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An American Catholic Theocracy: One Man's Blueprint

Dr. Taylor Marshall, a Ph.D.. from the University of Dallas and a convert to Catholicism from the Episcopal Church where he was a priest, has a political dream. It's not Martin Luther King's dream, either.I do know a couple of conservative Catholics who would be sympathetic to his dream--but who would say it goes too far. Catholicism, they would say, is not a religion of "either/or" but of "both/and": there is no reason, they would say, the White House can't have a basketball court and a Catholic chapel.Seriously, this has to be the position of only a tiny minority of Catholics. But why was the link bumped to broader attention of more people by the National Catholic Register? As far as I can tell, not to warn of its flaws.

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Also on line, I read of the dismissal of Fr. Shea from BC for asking for a real explanation of the rule vs. womens ordinationBob Nunz, It may have been his earlier letter to the Cardinal about stepping aside from active ministry until woman are allowed to be ordained. Then there is BC's explanation that his adjunct job was changed to tenure-trackHard to know what it's all about. Last year Shea wrote directly to Cardinal Sean OMalley, telling him that he would step aside from active ministry until women are allowed to be ordained. Falcone says Shea has since paid a price for this position.I think the university, by any means necessary, is tying to avoid any kind of trouble or implication that the School of Theology and Ministry is not impeccably right wing orthodox, Falcone said.Recently, after Shea was told his contract would not be renewed, he wrote again to OMalley, and to other Catholic leaders across the country, asking why the church wont let women be priests.Boston College said Sheas contract was not renewed because his position was changed to a tenure-track job, a change the School of Theology and Ministry has sought for some time. But students in the program, including Paul Shoaf Kozak, are protesting his termination.http://www.wbur.org/2012/03/05/bc-professor-contract-ends

Folks, instead of trying to "sing a new church into being", why not just be honest and join the Episcopalians. Then you can have "SSA" priest/priestesses, and rainbow bishops, and reiki healing services, ad nauseum. They've taken the vanguard and shown the Roman Catholic Church what happens when you start chipping at 2,000 years of revealed truth, and replace it with the soup du jour. Quick, let's do one last verse of Kumbayah, just for old time's sake.

Folks, [...] why not just [...] join the Episcopalians. Anti-evangelization alert! It is not the Catholic way to thus try to push people out. You can put this remark down on your list for the next time you go to Confession.(I've given this response before, but I plan to repeat it as needed. Rob, this kind of remarks is not ok if you're Catholic.)

What Taylor Marshall speaks is the simple truth and he will be thanked for it, though it is simply his duty, by greater than you or I. I applaud Dr. Marshall for the faith, courage and conviction to speak the truth.For those who mock; you are yet another fine example of why the country is in the state that it is in.AMGDWill Hawthorne

If one considers that the salvation of souls is the highest law, then Dr. Marshall's piece becomes not only reasonable but attractive. Of course there are those for whom "getting along" is the highest law, but Dr. Marshall was writing not for them, but to encourage those who seek the salvation of souls before all else to live out their faith so that such a vision might actually be possible. If you find something distasteful about this vision, please stay away from St. Augustine's City of God.

