There was a time, not long ago, when fear ruled the Christian World. Religion had been merged with State, resulting in the Ultimate supremacy of the Church. This supremacy resulted in what we now call the ‘crusades’; wars waged in the name of religion resulting in millions of deaths.
The Church superseded even the so-called King, Bishops and Popes dictating the ultimate strategy and direction of the Nation. Through much struggle, and bloodshed, the Church learned it’s place: the hearts and minds of the people.
The state, it was decided, was to be the sole domain of the politicians, technocrats and bureaucrats, functioning not on theological hearsay, but concrete scientific, moral, ideological and humanistic principles.
We need to disregard the negativity around us, and work collectively towards a strong stable Pakistan, and world. But for that, next time you hear the word ‘secularism’, don’t cringe. Understand that only this ‘separation’, can save us
There exists no system which is ‘perfect’. Democracy is perhaps more flawed than the system it replaced itself; monarchy. It operates under the same system of governance, the only difference being the collective delusion of the public to pacify it. If religion is the opiate of the people, democracy is certainly it’s heroin, the same base, only more dangerous. The controlled illusion given to the people of their rule, vote and rights.
The reason the American State and the ‘Western’ mode of statesmanship has towered against all others is the dichotomy between State and Religion. The advent of Capitalism meant the ultimate was to be another invisible entity; money. Survival of the fittest, kill or be killed; the law of the jungle, was what ultimately emerged victorious.
For better or for worse, that is the way of the world. I see no purpose in continuously revisiting, desiring and dreaming of a time bygone. We are part now of this ruthless, capitalist ‘democratic’ world.
For us to progress as a nation, scientifically, morally, economically, we have to take into account the one common thread in all modern super-powers: division of state and Religion. Religion, by its very nature, is a noble endeavor, the state, or politicians on the other hand represent a class or type of people who are crude, crass and unbecoming of state, and world leaders. When the two (state and religion) are forcibly bound together only chaos erupts. Religion is meant to promote friendship, not hate, and when it’s so called ‘leaders’ paramount desires are money and land, the religion itself will suffer, and it’s people.
Now the church and state are separate, a delicate balance is being maintained. If we are to move ahead, we need to disregard the negativity around us, and work collectively towards a strong stable Pakistan, and world. But for that, next time you hear the word ‘secularism’, don’t cringe. Understand that only this ‘separation’, can save us.
The writer is a director/actor; and a core member of Ajoka Theatre Pakistan. He has been involved in spreading awareness on socio-political issues through theatre
Published in Daily Times, October 20th 2017.