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May 23, 2005

What is a Theocracy?


A government ruled by or subject to religious authority. — The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

 n 1: a political unit governed by a deity (or by officials thought to be divinely guided) 2: the belief in government by divine guidance — WordNet

...a word first used by Josephus to denote that the Jews were under the direct government of God himself. The nation was in all things subject to the will of their invisible King. All the people were the servants of Jehovah, who ruled over their public and private affairs, communicating to them his will through the medium of the prophets. They were the subjects of a heavenly, not of an earthly, king. They were Jehovah's own subjects, ruled directly by him (comp. 1 Sam. 8:6-9). — Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

Reading the definitions above it makes you wonder where Libertines get their definition of Theocracy. Following the vote to allow Federal courts a de novo review of the State ordered execution of Terri Schiavo, the New York Times (fee for full article) reported the following quote:

"My party is demonstrating that they are for states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing," said Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, one of five House Republicans who voted against the bill. "This couldn't be a more classic case of a state responsibility."

"This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy," Mr. Shays said. "There are going to be repercussions from this vote. There are a number of people who feel that the government is getting involved in their personal lives in a way that scares them."

Note that Shays is a Republican, which is why I'm using the term Libertine, not Liberal. Libertines are those that think freedoms comes only when individuals are allowed to be gross, immoral and obscene. I want to also point out that the legislation he referred to simply allowed the Federal courts to review a state decision that would end someone's life. That's an odd definition of a theocracy, isn't it.

While the term gets tossed around among leftist group like Norman Leer's “People for the American Way”, “Americans United for Separation of Church and State” and other looney tunes characters (there's even a website name TheocracyWatch!) None of them bother to actually define what they mean by a Theocracy, let alone explain how their accusations fit with any rational definition. I guess it's the Libertines new “angry” buzz word, used to scare people away from ideas they're against.

So how close are we to a Theocracy?

Let's take the least extreme definitions above: a government ruled by a religious authority. We really have that now since by any reasonable definition, secularism has become its own religion, crusading against any person or idea that dares to disagree with it. And secularism is behind a lot of our laws. When people get arrested for praying, it's an enforcement of the religion of Secularism. When people get arrested for quoting scripture, it's an enforcement of the religion of Secularism.

But notice what the Libertines claim ushers in “theocracy”: Allowing a Federal review of the state ordered death of an innocent woman. Using the force of the government to arrest people for reading religious material that disagrees with Secularism isn't called a Theocracy by the Libertines, no, using the courts for precisely what they were intended to be used for — protecting the Constitutional rights of an individual — is.

If we have a “theocracy” in America, it's a “theocracy” of Secularism, not Christianity. But look who uses the term:

“Many among our nation's rabid right simply can't stand the Bill of Rights. It is an obstacle to their fervent desire to create a fundamentalist theocracy.” — Jeremy Leaming, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

“Oh my God, we really are in a theocracy ... The president and his ideological partners don't believe in separation of powers. They just believe in their own power.” — Maureen Dowd, New York Times

“Robertson and other Theocrats scare the hell out of us. They want to turn a democracy into a theocracy.” — David Fitzgerald, member of San Francisco Atheists, during “All Atheists Weekend” in San Francisco this past weekend

“...the religious right is intractably hell-bent on converting the entire society and system of government in America to its fundamentalist theocracy.” — Carolyn Baker, Online Journal

Do we actually have Christian leaders dictating government policy? What I hear from those being accused of doing it is not dictating policy, but encouraging people to vote and be involved. If Fundamentalist Christians dictated government policy Terri Schiavo would be alive today. Her death shows that we not only aren't anywhere near a Christian Theology, we are neck deep in a leftist theology that worships death and obscenity. How else could an innocent woman have been tortured to death at the behest of her adulterous husband under the power of the government?

Related coverage: The Narrow, Stones Cry Out

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 23, 2005 04:51 PM

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Tracked on June 24, 2005 09:30 AM


Libertines think individual rights are absolute, regardless of mediating institutions. Anything absolute is dangerous. You would think they could see this, since they fear absolute theocracy. Great job!

Posted by: Jay at May 24, 2005 07:46 AM

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