John Merryman Posted about 2 years ago Is Islam tolerent religion or not?and do you think that Muslims are isolated? Ed, I think part of the problem is that there is very little consideration of the histories of the various religions, as opposed to the claims. It could be said that religion presents society's vision of what it is about, while government is the management of society. For its first 700 years Islam was one of history's most successful political movements, then basically coasted on that success for the next 600 years and has only really been eclipsed by the industrialized west in the last hundred years, since the fall of the Ottomans. So there is a connection between government and religion which goes to the very core of Islam. On the other hand, Christianity was profoundly brutalized by existing government for its first several hundred years, before being co-opted by an empire in decline. In the process it was converted from a grassroots, multifaceted movement, to a highly centralized one, whose function was to validate the role of the government. The cross went from being a symbol of triumph over suffering, to a war totem. So there is a very deep and abiding split in Christianity between the church and state that is as fundamental to it, as the connection is strong for Islam. It should be noted, for those agnostic in religious affiliation, it was the polytheists who invented democracy. When you have a theology where the Gods argue, it's reasonable to have a political system based on debate. On the other hand, monotheism is very supportive of monarchy and other forms of strong state power, since if there is just the Big Guy in charge up in heaven, then it will likely get reflected down here on earth. The logical fallacy of monotheism is the idea of the absolute, the universal state, as apex, when it is basis; Neutral, not singular. So a spiritual absolute would logically be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell. The forms we adopt are inherently subject to context. Religions are like language; Essential, but idiosyncratic.