While Dr. Marshall may seem "extreme" to some, the basic philosophy of allowing natural law and the kingship of Christ the King to rule society is not one that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church. In 1925, on the celebration of Feast of Christ the King, Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical "Quas Primas", which said this:"In the first Encyclical Letter which We addressed at the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. ... To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: 'His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.' Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. 'Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.' He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. 'For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?' If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. 'With God and Jesus Christ,' we said, 'excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.'" And again, this was in 1925.On the commute from my home to church, there are no less than a half-dozen billboards advertising strip clubs, adult bookstores, and other businesses that make their money by selling mortal sin. There is no way to avoid these constant visual attacks that corrupt the mind and temp the weak. Maybe that part isn't so crazy. Also, I cannot take Good Friday to attend the services and public praying of Stations of the Cross at my parish because my co-worker is taking the day off to attend the first home game of the major league baseball team in our town. To actually be given preference for days off from work due to religious celebrations to worship God and to spend time in prayer and contemplation would be quite nice.If you take a few moments to peruse Dr. Marshall's site (as I did), you will see that the content on his blog tends to lean towards education and catechesis of some of the lesser-known aspects of the Catholic culture that have faded since Vatican II (the blessing of the wine on the feast of St. John, for example, and Ember Days). His agenda for his site is normally not political but is in fact more geared towards exposing people to the richness of Catholic history so as to become closer to Jesus Christ through the traditions of the the Catholic Church. He also encourages devotion to the blessed virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His online ministry is definitely Christ-centric, and faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic church. I see his presence online as one that will enrich my faith rather than introduce scandal, anger and confusion to my spiritual life and jeopardize my relationship with Christ.

I thought Dr. Marshall's universal view of an American Catholic Theocracy was brilliant and closely resembled the vision of our founding fathers. In my opinion, the only problem with our founding fathers vision was that it was rooted in a Protestant view of Christianity. The view of Christianity not Universal but where each adherent is free to interpret and decide his own personal truth regarding faith, morals and societal good. The same view that has splintered the Protestant Church and produced tens of thousands of differing Protestant theologies and personal truths.I'm not blaming Protestantism for our country's problems, but clearly, a Catholic Theocracy would correct some fatal flaws. In an American Catholic Theocracy, human rights under the law would be re-established as those given us by the Creator for the good of all and not laws given and established by the Creator's disordered rebellious creatures for the perceived good of a disinterested few.In my view, it's the same vision of our founding fathers as established in the Constitution but more perfected.

If the only problem with Dr. Taylor's vision is the White House basketball court, I think that can be allowed if we get all of the other things.What people don't understand is that such a situation would only come about from a radical change of heart in a large proportion of the citizenry. When people bring up examples of corruption and oppression, they are not taking into account the radical conversion that must happen, in not only the average citizen, but also the clergy of the Church, in order for this vision to be realized. If we truly believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives for the good, how can we be so cynical? If we truly believe that the Gospel is the Good News for the human race, and the Catholic Church is God's ordained instrument for salvation, how can we find it's ascendancy horrifying? If a person doesn't believe that, why are they Catholic?Fr. Robert Hugh Benson had a similar vision in his book _Dawn of All_ written about 100 years ago (available online at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11626 ). I recommend it.Finally, while there may be problems in the implementation of some of the details of these visions, I fully support the idea that the Church and the Gospel are the true goods for our country rather than moral relativism and radical individualism.

"For those who mock; you are yet another fine example of why the country is in the state that it is in"I know that I mocked earlier, but I've changed! I'm all for this now!I've even decided that whosit's list isn't strong enough, so I've thought of a few more bullet points:1.POTUS would ditch the limo for a popemobile.2. The Lunar Touchrock at the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum will be replaced by a holy relic, namely, a joint from the left pinky of the Venerable Michael McGivney (no touching!)3. Judges will stop wearing black robes, and start wearing lots and lots of lace. Lots!4. Uppity women? Branks. Branks and more branks.5. Uppity preschoolers? Ditch the time-out chair and bring in the Judas Cradle.6. Crown Heights will henceforth be known as Marrano-ville.7. Hey, AME Church! You can stay, but how about ditching gospel music for polyphony? No? Tough sh*t-- here's your Palestrina sheet music.8. Judges? Hell, everybody will wear lots of lace! EVERYBODY.C'mon, True Believers-- help me think of more!

There is nothing that would radically secularize the Church more and faster than to have it playing at government with morality turned into statutes enforced by a Catholic police force. But it's a moot point. If we ever see a theocracy in the United States, it will be a Protestant one.

Abe, I'd love to join you, but today I've put on my sermonizing persona. Reading you almost makes me wish I hadn't, but it's too late now!

Dr. Marshall has painted a picture of heaven on earth, and though its realization is a bit fantastical, the dream is a worthy one. I say fantastical, b/c the reality can only be achieved by a citizenry that is devout and desiring to live in acknowledment of the Creator/creature distinction and with the acquiesence to fulfill the Creator's purpose and design for His creation - thus a world were those in it acknowledge Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The repercussions of this are as he described: with relationships on all their levels fulfilling a loving intent for all involved. He is not describing the relationship of the Church in the Middle Ages with their respective crowns. Rather, and I quote:"The clergy (but especially our archbishops and bishops) would not live like royalty in mansions as in previous years but would live penitent and poor lives like great bishops of old such as St Martin of Tours, St Francis de Sales, St Augustine, and St Bonaventure."The relationship of church and state (note the lack of separation) must be characterized by service. We are so concerned in our modern society about what we are going to get and the preservation of our 'freedom' - even if it leads to our personal and corporate destruction. Has anyone of our dissenting commenters ever considered that there is tremendous freedom and safety under the law of God? Thank you, Fr. for your vision, and I pray along with your for the fulfillment of it!

One possible correction...I am uncertain as to whether or not Dr. Marshall is ordained in Church. He was an Episcopalian priest and converted to Catholicism. However, he may not have joined the Church as a married priest, though he would be a prime candidate for it.

It would also take eviscerating the First Amendment to the Constitution. I'll let Fr. Komonchak respond to the theological points if he wants to. Thanks for visiting!

His vision is GREAT!!! Overall, all true Catholics should pray for all to be converted-peacefully-to the Faith and that all governments acknowledge Christ as King! Remember: Catholic prayers used to pray for conversion of heart to Christ's Heart-government and people. These truths have not changed-People CANNOT CHANGE the Faith because it is "too hard", not comfortable, or not popular. Jesus on Earth was not popular and died for [it]. May Christ the King reign over us all!

1. Dr. Marshall was not ordained (unfortunately, in my opinion).2. His family, per his blog (cantuar.blogspot.com/), belongs to a traditional Roman Catholic church by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (www.fssp.com or .org). May I suggest enrolling in the Confraternity? (http://www.fssp.org/en/confraternite.htm).

As for an above comment on the Church vs the State handling corporal works of mercy, well, it's not to say that government workers, themselves, do not care about others, but that the state constantly shows it's bias towards evil,eg, abortion. The Church is the largest private org in US to help the poor. The US gov has taken funds away for the Church to help those of human trafficing because She refused to offer abortion services/transportation for these women once in the US. We see now the US gov attempting to force contraception/sterilization, and so forth on us (payment). Programs paying for Planned Parenthood/contraception/poor sexual hygeine/education programs. The US gov can give money to its citizens and so forth, but there is much more to these acts-and the Church has rights to them.

What kind of economic system would this Paradise on Earth have?

One assumes that it will be based on magic beans.

Dr. Marshall's dream sounds scarily Catholic. It seems to violate the separation of church and State. As such, I am sure it is heresy to the writers of Commonweal.

Even today there is no separation of Church and State. They operate in the same environment and constantly bump into each other.Also, this guy has a vision of what his utopia would look like. Why shouldnt he share it? That certainly falls under his freedom of speech.

Seems to me that the folks here have their panties in a huge wade over someone's personal ideas posted on his own Blog. I read Dr. Marshall's "offending" post the day it appeared on his blog. I smiled.

9. The eagle will be removed from the presidential seal, and replaced with an image of a woman clutching her pearls.10. All pornography (eg. Swank magazine, Hustler, Sears catalogues, VHS tapes of old Magic School Bus episodes) will be rounded up and handed over to church officials for intense, close studyespecially the Magic School Bus tapes.11. MPAA ratings replaced with CNS ratings. The Land Before Time: Littlefoot meets the Logos gets an A-I. Harold and Kumar Go to Confession? O.12. Harvard University to be renamed Notre Dame, Notre Dame to be renamed Gonzaga University, Gonzaga to be renamed The Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts, Thomas More to be renamed Princeton, Princeton to be renamed Walmart. 13. Wanna ride the bus, ladies? Cover your hair.14. War on Drugs ended in favor of War on Gluten-Free hosts.15. Gideons Bibles in hotel drawers are replaced with Ignatius Bible; Book of Mormon in Marriott drawers replaced with cilice.

The truth from the beginning thinkers are back here -yuk!

Ms Kaveny:It would appear from both your article and the comments above that the Roman Church is badly divided to the point that it is now two distinct religious sects each bearing the same title - or so I assume.. You appear to be a member of one of the distinct sects and Dr. Marshall the other. Just out of curiosity do you claim to be a Roman Catholic in full communion with the Bishop of Rome (and Dr. Marshall is not); or the other way around?Or perhaps it does not matter anymore?God blessRichard W Comerford

"If one considers that the salvation of souls is the highest law, then Dr. Marshalls piece becomes not only reasonable but attractive."Only faith in and following Jesus Christ saves souls. All human efforts, including those of any church body, are to no avail.

"The truth from the beginning thinkers are back here -yuk!"Double yuk - without sprinkles.

Mr. Comerford - would suggest that Dr. Marshall and too many of his fellow faculty at University of Dallas are part of a sect. If you watch EWTN; peruse websites such as Fr. Z, read the Wanderer, you find that there is a tiny segment of the catholic population which has decided that the church of the council of Trent enlightened by Vatican I was the end of all development, spirituality, and truth for the catholic church. It truly is less than 1% of all catholics (big tent and the essence of the meaning of "catholic"). The most recent "invention" is to state that Vatican II was merely a council that was pastoral and enforce the "hermeneutic of continuity" - it brought no doctrinal change and thus they try to either minimize or revise the history of that council to fit their viewpoint. Have seen an excellent paper by Fr. Ruff outlining that these folks need to be honest about the "First" spirit of VII and their approach which can be called the "Secoond" spirit of Vatican II. Others just push for reform of the reform as if VII was misguided or implemented wrongly.

Mr. Jimmy Mac:"Only faith in and following Jesus Christ saves souls. All human efforts, including those of any church body, are to no avail."So you reject its claim that the Roman Church is the mystical body of Christ, its head is the Vicar of Christ, its sacraments sources of grace?God bless Richard W Comerford

16. As a reward for good school work, boys get to serve at Mass and help the priest in the sacristy; girls have the honor of hand-washing the altar linen, cleaning the sacred vessels, and polishing the altar brass candles.17. Everyone is free to observe the religion of their choosing, however only Catholics may hold government jobs or be elected officials.18. The IRS is in charge of keeping track of tithing.19. Prisons pair up with dioceses who help rehabilitate prisoners by providing them opportunities to serve and perform needed maintenance tasks in churches and on church grounds.20. Each Catholic has an electronic ID card that they sweep whenever they go to Mass, receive communion, or go to confession. The FBI keeps track of it to guarantee that no sacrilege is committed by letting people who have not fulfilled their Sunday obligation receive communion without first going to confession.21. In addition to sodomy, divorce, sexual relations outside marriage, etc., masturbation will also be outlawed. There will be no sexual activity whatsoever during Lent. 22. Marriage vows are updated so that the woman now promises obedience to her husband, according to Scripture. Civil marriage no longer exists. Non-Catholics can always go abroad to get married.

