Sanctimonious use of religion – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Autor: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Letters to the Editor


- Photo courtesy Pixabay
– Photo courtesy Pixabay

THE EDITOR: TT is one of the world’s top ten countries with the most holidays. “Of all countries on the globe, Cambodia tops the list for the most public holidays with 28 observed annually. Sri Lanka follows with 25, India and Kazakhstan with 21, Colombia, the Philippines and TT with 18” – World Atlas.

Politicians try to manipulate voters of different religions by pretending to care about their religions and holidays. They attend churches and temples, don foreign garb, and bow their heads in reverence to show that they are empathetic and benevolent to all. However, by doing so they not only go against the very tenets of their personal beliefs, but they think that by proclaiming their embrace of other religions they will win votes. Is that why TT has so many holidays?

When politicians use the most oft-used term in political speeches, “May God bless our nation,” they think it is safe to do so because every religion has a deity, so they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Is that why they attend their opponent’s holiday gatherings, eat their ethnic foods, make speeches about what a great nation we are with religious tolerance for all, and pretend that they care?

I have news for those politicians who pander to religious groups – they are on to your political duplicity. Nevertheless, they will welcome you with open arms, accept the holidays you magnanimously bestow upon their religion, and still, in the solitude and sanctity of the voting booth, they will vote their conscience.

Furthermore, to make matters worse for these political panderers, religion is dying. “There’s a global, fast-growing population of people without a religion. That’s according to a new AP-NORC poll. Why it matters: Religion has long been a powerful force in society, touching politics, art and daily life. The rise of nonbelievers and people with no religious affiliation is diminishing its influence.”

Despite all that has been done to cater to religious groups, studies have shown that politics is the reason why people are turning away from religion. They see politicians as using religion capriciously by stating one thing to one religion on the one hand, and, on the other hand, their own beliefs contradict their pandering.

“Politics is an important factor, and growing religious diversity likely plays a role as well. Americans are far more likely to have non-religious friends and family members today, and this is especially true of young adults. There’s growing evidence that religious diversity undermines commitment” –

We might as well become a syncretistic nation where all religions are rolled into one. Nevertheless, that does not account for highly spiritual beings who do not ascribe to any specific God, atheists who have no belief in any God, or agnostics who remain sceptics. Or have we all become so politically abased that we will say whatever it takes to garner votes by utilising pretentious rhetoric?

While many blame the lack of religion for societal ills, BBC Science Focus found that, “If your family isn’t religious and you’re raised without any meaningful contact with a religious group, you’re less likely to believe. So the main reason for declining belief is that fewer people are enculturated and socialised into belief.”

Is the trend of young people’s antipathy towards religion the reason for the growing incidences of criminal deportment? If politicians and other leaders set an example of magnanimity and love to all – even their opponents – then we can begin to build a more compassionate society that will embrace all people, regardless of their religious beliefs or ethnicity. To that effect, I urge politicians to be exemplary by terminating their outlandish behaviour and embracing their opponents.


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