Since many years ago, in the developing countries, a religious issue has been dominant. The religious nations are apt to be utilized for political purposes. It is really very embarrassing. The chaos always happen when a religious topic is raised in public. They tend to be easily divided into different perspectives. Then, they are quarrelling. It is embarrassing.
According to Christopher Callaway, from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, the USA, there is still a close relationship between religion and politics. In political philosophy, these two aspects can be used for the topic in political domain. The reason is clear, by using religion as the tool for making claims, the politicians get many supports.
Any religion is logically supported by their followers. These groups can be so sensitive and easily made use. The followers of any religion can invite big group of voters. Religion and the state (country) are separated. But, mostly they can also support each other. It is even in the modern nation or developed country, like in the USA. A religion as the politic consideration still exits.
Let alone in the developing countries, in the developed nations, such issue is still used for propaganda in politic consideration. Now that, the situation, induced by such issue is so strong. Yet, the impact on social condition tends to be disastrous if it cannot be tackled seriously.
The victims are of course, those who are low educated but they are fanatic. This group, unfortunately, is in big number among the literates. Therefore, it is like lighting the fire above the gasoline. It can make the society in chaos. This is, again, really embarrassing.
Can a religion be omitted in political concern? Not, it cannot. Robert Audi and Nicholas Worstertorff (2000), describe this issue. In their book of Religion in the Public Square, they describe that religion is still important in politic. In his summary of their book, they argue that religious element are both appropriate in politics and indispensable to vitality of pluralistic democracy.
Yet, in public domain, religion can be used as a topic for discussion among scholars, students, and even citizens. This is the topic for all levels of society. So, when it is raised in a political domain, each of the groups can be involved and dragged easily into this big topic. It is like a bulldozers. From the top, rolling over down, and finally it becomes the fierce bulldozer. It is a huge energy, triggering the mass and even into chaos.
So, religion is a good menu for politicians for their strategy. It is not only in the developing countries, but also in even developed nations. Conflicts are easily induced by raising religious issue. These conflicts can be used for identifying among the religious groups. Which groups are against other groups? Which groups are similar to the other groups? This mapping is a good scenario to see.
The senior politicians can see these conflicts like a drone with its CCTV catching the pictures of the whole people in the riots. Then, they watch which groups are against other groups. From this, they can determine a momentum for a movement they choose the best. They can finally calculate by seeing both the risk and the advantages. That’s a topic of religion in politics.
Only the educated people can see this and they are not trapped into the chaos. For intellectuals and academicians, they should help people to clear the problem. They must be able to provide their nations with a knowledge about it. It is odd when all these groups are also trapped into such a critical, political problem.
Dr. Djuwari is the Director of Language Laboratory, STIE Perbanas Surabaya. The advisor of Indonesia Association of Press Practitioners/ Journalists in East Java province (HIPSI), Indonesia. He is also the president of the International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER).