Many Civilizations throughout history practiced theocracy. However, its none separation between the Government and the church made it controversial. Laws are typically decided by predominant religious belief, and religious leaders are given the power to rule. Many societies have drifted from theocracy in the modern world, but it still has a considerable number of supporters all over the World. Examples of theocratic states in the modern World include; Vatican City, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. As is with any matter that involves mixing State and religion, it can prove challenging to come up with a good decision on where to stand about theocracy. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate its pros and cons.
Pros of Theocracy
1. Finding Compromise is easy within the majority: The Majority of the people are brought together in harmony over the Nation’s problems. This is because all their actions and opinions are founded upon a holy book that dictates their responses. This implies lesser debate and more actions taking place.
2. Social reforms are easily created: People united under one Government and church can work together to create the social reforms they desire without limitations. This is attributed to the fact that theocratic societies don’t have conflicting social or political groups.
3. Operates Effectively: Directives in a theocratic society are implemented much more quickly. This is because they are usually authoritarian, meaning the leader’s decree is filtered down to the population and becomes law more quickly compared to representation in a democracy.
4. Easier control over the Citizens: Religion’s presence in the Government discourages discontent within the public. It makes it difficult for the citizens to disagree with government policies as they are perceived as divine guidance. Theocracy tends to be authoritarian, and the society may be complaint through fear.
5. Eliminates Political Polarization: In a theocracy, the society’s spiritual and physical needs are under the same governing umbrella. Even when there may be different opinions in society, the general public still feels like they are on the same team.
6. Centralized Structure: Theocracies operate through a streamlined system of governance with everything emanating from a central command authority. This structure does not give room to individuals to make decisions for their selfish gains because every action is a dictation from the rulers.
7. Higher levels of legislative compliance: People in religious events of any type tend to observe good manners. There is a general desire to follow the spiritual guidelines to ensure the soul reaches its intended destination one day. Because people feel there is so much that is on the line, they comply with all the laws and decrees from the Government even when they seem immoral.
8. It is easier to make allies with Other Nations: In the contemporary World, Nations need to form allies. Two Nations that serve the same Deity are more likely to work together as allies since they have the same belief system. That is crucial within the World of politics.
9. Crime Reduction: Punishments are based on the Nation’s belief system, and a citizen who commits a crime knows that his punishment is not negotiable. Crimes are not only punishable because they break the law but are also considered a sin. These things are not tolerated in the society hence the lower crime rates in a theocratic society than the Democratic Nations.
10. Brings Unity: In a theocratic society, people are taken care of in groups, and religion brings people together under the same umbrella. This brings harmony in public with the feeling of like they are on the same team.
Cons of Theocracy
1. Minorities are not recognized: Someone who does not conform to the majority’s religious beliefs is always at a risk of not having a legal status in society. There are also practices within a faith that may ban an individual from holding a certain status.
2. Allows Intolerance: Every time theocracy is put in place, Intolerance will be present. This is because the Government and the church are perceived to be one identity.
3. Can be viewed as hypocritical: A lot of religions preach loving their neighbors as themselves. This would make it difficult for a theocratic society to go to war with other Nations or protect themselves when faced with a threat.
4. Prefers imitation over Innovation: Anything contrary to the dogma of the religion is considered to be outside God’s approval, Theocratic societies are extremely static, and they rarely change or allow innovations. Technological changes in a theocratic Society are usually slow. In some cases, Technology and innovation are seen as evil and counterproductive. This holds society back from development.
5. Boils down to follow or die attitude: If you want to become somebody in a theocratic society, you must abide by the rules given. Otherwise, failing to do so may attract punishments or even death threats. It can inspire the majority to bully the minority because of their differences.
6. Not Fact-based: In theocracies, facts are not important unless the Government employs them to provide solutions to problems. People’s faith is based on the spiritual perspective of the rulers in charge.
7. Business must conduct under theocratic laws: Theocracy Structure emphasizes scriptural studying over innovation, creativity, or scientific research. From a business perspective, Women leaders are more consistent, innovative with good leadership than their male counterparts, yet in a theocratic society, their ideas are held back.
8. Fundamental beliefs of a Nation change: Theocracy rulers have the power to change the religious structure as they see fit based on the political needs of the moment. Such shifts create large changes in how people view the end goal of their faith.
9. Social and Gender issues are not tolerated: The Majority of the theocratic societies conduct their systems based on their Deity’s religious mandates. Therefore, if the mandates allocate certain duties to a specific gender speaking against them is not tolerated. Also, people are not allowed to function outside their social and gender norms. Doing that is viewed as an affront to their Deity, which they believe can lead to a social breakdown.
10. People cannot fully prosper: A theocratic society by nature limits how far a person can go in that type of society. People can work but fail to reach their full money earning potential because there are no many opportunities to earn wealth, and religion views material goods negatively.
Theocracy, just like any form of Government, has its benefits and drawbacks. It may seem like a good idea on paper. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before implementing. Individually knowledge about the good and bad sides of a theocratic government guides one to decide if one wants to exist in such a society. Evaluation of its advantages and disadvantages will guide people to form an accurate opinion on whether it is good for society or not.