Religion and Laws MLA

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Should Religion Have a Place in Making Laws?
The world has numerous religions with each having its own system of beliefs. Each of
the religions strongly believes in itself and often religions fault each other on various issues.
For example, Christianity blames Islam for being radical and especially when it comes to the
Jihad ideology (Nazir-Ali 54). On the other hand, Islam blames Christians for being ‘kafir
to mean unbelievers. Thus to unify different people in a nation it becomes necessary to debate
whether religion should have a place in law-making. This is the topic that this paper seeks to
To start with, no single religion is professed by all people in any country (Lewis,
Mark and Brett 88). It would thus mean that if religion was allowed to influence laws of a
country, some people would be dragged into beliefs that they do not profess. For example, the
Catholic Church prohibits the use of condoms and contraceptives (McDonough 121). If such
a belief is allowed into the laws of the land, many people would have to deal with sexually
transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. On the other hand, Sharia Law in Islam gives
room for mob justice without proper trial (Nazir-Ali 98). This denies suspects the right to be
heard and if a state picks such a religious belief and entrenches it into the law of the land,
people would take the law into their hands and commit atrocities.
To avoid such conflicts between personal choices and religious beliefs, nations of the
world have over the centuries strived to seek separation of state and religion. In the First
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Amendment of the US Constitution, for example, the lawmakers clearly stated that the
Congress should not make laws to respect any religion or prohibit the exercise of any
(Greenawalt 101). In the most recent occurrence, Ireland has voted to allow abortion despite
the nation being predominantly Catholic (Henley). This becomes a pointer on how citizens
want their freedom to make personal choices without having to follow religious beliefs.
Religion should preach its beliefs but the state should be left to make laws.
Despite the above reasons why religion should not play part in the formulation of
laws, it plays a major role in shaping people’s morality (Pollack and Daniel 67). These
religions teach love and the importance of taking care of the less fortunate in the society
(Pollack and Daniel 87). Religion also teaches believers to be hopeful. Believers are taught
the need to wait upon their god to deliver them from troubles of this world and take them to a
place where they shall have eternal happiness (Pollack and Daniel 135). This, therefore,
makes people go through challenges without giving up. In his 1983 book, George Will wrote
that the first question of the government is how its citizens should leave (Will 34). This
question is also at the centre of religion which means that the government and religion should
work together in shaping the lives of people involved. As such, religion should have a say on
the laws of the land.
As it can be seen from the above arguments, religion and state have a number of areas
where they work well without conflict but still have areas where they conflict with each
other. That notwithstanding, however, it is better to have a clear separation between religion
and state. No religion should be allowed to influence laws of the land because no religion is
professed by all members of a state.
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Works Cited
Greenawalt, Kent. Religion and the Constitution. Princeton University Press, 2008.
Henley, Jon. Irish Abortion Referendum: Yes wins with 66.4% - as it happened. The
Guardian. 26 May 2018,
abortion-referendum-result-count-begins-live. Accessed 4 June 2018
Lewis, Hopfe, Mark, Woodward and Brett, Hendrickson. Religions of the World. Pearson
College Div, 2015.
Nazir-Ali, Michael. Conviction and Conflict: Islam, Christianity, and World Order.
Continuum, 2006.
Pollack, Detlef, and Daniel, Olson. The Role of Religion in Modern Societies. Taylor and
Francis, 2012.
McDonough, Peter. The Catholic Labyrinth: Power, Apathy, and a Passion for Reform in the
American Church. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Will, George. Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does. Touchstone 1983.

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