Some folks that I read from time to time have stumbled on this site called Christian Government. Mike (among others) said some stuff about them and now the Christian Government types are warning their readers that they are being attacked secular humanists. Apparently all secular humanists are Marxists who contradict what CG calls,
“…the Christian vision for a free and democratic social order and a civil government committed to the rule of law and the principle of equality before the law. Tyranny never could survive against liberty and justice.”
Oh boy, I guess the CG people don’t do much consulting of their history books. Let’s not forget that absolute monarchs used Christianity to justify their rule in earlier centuries. This is one simple example, there are more of them out there for you to find. Christianity and indeed every other religion and some secular ideologies (Marxism, I’m looking at you) have been used to justify every rotten, tyranical government one could imagine. It reminds me of The Merchant of Venice where Bassanio says,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts”
Maybe appealing to Shakespeare is to secular for the CG types, okay, here’s a noted Christian thinker’s opinion of theocracy. C. S. Lewis, bring it home:
“I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber barron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.
And since Theocracy is the worst, the nearer any government approaches to Theocracy the worse it will be. A metaphysic held by the rulers with the force of a religion, is a bad sign. It forbids them, like the inquisitor, to admit any grain of truth or good in their opponents, it abrogates the ordinary rules of morality, and it gives a seemingly high, super-personal sanction to all the very ordinary human passions by which, like other men, the rulers will frequently be actuated. In a word, it forbids wholesome doubt. A political programme can never in reality be more than probably right. We never know all the facts about the present and we can only guess the future. To attach to a party programme — whose highest claim is to reasonable prudence — the sort of assent which we should reserve for demonstrable theorems, is a kind of intoxication.”
You need not be an atheist to appreciate the value of secular government. I wonder what Tim Bloedow will do with that?