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The blogswarm against theocracy... - Fluorescent Dreams Wax Cylinders — LiveJournal

8th of April, 2007

10:39 - The blogswarm against theocracy...

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Because sunfell so nicely asked, I'm joining the blogswarm against theocracy. This post is my argument against the possible rise in the United States.


No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

-- Matthew 6:24

Merging Church and State is bad for at least one.

Globally, few countries have the strict separation of Church and State that the United States does. When Church and State are pushed together, either the State becomes a branch of the Church, or vice-versa. In Western Europe, most state Churches are weak and mostly ceremonial. In the Middle East and South America, most governments answer to the religious authorities.

A country that wants both a strong government and a strong church must keep them separate.



My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."

-- I Corinthians 1:11-12

Joining Church and State is bad for most religions.

Christianity is divided. More than the division between Eastern Orthodox and the Western traditions, more than the division between Catholic and Protestant, the division among Protestant churches is wide and growing wider. Having a State Church often causes more, not fewer, problems.

The theological differences between the Anglican and the Catholic churches were small, mostly designed to let Henry VIII remarry. Yet the differences led to broad civil war in England.

Anyone who works for theocracy in the United States must wonder: what would happen if my religion isn't the one in charge?


Other thoughts

America is a strong democracy, but from its start, it has had a strong Protestant religious streak. Today, the vast majority of Americans believe in God; as long as we're a democracy, our leaders will reflect this.

Yet we have not devolved into a theocracy. And I believe that we are further from it now than we were sixty years ago.

In the past sixty years, our religious beliefs have broadened. We now have a more diverse set of beliefs: fundamentalist, charismatic, Mormon, Seventh-Day Adventist, Wicca, Islam, and other groups can be found everywhere in the United States. This diversity will help prevent any single group from taking control.

As usual, what do you think? Take care, all.

Current Music: Germ Patrol - Egg

Comments:

From:dsgood
Date:2007-Apr-8 07:05 pm (UTC)
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There's at least one other pattern: The state is officially secular, but in practice what used to be the state religion is politically influential. Mexico (which till recently had a law against wearing clerical costume), France, and Turkey fall into this category.
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From:chipuni
Date:2007-Apr-8 08:23 pm (UTC)
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Mexico:
I didn't know that Mexico was officially secular. But I looked up the Mexican Constitution, which has a section devoted to what "separation of church and state" means to Mexico.

France:
From what little I've seen, I thought that France's state religion was "We are not Muslim", rather than particularly pro-Christian...

Turkey:
Turkey is the best example of what you're saying. Turkey has had conflicts between pro-Muslim political parties and the pro-secular army. I want to watch what happens in that country.
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From:heavens_steed
Date:2007-Apr-9 08:58 am (UTC)
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I agree with you completely. I am a sincere Christian but I definitely do not want a theocracy. History has shown that when the Church is given that much power, it becomes corrupted. The Church is best left without the influence of the State and vise-versa because in the merging of the two, it will always boil down to wealth and power because that is what sinful humans desire, whether they be religious or secular. Human nature is too powerful and too influential.

The United States is the best country on earth for the very reason that people of all different faiths and backgrounds can practice and believe as they wish.

Oh and the scripture verses referenced, you used them out of context. Neither of those verses were speaking about the relationship of the church and government, if that's what you were quoting them for.
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From:davesslave
Date:2007-Apr-9 03:23 pm (UTC)
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I have belonged to Dark Christian for quite some time.

I like what you wrote, although what I have been witnessing take place in recent years has me deeply concerned. I am in mortal fear of right-wing christians taking over the government.
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From:chipuni
Date:2007-Apr-9 04:17 pm (UTC)
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I'm not. I think that we've gone as far right as we will.

The 2006 elections were a rejection of the theocrats, and toward the mixed government that works best for the United States.
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From:davesslave
Date:2007-Apr-9 05:41 pm (UTC)
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I dearly hope you are right. So many changes, both blatant and subtle, have been slipped into our country's laws, it alarms me.
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From:tgeller
Date:2007-Apr-9 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Anyone who doubts that we've moved *away* from a theocracy should take a look at Christmas TV promos when I was a kid. (Link 1, Link 2)
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From:tgeller
Date:2007-Apr-9 08:41 pm (UTC)

P.S.

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Of course I don't think that what's shown on T.V. = "our government". :) Rather, they're both expressions of common, popular beliefs.

BTW, that first link doesn't really get interesting until the last minute or so, when "the beloved Princess Grace" (!) tells how Christmas is a time when "all families" come together. :)
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