Mr Bill deHaas:"would suggest that Dr. Marshall and too many of his fellow faculty at University of Dallas are part of a sect."Well clearly there are at least two distinct religions sects at work here. Dr. Marshall appears to be in one sect. Ms. Kaveny in another. "there is a tiny segment of the catholic population which has decided that the church of the council of Trent enlightened by Vatican I was the end of all development"That may be true. I would not know. But would not Rome formally advise them of their errors?"It truly is less than 1% of all catholics"It may be; but in Christian history, all too often, have not the few been proven right?"(big tent and the essence of the meaning of catholic)."Is there an accepted definition of what it means to be catholic? "The most recent invention is to state that Vatican II was merely a council that was pastoral and enforce the hermeneutic of continuity. "I thought the phase hermeneutic of continuity was coined by the current Bishop of Rome Benedict XVI? Are you saying that Dr. Marshall and Benedict are in the 1% sect and Ms. Kaveny in another sect? "need to be honest about the First spirit of VII and their approach which can be called the Secoond spirit of Vatican II"So there are 2-seperate and contentious interpretations of the Second Vatican Council? Dr. Marshall and Benedict hold to one and Ms. Kaveny another? "Others just push for reform of the reform as if VII was misguided or implemented wrongly."It does appear then that the Roman Church is badly divided into two separate and opposing sects. Thank you for explaining.God blessRichard W Comerford

Mr. Comerford - will let Prof. Kaveny respond to your long list.In terms of the "hermeneutic" - my comments and reference come from an Advent address by B16. In that address (best explained by Fr. J. Komonchak), B16 used the phrase "hermeneutic of reform" and he went on to explain this hermeneutic as both continuity and change. But, in a footnote of the later, printed talk in Italian and then into latin, the latin appears to have used continuity and this was picked up and run with by many groups. Some argue that this is a mis-interpretation of what B16 means when he says the "hermeneutic of reform".Again, I may have garbled that without my notes before me but others and JAK can address your comments more comprehensively.

Mr. Bill deHaas: "B16 used the phrase hermeneutic of reform and he went on to explain this hermeneutic as both continuity and change"I understand that this strange word "hermeneutics" means the study of the theory and practice of interpretation? I thought that Rome held that God, the "deposit of faith", morality and truth are changeless? Are you and Prof. Kaveny and others of the anti-Dr. Marshall group holding that God, the "deposit of faith", morality and truth are not changeless; but that the Second Vatican Council changed them? God blessRichard W Comerford

23. Ecclesiastical honors in Rome will be recognized in the US by festivities, monument-lighting, etc.

Governor Cuomo Announces "Timothy Cardinal Dolan Week" in New York StateOfficial Governor's Proclamation Pays Tribute to Cardinal DolanOne World Trade Center Will Be Lit Red throughout the Week in Honor of Cardinal Dolanhttp://www.governor.ny.gov/press/03122012Cardinal-DolanDr. Marshall must be happy.

It's hard to have a discussion with Mr. Comerford, because his argument contains two fallacies.The first is his contention that the Church is divided into two sects. It isn't. What he is actually saying is an artifact of his belief that there is an orthodox "sect" that he supports and another consisting of everyone else. There is no reason to believe that the left or the right or liberals or conservatives in the Church have a system of beliefs cohesive enough where one could characterize any of them as a sect.But even if the Church was divided into two sects, his second fallacy rests in his assumption that if he can prove one "sect" to be unorthodox, it must follow that the other sect is orthodox. Or to put it another way, he is arguing that if one is truly an orthodox Catholic, one must necessarily agree with Dr. Marshall. In fact, Dr. Marshall's fantasy falls all on its own. We tried a Catholic theocracy in the form of the Papal States. That theocracy has the advantage of a mostly Roman Catholic population existing mostly in a time that was far less "secular" than our own. The Papal States were a failure that corrupted the Church. There is no reason whatsoever to think that a Catholic theocracy could work in the United States. Using a belief that it could or should as some sort of litmus test of being a Catholic is illegitimate.

