"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's"
- Mark Twain
Is a spiritual, religious person allowed to be involved in politics?
Well, it depends on which religion and also on which spiritual person we are talking about.
If you are practicing a religion that specifically forbids the political involvement, then obviously the answer is no. If you are a person on the path of spiritual enlightenment, the answer is also, no.
But for the regular, lay person, with some spiritual, religious involvement the answer is up to each individual.
Let’s talk a bit about the people that are actively pursuing the path of enlightenment.
The Buddhist discipline specifically teaches the detachment from the material world.
That detachment goes beyond material things and involves also all aspects of mental, emotional involvement with the material world.
The Buddhist student has to rise not only above greed but also above the notions of fortune, fame, power and influence. Political involvement is absolutely out of question.
So you will say: “What about the Dalai Lama. Isn’t he a political figure and very much involved in politics?” Yes he is and he is paying for that involvement with the price of his enlightenment.
The Dalai Lama is not a Buddha. He’s not enlightened – at least not all the time J
Same goes for the people on the path of Christ-hood.
In the Christian tradition the same truth stands valid. To become a Christ (enlightened person) you have to be in this world but not of this world. In other words – no political involvement.
What about the regular Joe, the one that goes to work, pays his taxes and raises his kids?
Well, like I said, it’s up to you. If you still have time and energy left at the end of the day and want to get involved in politics, why not, it is your right. My personal advice; don’t do it, or if you do run for some office, get involved by doing it not as a spectator / fan of politics which IMO is just a waste of time and emotional energy.