Relinquishing Power

“Religion acquires influence when it relinquishes power. It is then that it takes its place, not among the rulers but among the ruled, not in the palaces of power but in the real lives of ordinary men and women who become extraordinary when brushed by the wings of eternity. It becomes the voice of the voiceless, the conscience of the community, the perennial reminder that there are moral limits of power and that the task of the state is to serve the people, not the people the state… When religion divests itself of power, it is freed from the burden or rearranging the deckchairs on the ship of state and returns to its real task: changing lives.”

Not in God’s Name, p. 236