Religious Legitimation

I have always viewed religion, in general, as a way to find comfort, love, and meaning in all things. Regardless of name or following, religion, in my eyes, has been something positive and powerful enough to change bad things to good. Religion has the power to legitimize even things that are not related to it and that amount of power could become dangerous. Religious legitimation of the status quo, as written in McGuire’s, “Religion: The Social Context”, is sometimes, “the result of direct collusion between the dominant classes and the dominant religious organizations” (McGuire 241). Whether a ruler enforces a national religion or a separation between church and state, religion can set certain standards as to how a nation is governed. By choosing to govern a nation under a religion, the unity within that community will grow. It is easier to legitimize wars and new rulers when everyone lives their lives by the same set of moral codes and standards. The idea of Divine Right allowed monarchs to maintain their power, regardless of the decisions they made, while simultaneously preventing others from reaching the same level of power. Religion has legitimized, “slavery and racial segregation, industrialization and anti unionism, warfare and international policy” (242). Although we have the separation of church and state, recent debates about Planned Parenthood have made the separation feel smaller and smaller. It is daunting to see how much influence religion has had in history and it is even more intimidating to think of how our future in America could be affected by the same thing.