The Holy Gospel says,"Make disciples of all nations,..teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I has commanded you". If enough people are converted to the faith, changes will take place in that nation. Changes that will, in due time, effect the politics of that nation. Good changes, such as stopping the practise of abortion, divorce, drunkeness, etc. Jesus demanded these things of the members of the Church, not the government. The government can only enforce what the people believe when enough people believe it. Most of the people commenting here seem to believe in a social gospel, namely the government takes over the functions of the church. Sorry folks, the gospel is about believing Jesus is God in the flesh, that he died for our sins, and that he was raised from the dead to give us eternal life. The secular government can only enforce what people already believe. It can't regenerate the souls of the population. Only the preaching of the true gospel can do that. So what Dr Marshall says is correct. A society that is converted to the Catholic faith will reflect that faith in its laws and customs. Why can't Commonweal readers figure that out?

If everyone converted to an orthodox Catholicism why exactly would we need a government?

Mr unagidon:"Its hard to have a discussion with Mr. Comerford"Sorry."The first is his contention that the Church is divided into two sects"Well, I did not make that contention. But if asked I would opine that there are a number of different sects all identifying themselves as "Catholic"."What he is actually saying is an artifact of his belief that there is an orthodox sect that he supports and another consisting of everyone else"No. Rome is divided into many different official Rites all with their own approach to theology, philosophy, art, music and theology. All are Orthodox. And there are many sects"There is no reason to believe that the left or the right or liberals or conservatives in the Church have a system of beliefs cohesive enough where one could characterize any of them as a sect."Of course there have: "A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs"(wiki) or "In the classical Latin tongue secta signified the mode of thought, the manner of life and, in a more specific sense, designated the political party to which one had sworn allegiance, or the philosophical school whose tenets he had embraced." (Catholic Encyclopedia) There may be dozens of sects, operating within different Rites, all perhaps Orthodox in the Catholic Church today."his second fallacy rests in his assumption that if he can prove one sect to be unorthodox, it must follow that the other sect is orthodox"I alone cannot prove that one sect is unorthodox. Even if true, another differing sect, may also be unorthodox. And, as stated above, there appear to be many sects in the Roman Church today - some identifying themselves with the political left or right. Today, IMO, the most withering criticism of the Papacy comes from self identified conservative traditionalists. "The Papal States were a failure that corrupted the Church."The Church, which has all too human men and women members, has always in a sense been corrupt since Judas and will always be until the Second Coming. The Papal States were a great success in terms of protecting the Pope from being carted off to Avignon, or prison, or being starved or beaten to death. The Papal States were also a tremendous success in terms of protecting the liberties and prosperity of peasant families. "There is no reason whatsoever to think that a Catholic theocracy could work in the United States."If you mean by a theocracy a government in which God is recognized as its head and its laws are based on the commandments of God then we have had a theocracy in North America since 1620 AD.God blessRichard W Comerford

"A society that is converted to the Catholic faith will reflect that faith in its laws and customs. Why cant Commonweal readers figure that out?"Yeah, but you see, I think that would be a really, really, really awful thing to have happen to a country like America, if not any country.

No need to reply to R. W. Comerford. We don't do inquisitions on this blog.

Mr. Grant Gallicho:"No need to reply to R. W. Comerford."Always a good foreign policy."We dont do inquisitions on this blog."Actually you are. Failure to discuss and clarify the intent and objectives of the instant article raises the question that it is really meant to identify, vilify and segregate Catholics who hold views contrary to the editorial policy of Commonweal. If this is the case then the article has certainly been successful in dividing an already deeply divided and indeed splintered Roman Church. Or you could just be too lazy to reply. God blessRichard W Comerford

Mr. Comerford,"If you mean by a theocracy a government in which God is recognized as its head and its laws are based on the commandments of God then we have had a theocracy in North America since 1620 AD."I don't mean this. But more importantly you don't mean it either. If we were a theocracy now there would be no need for Dr. Marshall's "vision". And since our Republic was founded by Protestants, there would especially be no particular need for a Catholic theocracy."The Papal States were also a tremendous success in terms of protecting the liberties and prosperity of peasant families. "And I'm sure that the peasant families of the former Papal States pray each night for the restoration of feudalism and Papal rule."The Church, which has all too human men and women members, has always in a sense been corrupt since Judas and will always be until the Second Coming."But isn't that the point about the State? Do Christians need to control the state? Which Christians? Yes, it would be nice if the whole world were Catholic. But if that were the case, my question still stands; why would we necessarily need a government?

