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Religions and Democracy

Dani Pramudita
IGB Dharma Agastia Rahmat Hafiz Sandria Syifa Astarini Iskandar

INTRODUCTION Religion and Democracy Democracy is a form of mechanism or system of government of a country in an effort to realize the people's sovereignty (national power) over the country to be run by the state government. Democracy is a living system that puts people's opinions as a priority policy, where opinions must meet the criteria of religion, morality, law and based on the spirit to uphold the common good. Voice or opinion of the people must be accompanied by a sense of responsibility and a positive commitment to the implementation should also be through continuous evaluation and compliance with common needs. Principles of Democracy: a. Involvement of citizens in political decision-making. b. Rate equation (equality) among certain citizens. c. Certain level of freedom or independence is recognized and used by citizens. d. Respect for the rule of law. Democratic principles based on the concept above (rule of law), among others, as follows: a. The absence of arbitrary power; b. The same status in law; c. Guarantee of human rights by law The link between religion and democracy can we see through the values brought by religion as a critical reflection of the issues involved in socio-civic life. The social problems during the decline of religions are when there are a lot of social inequalities in political, cultural, economics and so on. The spirit of religion is brought about by the spirit of human liberation from all forms of inequality and social personal reply to the egalitarian, democratic and freedom. There is a fundamental difference between religion and the concept of democracy. Differences occurred in both ontological realms. Prime actualization religious attitude is

complete submission to the will of God. While democracy embodied in the ready stance will consider negotiating with others. Democracy means putting human will and rationality as a reference institutionalized social action and state. While the religious is life, which became a reference peak is God's teachings. Besides historically sociological, religious history cannot be separated from the fact that the role of religion often only used for political gain and power in maintaining the status quo, giving rise to the movement of rebellion. Despite the differences in the ontological realm, both found in the realm of understanding axiological, that religion and democracy actualized in the same object, the man with all its complexity. The intersection of religion and democracy is spreading hope that both have the same premise and commitment to the ideals of humanity which is the axiological object. Commitment is manifested in the form of convergence of the ideals of democracy and religious commitment as a reflection of faith to establish an egalitarian society and in the frames social welfare. Religion and democracy should be able to coexist and maintain the life of the nation. Relationship between Religion and Democracy According Komaruddin Hidayat, there are three models of the relationship between religion and democracy. That relationship is negative, neutral, and positive. o First negative outlook, those who think on these lines based on an argument that democracy is the result by human thought mundane, empirical, and profane, so full of interest and errors. While the doctrine of God's religion is sacred, full of teachings and noble values. So that it made the two cannot be equated. The adherents of this view usually feel suspicious and cynical view (poorly) against religion, as well as the opposite is true for religious people who believe cynical about democracy. o Second, the relationship is positive (moderate), the argument that underlies this view out of a good idea that religion is a theological, ideological, and sociological strongly supports the democratic process in all fields be it political, economic, or cultural. They assume that all religions are born and developed to fulfill the mission to protect and uphold human dignity. Thus, although the religious teachings not clearly and systematically advocate or teach the practice of democracy, but he brought the teachings

of the spirit and ethos of the charge gives the doctrinal-theological encourages adherents to embody democratic life. Here religion used as a starting point in transforming the life of the nation and society. o Third, is the relationship that having the character of secular. They who the view secular assumed that life was religion and political life, must be separated or with another language secularization political. They who have this view fixed running the commandcommand religion, but they refused be formally-institutional religious involvement in the affairs-political affairs. The emergence of this view because within experience shows that the bring religion within political sphere often made verses sacred and the word of-saith the Lord as Justifier himself, and vice versa used as a justification for attacking the enemy or competitor his political. 2. Kind of Problem in Democracy and Religions 1. Different Meaning of Democracy According to Giovanni Sartori,Democracy is 100% Westerns produucts. So, that is mean there are point of view, ways of life, and also value is could not separated from democration concept such as individualism, capitalism and also liberalism. So, when the democration concept is adopted by the Eastern, there are a value, norms are not suitable with Eastern culture and norms, which is mostly formed by the influence of the religions. 2. Movement of religious radicalization In some Muslim countries, radical religious movements were born when the democratic process is being held. For example we can take from our own country, Indonesia. Regional autonomy as a reflection of the demands of democracy, it is marked by the rise of religious radicalism literalism-like desire to apply "Islamic Law". In some areas such as West Sumatra, Aceh, or Makassar are constructed Regulation (Regulation) to implement the Islamic Shari'ah. Democracy is supposed to make society more fluid, egalitarian, and inclusive, but the opposite happened. Democracy in Indonesia actually thicken the tribal identity, religion, religious differences become so exploited, which later gave birth chances religious exclusivism.


Religions Perspectives on Democracy 1. Islam Principles and concepts of Islam is in line with the people's participation in the control, lifting, and lowering the government, as well as in determining the number of policies through their representatives. As for which is not in line when the voice of the people is given absolute freedom that can lead to attitudes, actions, and policies that come out of the signs of divine. Democracy Principle According to Islam a. Syura ( Consensus ) Q.S Ali Imran, 159 : So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. At those verses, there is a guidance for Muhammad ( and could be implied to general situation ) that is a needed for us to directly consult the matters that we have. b. Al-adalah Aladalah means justice. So, in enforcing justice there is a need to free from corruption, collusion and nepotism. The enforcement of justice must be wise and fair. And this importan things also delivered and could be founded in QS An-Nahl 90. c. Al-Musawah Equality. So there is no party will have thought they are higher than other so they can forces their needs. The one who have authority could not forces their needs to the people, otoriter and also exploitative d. Al-Amanah Is the trust that put on you. So, as a leader they need to fulfill the trust that have been given to them and must be keep it in a good way.So they need to fulfill the trust with the responsibilities that they have to do. e. Al-Masuliyyah

Responsibilies. The power and the higher position is a responsibilities.So, it is need to be aware and be careful on the power that already given to you. So as the one who have power, they need to be responsible on their people and also to the God f. Al-Hurriyah Freedom. Every people are allowed to share their opinions as long as those things are delivered in a wise way and also pay attention on akhlaqal-karimah and in order to enforce al-amr bi-l-maruf wa an-nahy an al munkar

2. Buddha

In the Buddhist view of democracy is relative, not interpreted that democracy in the Buddhist perspective is liberal democracy or guided democracy might Pancasila democracy or any form of democracy which is the surface of this earth. Throughout democracy implemented with full awareness accompanied by a bright inner conducted with wisdom and the process is in equilibrium, a stable condition and is a middle ground from time to time, then democracy is thus certainly bring progress and a resounding success. But any form of democracy when implemented in an extreme way, full of selfishness and narrow fanaticism, then democracy will therefore disastrous for the community and for the nation. Democracy in the Buddhist perspective is a democracy where sovereignty lies in that most of the people who carried out fairly and harmoniously for the good and the common good. Buddhist view centered on efforts to rid themselves of defilements which cored the Ego, focuses on Bodhicitta and compassion that the impact will establish fraternal solidarity and togetherness solid fellow people of a nation. 3. Catholics First, the Church proclaims the gospel of love. In Mark 12: 30-31 pronouncement: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and strength. And they neighbor as they self. Secondly, the Church strongly opposes violence (including the use of religious symbols) to achieve the objectives in the political, economic, social, cultural and other fields (CA 46 point 5).

Third, the Church recognizes the existence of other religions. In the Second Vatican Council affirmed, outside the communion of the Church there were many elements of sanctification and of truth (LG 8). Fourth, the Church opposes discrimination and urged the abolition of discrimination in all its forms. Affirmed in Gaudium et Spes, "Any form of discrimination, whether social or cultural nature, whether based on sex, color, ethnicity, social condition, language or religion because contrary to the intent and will of God "(GS 29). Fifth, the Church recognizes the right to freedom of association. God is pleased to sanctify and save people instead of one at a time, with no relationship to one another, but rather to shape them into the people, who admit the truth and to serve Him with holy (LG 9). Sixth, the Church has a concern for the socio-economic problems and political. In the Encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963), written Pope John Paul XXIII talked about peace between nations. Also in the encyclical Centesimus Annus (1991) issued by Pope John Paul II affirmed, the Church appreciates the democratic system, because it ensures that citizens participate in political decision-making, and besides ensure subordinates opportunities to choose the leaders of the people, hold them and when it is necessary, replace them peacefully (CA 46). Those some explanations shown as that Catholics is not rejecting the democracy. Instead, it supports the creation of socio-economic life, democratic politics. Kunkler and MeyerResende (2007) asserts, the Church can be added together with the state of democracy. 4. Hindu First, Istadewata. Religious apartheid is characteristic of monotheism. This religious man considers himself elected while other religions are enemies of God. Here the right of other religions is protected in return for payment of a special tax, but they may choose not to choose. People who are not believers cannot be a leader, because they are enemies of God. In pantheism no religious apartheid. God is in every creature. He was there and Maha Maha infinite. God does not favor one group and against other groups, because of

all is him, although it took different names and forms. This concept gave birth Istadewata philosophy. Various sects of Hinduism, worshiping different names and forms, but they are respect each other, knowing that they worship, is one and the same substance. The internal attitude radiates out to the same quality. Towards other religions, both native India as Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs, as well as from the outside, such as Jewish and Parsi (Zoroastrian) are suppressed in the country by other religions, Hinduism accept it as equal comrades. All these religions live safely in India for thousands of years. In the most fundamental thing though, Hindu respect for diversity, especially in politics that "only" worldly affairs. Second. Law of Karma As said above, the God of the monotheistic rule with his own hands. This understanding does not acknowledge the existence of natural law, because the law was considered a rival of his power. In the Hindu religion, God is believed to be ruled by law; Rta to the universe and karma for humans. Man is a free agent. "Svatantra katah." Each man has a free will and is responsible for his own actions. Humans are sovereign over him self, is one of the joints and the purpose of democracy. Essence of democracy is respect the rule of law. Democracy guarantees freedom of wills and thought. Granting freedom by God to man is meant to balance the control of the initiative from below. Control to create order. Initiative to create progress. Third. Tat Twam Asi Vertically, the same as the essence of human nature of God. It was you. Atman is Brahman. Horizontally, every human being has the same essence. Similarity not only the right to vote and be elected, but more so in the deepest essence. The concept of Atman as part of Brahman, is respect for human dignity. Each individual is a spark of the Divine. "Deho devalayo name". Humans are not made of clay or dirty water. Humans are not slaves or servants of the Lord. Is the essence of human dignity? And this is one of the main goals championed by democracy. Fourth. Ahimsa

Ahimsa paramo dharmah. Ahimsa is the dharma, religion or ultimate truth. As stated by the Mahabharata. Mahatma Gandhi Ahimsa formulate relationships with politics and democracy as follows: "Revolution is not a program of abstinence violent assumption of power. He is the program changes the relationships that ended on a peaceful transfer of power. A country that adheres to abstinence-violence should be broadly based on the will of the people who are intelligent, who is able to know his thoughts and acts in accordance with the mind. Democracy can only be saved through abstinence-violence, because democracy, during sustained by violence does not warrant or protect needs of the weak. My understanding of democracy is that under democracy, the weakest group should have the same opportunity as the most powerful faction. This would not have been possible except through abstinence-violence. Western democracy, as it functions today, is Nazism or fascism are softened ".

Fifth, the distribution of power. The division of power, into what is called trias politica - the legislative, executive and judicial branches are a pillar of modern democracy was conceived by John Locke and JJ Roussseau. No other religion has such a concept. But in the Hindu religion has no power sharing, which is known as color chess: the power of religion (Brahmin), government (Knight), economics (Vaishya) and labor (Sudras). Chess is not a color triad politics, but he helped prevent theocracy, loading of political power and religion, as well as the economy in the hands of the representative of God in the world, whether by name apostles, popes, caliphs, sultans or kings. When the representatives of these treats its citizens as slaves, considers natural resources as his own, then he just runs the power of God. Only God is entitled to supervise or revoke the power. The five elements above can be called dharmokrasi principles, rule by dharma. Dharmokrasi, not a theocracy, and is not intended as an alternative, but as a supplier to the spiritual dimension of democracy, so democracy is not only limited to the body (political and economic) but also up to a dimension of the soul. Dharmokrasi assistance

to democracy is expected to give birth to substantive democracy: welfare body and soul, material and spitirual for all its citizens, regardless of ethnicity, race and religion. Also democracy without violence, without bribes. 5. Christians Gregory Vlastos explains that there is a relationship of Christian faith and democracy. In the Christian faith, democracy has no meaning when love and justice motivation even become a destination. Christian tradition emphasizes that every human being has the dignity to even become a free moral agent. Freedom is disclosed in the form of personal decisions and actions that allow coexistence can take place. Besides, humans have dignity as a worker (waiter) that allows a real life together. According to the Christian faith, love can be expressed when each person gives himself to the service of society. Based on the above, we can conclude that every Christian is obliged to actively participate in democratic life. This is achieved, among others, by participating actively in the election, a member of a political party, to participate actively in decisions that govern collective life, and other forms of political activity other. 4. Analysis Religions and democracy somehow is two good things that ideally walk in the same way. But there are some substances of democracy that not all of the religions could accepted. This is appear because democracy literally is one of the products of the Western. So, there will be so mo many Western values will be implied on it. That is true, not of the value of the democracy is wrong, but the background of the development of democracy is necessary to be considered. The problems appears if the democracy ( that is mostly Western values implied ) practiced in the Eastern. It is inavoidable that there will be some clash on it. As Winston Churchill said, democracy is the best system than the worst system that available, it is true democracy will bring a good point to a country. But the things that need to be considered are : 1. A background of a country A country background is one of the pillars to apply the democracy system. The culture that formed the country must be understood. If democracy teach how to tolerate and also

consensus as the bestway, it is a good things that democracy is not fully strict to the principle, it is need to be soften in order to easily adopted in a country and could be acceptable. 2. Filter the values In some point. There is a big differences on democracy and religions. Democracy is tend to be dynamic and rationals depends on the current condition happened. Meanwhile Religion is an absolute rules that had been set up since a long time ago and need an understanding to know that. That is how some conflicts appears related to democracy and religions. The things to solve is how to find a reconciliate point on this condition. One of the way is to separate things that could not be put into a democratic system. Because that sensitive things will easily attract the problems, somehow there is a need to filter things that suitable enough on democracy and somethings that could not be compromised. 3. Define the democracy itself Democracy have a lot meanings and also have a different types. This is somehow create a blur condition, because a many system of democracy could not determine what is the democracy. As a result, there are some rejection in adopting democracy, because of the image of the democracy is tend to be more Western. It is a better things, if democracy clearly show its image as a system which could be applied in every background and also religions. Iran as an Example Mostly, democracy is have a man rejection from Islamic country, but there is an Islamic country which shown that democracy and Islam is could walk together without a big matter. If we define democracy as a model that is based upon the will and human freedom in choosing the rulers or impeach them and determine their own destiny, true model of government based on the majority vote rule is not contrary to the paradigm established by Imam Khomeini Ra. Imam in this case said: "Here the voice of the people who govern. People who hold the reins of government. Haram and unlawful impossible for us folk. In the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a harmony between Islam and democracy become evident. In the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, religion and government is a democratic government are not two opposite poles. But the two are related and mutually determine conditional with each other. So that it can be said that based on the spirit and

logic of the constitution, rule of Islam is a true democratic government. And may be, for this reason the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran does not agree with the editor of "Islamic government" and select the editor of "Islamic Republic" of Iran In the constitution of the Islamic Republic, chapter three, verses 19 and 23, with the title rights of the people (huquq-e mardum) containing freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of political party activities, freedom of the press, equality before the law, and so on. Also mentioned in the article with the title five people's right to rule (haqq-e Mellat hakimiyat). These two articles are inferred from Islam and its relationship to democracy have confirmation from both religious sources of the verses of the Qur'an and the narrations, the Prophet's sirah government and Imam Ali. In the Islamic view, the public has a right to self-determination. And society under Islamic rule can taste various personal and social freedom. Although Islam does not accept most of the discourse of democracy is understood and practiced in the West as opposed to the majority of human glory. However, other discourses of democracy and captivating better practiced in Islam. As a result not only between religion and democracy are not contradictory, even the most advanced model of democracy can be found in Islamic texts Conclusions The Impacts of Democracy Positive impacts: 1. Uphold the equation 2. Maintain a balance between the rights and obligations 5. Cultivate an attitude wise and fair 6. Familiarize deliberation in decision making 7. Prioritize unity among fellow Negative Impacts: 1. As a result of religious freedom, many emerging cult. 2. As a result of freedom of opinion, liberal ideas emerged which argues that Islamic Sharia, for example, if applied would destabilize, threaten pluralism, causing disintegration, etc.. Those who think so, which is clearly insulting Islam, also left without ever brought to trial.

3. As a result of freedom of ownership, eventually many natural resources dominate the life of people, is controlled by the individual, private, or foreign parties. As a result of freedom behave, make the widespread of pornography.

Religion and democracy is two good things that teach a good system also. Most of the principle of democracy formed from the religions. So it is inavoidable that in every religions there are so many statements to support democracy. However, democracy is a system that had been created by humans with using their minds towards the current condition and rationality. It is somehow created the differences betweeen religions and also democracy. Religions is an absolute value, meanwhile democracy is created a dynamic value, depends on the condition. In short, to applied the democracy system it is a needs to do the filtration first. Separate the things that could not be compromised and the things that could be compromised. As a result, democracy will create a system that could be acceptable from the religions said, so that religion and democracy could run simultaneously.