Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Michael Barone on the Theocracy Silliness

Merriam-Webster Online gives us the following defintion:
Main Entry: the·oc·ra·cy
Pronunciation: thE-'รค-kr&-sE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
Etymology: Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy
1 : government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided
2 : a state governed by a theocracy
I am still trying to figure out why having elected officials who are guided by God is such a bad thing in and of itself. Regardless, this is not where the danger lies, of course; for it is where there is unbridled power available to those who claim to have a monopoly on the truth. Mr. Barone points out that this is not going to happen anytime soon in the US. Nor can it in any democratically-derived government that has a guaranty for, in John Paul the Great's view, the first freedom, the freedom of religion.

The thing is is that this hand-wringing is less about whether the US is becoming a theocracy and more that a considerable number of Americans are given to pause at the effects wrought by a, dare we say, religious zeal for denying the true nature of the human person. Here I am optimistic because the current cultural conflict is one of attrition, as Mr. Barone closes,
Those who believe in "family values" are more likely to have families. ... This doesn't mean we're headed to a theocracy: America is too diverse and freedom-loving for that. But it does mean that we're probably not headed to the predominantly secular society that liberals predicted half a century ago and that Europe has now embraced.
(cap tip: RCP)

Hugh Hewitt has already weighed in on this piece and has more.

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