Home / Politics / Should religion be regulated by the state?

Should religion be regulated by the state?

This story reminds me of an English political philosophy of the 17th Century by the name Thomas Hobbes. He defined a lawless society as a state of nature where there was war of all against all. Brothers teared into each other while the law of the jungle was the order in such society. He described such state as sad, poor, lonely, brutish, and life is short. Instead he contrasted it with Laviathan, in which people would agree on a sovereignty to rule them. The Laviathan is what we refer to here as the state/ the government. We need state laws and policies in order to carry out our day to day life. The state is charged with the common good, security, law and order among others. It is the government to ensure that every citizen enjoys fundamental freedoms prescribed by human rights. Religion is a sub-system within the social system and must be subjected to some regulatory mechanism. However, religion is specialized on our spiritual reality. Religion is to reflect the Godly things, ethics and morality. But when religion becomes commercialized then the state must come in to restore law and order. It is in this sense the state cares for the common good. Religion as an institution must be checked but as a spiritual reality, in terms of worship, must enjoy autonomy from the state. It is in this sense, Kenyans can embrace government policies and regulations to ensure there is order. Already we have pastors in prisons. Some are convicted of first class murder while others are charged on immoral and violations of others rights. It would only be right to have some regulatory system in place…some religious organizations have their own internal laws such as Sharia law, and Canon law. Such are not state laws and cannot apply to all but to those who profess such faith. But such religious laws must not be translated to replace the state law or bar the state from setting a framework of control. What we need is law and order for the sake of peace, good co-existence and harmony.
Read us, like us, follow us…share this story.

About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *