tv Documentary RT December 29, 2013 2:29pm-3:01pm EST
both have been lad by the state and i wonder what does it really tell us that religion is too weak that this state is just wrong or rather that they are not as separated as we would like to believe well i believe that the religion they have own specific fields and i would not speak in terms of strength. i would rather speak of what kind of tasks does the state and what kind of tasks does religion have there are differences there are overlapping fields also and one just has to see whether state and religion do fulfill the tossed probably well at least when it comes to russia leaders here make no secret that they believe that the tasks of the state and the church clearly over l'abbé wonderful agent to fill that moral void that was created with the collapse of the soviet union and the dissolution of communist ideology as well as the broader national identity so i
think that smacks a little bit of social engineering but isn't that ultimately the surest and probably quickest way for the state to ensure some sort of social harmony. i think it's a good task to fulfill for religion to see to. home on years to of fruitful peaceful society there is a lot of society building wisdom in religions. and i think it's not wrong but the secular state does give room for this community building force of religion when we talk about separation of church and state historically we've been talking about limiting the authority of the church and keeping the church from influencing state affairs but i think if you look around the world these days in most cases we have the opposite very strong states the
power of the states seems to be much stronger than the power of organized religions and. i think if you look at that from a so-so sociological point of view there are many advantages to a recruiting religion because believe it is time to be. law abiding citizens they are more likely to gauge and pro-social behavior so doesn't that make religion's not only a natural ally of a state but to some extent its age and there are a very many different systems of state church state religion relations in the world . and you describe you describing just about one or two of the. also other religious. ways of life in history towards the state and the secular society. religion overwhelms the state which
also has is a bad thing i think one should see that without overwhelming one of the other one should a system. religion does fulfill its toss of community building given the people sense of life is there a good reason for life to give them the opportunity to see that there is something beyond that there is something more than. so something that also goes beyond what the state can do but do you think the state has anything any obligation to try to strengthen let's say traditional religions to promote kind of spirituality that you just mentioned or it should be allowed religions themselves that they have to build themselves a strengthened themselves even in societies when. their support is not that strong
. from my perspective states have the task to. foster freedom freedom of religion other freedoms also. should see to a framework where people can live their lives properly from their own freedom inequality that means that the state should see two. perspectives in which religion can flourish but does not mean that it supports one against the other it just means that it supports religion as such but let me also say that religion has a very strong impact within the history of people this is why it's very different from one state and community to another. they have different experiences different historical developments different fears also. that means
that there are some traditional religions in some countries that have contributed just by fact somewhat more to the way people live and think. hope and fear and this specific contribution can be taken up also by the state in how to deal with religions i would like to come back to this issue of the interplay between the religious and national identity a bit later but before we go there your famous countermand german economist karl marx is credited with saying that religion is the opium of the people and i think that quote has long been taken out of context because what he actually sat is that religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature the heart of a heartless world the soul of soulless condition it is the opium of the people so essentially what he's saying is that religion was
a painkiller you know the last cure for the hopeless rather than being an illicit drug the way it was to. only interpreted in many societies including here in russia i wonder if you actually agree with him that religion is something that flourishes one times may be maybe not so great and maybe providing the last hope for the hopeless i think is somewhat over doing this but there is some truth in what he says. saying. gives the thing somewhat negative touch but what i think is true and right is that in fact religion so often. is. to give hope in difficult situations of life now the amount of pain and suffering in the wall doesn't seem to be decreasing we are in the midst of
a major very prolonged can all make rises when many countries many states even in the west failed our social obligations and i think this is where many of religious organizations step in and provide that much needed sometimes a comic sometimes spiritual how do you think. you know this is a very difficult time for some of the states could also be seen as a golden opportunity for some of the organized religions all religions see together they in fact of the idea of helping people when the state does not fulfill its own task of preserving and fostering social cohesion and social welfare that it is a task of the religion to step in and do what others should also do well i guess what i'm asking is that. you know the times of economic
hardship create an additional incentive for people just to turn to your. religious institutions as. doubly lost whole day if the times were a bit better they may have been living their normal lives but if their seeking for help on the state is not there to provide that how religions may be the. last hope that i think is true. religion very often is the last hope the last resort for people and it's good to have it. if it were not the word no hope i wonder how damian that connection really is because i mean if you turn to something just because you cannot get any anywhere else that may be. on the on the level of spirituality. may not be very genuine em in economic hardship it is indeed a very strong motivator but ultimately what's really just cares about is the soul
and on the condition of people in in this world right. i agree to some extent. life is more than just eating but without eating there is no life i would say that if there is somebody really in need and there are so many people really in deep need one should not forget that there's nothing wrong about going into a temple into a church and synagogue into a mosque in this religious field and ask for help do it and get help nothing bad about it and very quickly before we go to the break pope francis in the few months that he has been in the holy see he has already made a couple of statements that quite. rigorously i thing in the authority of the state for example he called for limiting the dictatorship of the economy for reforming
the financial system and creating more compassionate society something that has long been perceived as essential to the job of the state and he won many supporters not only among believers but also nonbelievers i wonder if that is this side of our religion or this particular religion regaining its moral authority or just a likable person emerging in a prominent role what do you refer to is not meant to be something against the state it is limiting the market to the only free market it's limiting exaggeration as i would see it in one direction in one field of life. i would agree that it's also the state should somewhat. regulate of. doing this the market the banks the money.
