As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect particularly with regards to my previous thoughts, where I wrote about the tensions between the church and state, that do exist to this present day.
After taking the time to reflect, I think that the church / state relations also vary from nation to nation. To exemplify we can think about nations that have an explicit dominant religion, such as Islam, often known as an Islamic State. Islam works in all aspects of life, living, including the conduct of Government and religious institutions. The agreement and disagreement of strict / moderate practices are another topic, but in terms of these thoughts offered as one example. We can even think of the various churches such as, Catholicism and Western regions including America, where there is more unison with Church and State. Especially when we hear political leaders say: God Bless America, or In God We Trust.
The interior divides / unions between church, state, religion and politics are experienced as we engage with the institutions and nation. Revealing links, unions and divides. But what I would like to add with the act of worship, or even how the various religions are practiced themselves is that religion / faith can only be enacted from the individual him / herself, as humans who practice faith it is important not to get lost, or entangled in artificial worship. This is the layer that could be derived from culture, traditions or customs. For example: the man / woman who is expected to dress up for a Sunday service, is and should be equated to the man / woman who is casually dressed to cover the body.
God wants to see or even be a witness to our raw faith, to come as we are. To know and love as we are without expectation. Simply put - maybe religion is entangled / entrenched in God + Politics? Politically and socially constructed. God could careless about this, and cares more about what is within - our heart!
Note: This additional thought is not written to deter ones engagement with a specific religious institution, but rather to reveal that as individuals we should be aware of socio-political influences, as well as understand how we choose to participate and levels of engagement.