It is an interesting question, but I believe, it is a vague question.
By democracy does one mean pure democracy or representative democracy? By secular, as opposed to what? As opposed to merely acknowledging a higher power, or actual sectarianism? The word secular is also vague.
When I say secular I mean three things:
- Having democratic values. (present day United States democratic values)
- Looking at reality (science, politics, etc.) objectively.
- Morality is more important than religious ritual.
Now, to venture on an answer to the question on the title of this post:
Pure democracy is unfeasible in this day and age because there's too many people for it and no one has time to be hung up on politics all day, so we have representative democracy.
Now the question becomes, does representative democracy have to be secular to work as opposed to the alternatives?
Well, in terms of Israel and the Charedim's power trip, and Iran and the desire of the clerics to stay in power, it seems pretty clear that sectarianism mixed in with government is not conductive to democracy. However in Britain, the Church in England is official and the British are democratic.
It seems pretty clear that religion in government is less likely to be democratic, but another variable in the equation is that a citizenry also has democratic values. The Islamic world has lots and lots of house cleaning to do in terms of their civil rights records and they gotta stop blaming Jews and Americans for all of their bull shit and start looking at how their dictators are all corrupt and everything.
It should be noted that while I don't see sectarianism mixed with government as a good thing, it don't mean religion being involved in a person forming a political opinion is a bad thing. I imagine religious people get their morality based on religion and that that's apart of what they vote based upon and I do not see this as a contradiction of democracy.
In the case of the United States, the oldest republic in the world, the U.S. declaration of independence says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." These are powerful words.
I personally don't think that a God is impossible, I do think it is intellectually dishonest to claim to know for sure if God does or does not exist. However to say that God could be there is a non statement; because anything COULD be there, I feel I can only accept as true what IS there, what can be observed and measured.
That being the case, it is a good thing for the government to recognize a divine authority that's higher than humanity, where rights come from, and it seems to me to be conductive to democracy. The citizenry in my opinion should also be secular the way I defined it with the 3 aspects, that helps a lot. I can't imagine anyone objecting to objectivity and no need to bicker about a ritual - the primary focus should be being a good person.
So in conclusion, in order for democracy to work, I think the government and the citizenry should be secular the way I see secularism in order for democracy to work, and a divine power higher than mankind should be acknowledged as the source of rights. There is no contradiction in this in my opinion.
It is my sincere hope that the Islamic world stops blaming Jews and Americans for shit and that the Islamic world starts brainstorming for themselves how to repair their own living situation.
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