Is the secular state at risk?

Secularity is being threatened by a bill proposed by a Morena Senator

Is the secular state at risk?
Over 150 years ago, President Benito Juárez separated the state from the church - Photo: Elizabeth Ruiz/EFE
English 19/12/2019 09:49 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:49
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The essential ingredient in the modern Mexican government is its secularism, which was established by President Benito Juárez, who led the country’s so-called Second Transformation. Nevertheless, secularity is being threatened by a bill proposed by a Morena Senator, which proposes a reform to the Religious Associations and Public Cult Law.

The project proposes changes that would reverse the separation between the government and churches. It also allows the religious organizations to use mass media and to establish work relations with the government, moreover, it proposed that any government official can attend public religious events in their role as government officials.

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This federal government has shown religious inclusiveness, especially in regards to Evangelists groups, which have attracted a large number of people. These groups have debuted in mass media and in businesses with investments in the real state sector; furthermore, it had an impact on politics through the creation of its political parties or their ties to politicians. For example, one of the most public cases was the fact the Light of the World Church was allowed to host a party for its leader Naasón Joaquín García, who was arrested by U.S. authorities after being accused of pedophilia, at the Palace of Fine Arts. The celebration was attended by several lawmakers and senators.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who admires Juárez but at the same time agrees with Evangelists, summarized things in a biblical phrase: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," with which Jesus separated the worldly and celestial matters.

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Yesterday, President López Obrador reaffirmed his defense of the secular state and the way in which it has been established in the Constitution. He immediately received support from the Catholic and Evangelical churches, which expressed the need to maintain a separation between the civil and religious spheres, although they are in favor of the defense of national unity, which can be achieved through guaranteeing freedom, a factor that could be used to pacify the country.

It is plausible that the Mexican state vindicates the secularity principle. Which was established over 150 years ago; nevertheless, the possibility of reviewing the relationship with the churches shouldn’t be ruled out, as they could make changes in the face of the situation Mexico is going through.

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