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‘Constant’s take on the relationship of political institutions to social mores was similar to one of the main points Tocqueville would make over thirty years later’ (Vincent, 20).Alexis De Tocqueville discussed the separation between politics and religion in his second volume of .Before arguing why religion and politics should be separate, it is necessary to briefly understand why some key thinkers believed it was necessary for religion and politics to remain united.
The liberal approach claims that there should be a separation; because without separation conflict can spread among human beings about religion.
‘Although enlightenment thinkers and their precursors differed on many important issues, they were unified in their concern to wrest the notion of legitimate government from its religious, particularly Christian foundations’ (Mansfield, 191-114).
It is evident from Locke’s letter that he did not accept the notion that the church and state or religion and politics should be one entity.
In fact he wanted them to be as separate as possible so no religious force or power in government could rule the citizens’.
Constant believed that ‘religion cannot serve as a basis for morals, and the more insulated from politics, the better’ (Todorov, 197).
He mentions the idea of a public and private sphere, public sphere being politics and the private sphere being the practice of religion.
Locke mentions that if religion was forced onto a country, how would one know which to follow from the multiple religions in the world? Locke summarises his letter with, ‘the sum of all we drive at is that every man enjoys the same rights that are granted to others.
Is it permitted to worship God in the Roman manner?
The notion of whether or not politics and religion should be kept apart is highly controversial in today’s world.
‘While religion has often been ignored as an important political factor, it is becoming increasingly clear that it plays a substantive role in world politics, both internationally and locally’ (Fox, 20-57).