In the June 29 issue of Newsweek, Jon Meacham wrote of religion and politics in “Theocracies Are Doomed. Thank God.”
Any time you put religion and politics in the same sentence, you’re going to come up with some controversy, so an opinion piece on the two was bound to get my attention.
Most notably the following:
The work of politics is not the same as the work of religion. Religious values can inform politics and civil society, but heaven and earth are ultimately separate provinces.
And I thank Meacham for repeating this still-timely statement from Thomas Jefferson:
… the general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
Meacham was writing in response to events in Iran, and I’d love to see that theocracy fall. I think theocracies are wrong. But they’ve been around for a very long time, and like any form of government, they won’t give up power unless their citizens demand it. In the 21st Century — as the Iranian ayatollahs are discovering — it’s gotten very, very difficult to keep people in the dark, away from Jefferson’s “light of science.”