Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Separation of Church and State: You're Doing It Wrong

The Malaysian government normally favors majority Islam over Hindu and Buddhist minorities (strike 1.) The government then builds a Hindu temple in a Muslim neighborhood (strike 2.) The government then punishes Muslims who protest it (strike 3.) Full story is here. Not surprising that it's not working out well for them.

It would be useful for American social conservatives to read stories like this; maybe when you view this kind of conflict from the outside and don't identify with any of the factions it's easier to see how badly flawed such a system is. Malaysians might be better off if they (and their government) recognized that tolerance and modernity don't mean occasionally using the state to force the majority to accept the minority religion in their midst. Just give people freedom to worship as they please and don't get the state involved. It's actually quite easy!

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