 2010, we are co-hosting the US/Canda Push-Back Seminar at the Radisson Gateway Hotel at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. The overwhelming defeat of Bill C-384 proved that we can Push-Back the euthanasia lobby in the US and Canada and convince people that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a dangerous public policy. Register for the Seminar at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/2010SeminarFlyer(RGB)(LetterFormat).pdf The Schindler family are being attacked by a Florida television station and Michael Schiavo. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is standing in solidarity with the Schindler family. My blog comments: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/05/att