the economy given the room making it developing. fully. avoid exaggerations i think the pope as many others also emphasizing. the need of structures for the well being of the people so that not one fact of life gets exaggerated and takes hold of others. i think there's nothing wrong it's good to do the. religions to do that it's a task of everybody in a way. have to take a short break now but when we come back tolerance is one of the most frequent words used by religious leaders but why then is it in such short supply when it comes to interactions between believers and nonbelievers that's coming up in a few moments on the part.
the value of the plays we have. to the end of the water that we need to survive it's not compared to i mean gold we're not going to eat gold we're not going to bait with gold. we're not going to drink what clearly is and is in a desperate economic situation absolutely right what we're wrong to do is say therefore any kind of economic development from the outside is going to be a benefit their only purpose is to extract as much money as possible to feed into the global financial system. with we are part of the geo political economic system that's extremely or split to do. first of all is a question where the mining should even be carried out altogether can it be done in
a way which doesn't destroy people's lives resources environment soon will you know those are pretty serious questions mining is not a what a moment problem it's happening in asia in africa and south america in central america in mexico and it's even happening in canada and the united states. welcome back to all the part where we are discussing the relationship between state and. very some member of the international consortium for law and religious studies dr roberts we were talking about the role of religion but in many countries especially in many western countries atheist in gnostics are the fastest growing
group in society and as their number becomes larger i think it is becoming increasingly more difficult to reconcile traditional religious teachings with realities of modern day lives for example basic high school education and some of the higher issues like human rights do you think states and religions can ever come to a compromise on some of those issues for example the teaching of evolution or the issues of religious freedom from my perspective it's not true. circular reasoning is gaining rapidly i think this securitization is already coming to an end people people are coming back to religion there is a strong need for religion all over the world in the worst in the east. north and south. that. leads also to somewhat
growing between those who like religion and those who don't but i guess what i mean is that some of the traditional religious teachings there clearly contradict the. some of the more the norm which you know some of the things that we know about human body the development of life on earth obviously there are in unless you take most of the religious teachings as a beautiful metaphor there is a clear conflict between the two. and even when it comes to basic high school education. i think there is a looming conflict between what you tell. pupils about how life on earth region eight which is no longer as a scientific question but for many villages this is still a very difficult issue to come to terms with. i see that some would not think many but some religions do think that.
evolution has not. happened and that is this is a wrong story. i can only say something about my own perspective from a religious point of view though. i would not take the teachings of the bible of the qur'an or other books in other religions. as substituting science as be in a better textbook of physics or biology. the bible doesn't tell you how evolution works better. it gives you a. perspective a sense why it happened not so much how it happened but i think we can see that across many organized religions this returned littrell in top rotation it's
very prominent in this long for example and be reemerging of salafism. but even then. christianity is literally on top rotation of holy books it is on the increase and that's where that conflict with science. you know what a knowledge is a thing. very prominent i agree with that but i would rather thing it's a conflict within religion itself it's the question of what religion really teaches what it's about. how to understand religious messages. from my personal perspective it is short sighted to be too literal. to expect that what has been written five thousand years ago or three thousand years ago two thousand years ago would be. the.
the. more exact description of the world functions technically. for me it's more a question of sense what religion teaches not so much the technique that works well let's take one can create example where where i think the conflict between. techniques and the meaning came to the fore last year germany was shaken by a court's ruling that bad male circumcision infant male circumcision for religious purposes and. that particular court ruling equated. religious rights your bodily harm and produced a very heated debate about the. limits of state authority and religious freedom and i know that you know in germany and that really had no power of arrest later on there was
a ruling by the parliament made it clear that circumcision is legal but i wonder if you if you think that was a one off event or rather more conflict about to come because in addition to circumcision issue we also have the debate on. evolution and so on it was. a sign. representing. one important development or situation. that many people in society did not accept any more religious arguments religious reasons so only asking for the question of bodily harm which is an important thing to ask for. but that was the only thing that was seen. that is something that
was puzzling that only one issue was singled out one should the perspective now many religious debates in europe involve islam to some extent or another. i know that many at appearance of many other religions complained that sometimes the state encroaches on their religious freedom you mentioned some of that but. last year there was a report by amnesty international that. really. despite the presence of very strong and discrimination laws in europe. violations of those balls. in relation to muslims are not only tolerated but sometimes even encouraged it would seem. europe which is. you know to some extent the champion of human rights and all sorts of liberties can be also surprisingly toller run to certain kinds of
intolerance or drifting about that not all the people. with tolerance. welcoming and accommodating in western europe. but again also i see that there is a lot of attempts to do that properly. muslims have to find. their place have to adapt also. the existing society does have to adapt and to change one should be patient with pushing for ways to find good ways well i guess it's difficult to be patient when your being activists is grim and they had a big as you had on the other hand the burley and social science center just published a study suggesting that two thirds of muslims in western europe hold their religious rules above the laws of the countries that they live in that's compared to just
thirteen percent of christians and i think what that shows is that certain religions relate to the state and its rules its laws differently than others and i wonder if that gives the state any state rights you differentiate between religions bit because i think the the level of expansion is that religions claim. is a bit different from others i'm very curious to read more into this survey you are referring to. the question is how did they ask the questions mind you if you read the bible if you if you go in to christianity. you find the sentence that you should be god more than. that means religious law more important more convincing those of the very same thing that is
now referred to the muslims and muslims still no more than a lot of somewhat secularized christians. and when you see the german history would not. again mind you. i would have i would be more d's of more germans would have a bit more than the stated time it's a question of is it a good state or not well that's a very politically incorrect way to put it but whether religion is good or not because. you know there are certain countries like for example saudi arabia who are now where only very active but i would even say somewhat aggressive in spreading dire religious ideology and they they do that not only through the power of the state but also through the power of money of often. targeting countries and
societies that are simply unable to resist that pressure and i think that brings us again to the same issue of religious freedom very thorny issue because on the one had any. system of beliefs should be free to pick me out here and would use more predator means than others and you know again we don't want to lump all islamic streams together because islam is a very diverse a very complex religion that certain strains i think are more aggressive than others and i believe even in germany there has been some efforts to limit the spread of salafism for example first of all i think one should insist in that it belongs to freedom of the. paulton fact of freedom of religion that everyone is allowed also to spread his or her religion on the other also means of
spreading that a wrong by by force for example by military occupation what about money what about money come to a sensitive issue which is very hard to. go to the very details this is what i would call and would what courts international courts already have called improper proselytism is something that can be limited but one should be very careful not to limit the proper proselytism the proper missionary but when you refer to salafism in germany again there was one incident which was in the press. muslims distribute. the qur'an to the people in the streets i found nothing wrong with not read the koran and read the bible but it's not just the
reading of the koran i guess as much more about it in targeting the qur'an in a particular way is when you want to talk about the need to preserve our religious freedom i'd also like to ask you very quickly whether there is a need to also preserve. the right to preserve your religious identity because religion as we mentioned earlier is a very important part of not only cultural identity of any given country of its national identity and when you have other states you know or other religions coming into your country it's understandable that some people mainly feel threatened by a very national cultural and religious self is being diluted do you think this issue could be and should be addressed through legislation i don't. legislation can do a lot about this i see the fact i agree with you religion is a very strong factor in identity also very often in national identity and the
identity of people and their cultural identity i think we should see all this as a chance as a chance to learn also to learn ourselves but whoever does what of identity. can enrich this identity by speaking with others well as long as that enriching is not fueled by the power of money especially oil money dr roberts thank you very much for your time and if you like the show please join us again same place same time here are worlds apart. we saw across the ideological spectrum when president obama wanted to take us into
the war in syria the american people spontaneously rising up and say no way and we see the same thing around the negotiations with the run so this is a sigh of relief after twelve years of americans giving a lot of support for military intervention is there some kind of shifty you see in the end of this here is that it least on foreign policy people can say enough is enough absolutely and i think it's a shift because americans are tired they're watching tens of thousands of veterans come home and they know in their heart that they have created a generation of injured souls that were going to be taken care of for a lifetime they see that they see the costs it's time to our economy i mean we're still living in a recession here no matter what republicans on the hill want to say about about growth people are still feeling the effects of the recession.
he survived the atrocities. to make a final decision. has changed his life. around. by giving. love to so many children. my work. was very interesting because we were dropped out of the school or the roar. of there were shifted. degrees. do a circle i'm at a speed which you know just astronomical speeds as you know the travel very very says it just looks like a falling star that falls really quickly and then rises again what does it look
like a lot of just look like a star. breaking news on our t.v. it's now thought a terror attack in the russian city of volgograd could have been carried out by imam if she were killed by a suicide bomber targeting the city's main railway station. and the week's top headlines mass rallies in turkey to demand the government step down over a wide ranging corruption scandal are met with a tough police response. but we look at the stories that shaped twenty thirteen a year that's all cia contractor turned whistleblower edward snowden exposed america's far reaching global surveillance the old media overnight stations are simply a branch of established and. review leaks founder julian assange stalks to us about journal.