The politico-religious nexus and the role of the individual

Isn’t it idealistic to imagine that in the “overlapping magisteria” of Politics and Religion (As against Stephen Jay Gould’s “non-overlapping magisteria” to describe Science and Religion), an individual can presume to intervene, much less make a difference?

If people who watch distant events, unrelated to their lives, feel charged to join jihadi movements believing they can make a difference to those who live in a different continent, a different culture, it must be possible for individuals to be moved to action that will have a more positive impact on their immediate lives.

We need to break our “appalling silence” on issues that are going to have ramifications across generations so that we, or our children, will not have to repent.

Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.” (Martin Luther King Jr)

I would like to complement King’s exhortation with this message of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s, inscribed on a plaque in his memorial in India:

Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Science without Humanity, Knowledge without Character, Politics without Principle, Commerce without Morality and Worship without Self-sacrifice are seven deadly sins.

King and Gandhi were individuals when they began; they became lasting icons for humanity due to their courage of conviction. In their immortality there is a lesson to learn: It is important to temper our resistance with long-term vision about the future that humanity shares.

This entry was posted in campaigns, Humanity, life, Mass movements, new world, Thoughts by kshama. Bookmark the permalink.

About kshama

I'm a writer of stories - for the young and the old, for children and adults. I write fiction and non-fiction: novels, essays, short stories... I also research on a subject very close to my heart: the education of the under-privileged. The output of some of my work - stories, novels and essays - is available at I also blog at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s