Mr unagidon:"But more importantly you dont mean it either...there would especially be no particular need for there would especially be no particular need for a Catholic theocracy.."How do you know what I mean? Prior to contact with our European brothers our people numbered about 200,000. Now there are a thousand. A Protestant theocracy was indeed established. And as our people made the strategic mistake of converting to Rome we were on the receiving end of a theocratic inquisition which lasted until (at least we are assured by our government that it has ended) to 1976. [See. Mr. Google for a link regarding "Breeding better Vermonters adn teh eugenic wars against the Abernaki/French Canadians.] A government respecting the rights and liberties of Catholics would have been just fine by us."And Im sure that the peasant families of the former Papal States pray each night for the restoration of feudalism and Papal rule."Sorry no peasants allowed in our modern world. But actually there is a tradition in the old Papal States of reserving a chair or even an entire room in the home to honor the Pope when he returns. "Do Christians need to control the state?"You would rather have Hitler, Stalin Pol Pot or Mao? I am told by Chinese Christian refugees that some of our ultra cheap consumer goods are made in China by Christian slaves; and then when their slave bodies are too worn to work they are dismembered for parts which are sold on the world market. "Which Christians?"Indeed which Christians; and that seems to be the point of Prof. Kaveny article: namely that Dr. Marshall and company are not real Christians or Catholics and cannot be trusted or taken seriously. "why would we necessarily need a government?"We live in a fallen world. Every Christian Saint led a most imperfect life. A Saint is a person of heroic virtue - not someone who was right all the time and on every issue. (Think of that most wonderful Servant of God Dorothy Day who was very reluctant to see the USA go to war with Hitler.) Every Christian is a sinner who requires government to survive in community.God blessRichard W Comerford

Richard: You are not entitled to conduct your ugly little inquisition here. Find another venue.

Why the hissy fits Grant?

Ken: We do not provide a venue for theological interrogation. I know a lot of people get a great deal of self-satisfaction from pointing out and calling out the insufficient orthodoxy of others. They'll have to find that pleasure elsewhere.

Maybe I'm missing something, but is Dr. Taylor aware that there are many Americans who are not Christian (and many more not Catholic)? What exactly would become of all the Jews and Muslims and agnostics and Buddhists when we become a Catholic theocracy? The millions and millions of non-catholic Americans (many of whom have served the country, pay taxes, raise their families etc) might be a bit taken aback that their free country has become a Catholic theocracy. What would we do with them? Forced conversion, like in medieval Spain? Forced exportation, like in Russia or Cuba? Or maybe just the straightforward, no-nonsense German approach (ovens etc)? Either way, it could get expensive. Maintaining this pure Catholic utopia might make us broke, and greatly reduced the population. Is it worth it?

Mr. Cassey. I am sure Dr Taylor is aware of that and as what would happen to those members of other false religions they would be left unmolested while being restrained from publicly publicising their false religion and as to the "forced conversions" of the great Spain, I must mention that the then Catholic Country was ruled by Canon Law but, for instance, the Messiah-deniers were exempt from it.And as for Germany and ovens, as the redoubtable Mr. Henry Crocker III noted, had Germany the Inquisition, then the mendacious and malign Hitler would never have come to power; that is, Hitler was one of the, many, blessings of democracy and one man one vote.And let us not neglect Russia, whose democracy preceded Communism and the murders of scores of millions of Christians in whose memory, I am sure, there will soon be erected monuments and memorials in Washington

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