Theocracy was once only an intellectual curiosity for me. Now theocracy is much more on my front burner with the Lt. Governor of North Carolina openly for it. And Mark Robinson is a Republican. That is a fact. And Republicans are the only major party actively working to create a theocracy as a governing structure for this great country of ours.
What then are some of the finer points on what theocracy means to Lt. Governor Robinson and his allies in North Carolina? In their own words from the NC Policy Watch:
- Robinson stated on YouTube that the United States is and has always been a “Christian nation” and invited those who disagree with that premise to leave the country. “If you don’t like it, I’ll buy your plane, train, or automobile ticket right outta’ here,” he declared.
- Robinson vowed to “raise hell like these loonies from the left do,” a rallying cry that carried him from obscurity to Lieutenant Governor.
Not to be outdone, North Carolina Republican U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn wants to
- “engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.”
- Cawthorn also called on “strong, God-fearing patriots” and “the American Christian church” to “come out of the shadows.”
- “Look back into the Old Testament,” Cawthorn said “Look at David, look at Daniel, look at Esther. Look at all these people who influenced the governments of their day to uphold Christian principles.”
Finally, thank God, is David Lane from the American Renewal Project
- He says that the goal of the project was to “engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.”
You get the picture. No reason for me to define a Christian Theocracy that’s for sure.
What if this trio did get their wish and a theocracy ruled the land, would it be everything it’s cracked up to be? Assuming that it would be a Christian theocracy, all Christians would be in total agreement about what the principal beliefs of this theocracy would be, right? No. And absolutely not.
A theocracy would create a constant food fight between all the competing Christian denominations from the very liberal to the ‘conservative’ Evangelical Christians. This is why the Founding Fathers did not include a state religion in our Constitution. They saw all the pitfalls of the states having a state religion before and immediately after the Revolutionary War.
Who would then determine the beliefs of this new theocracy? Let’s take the question of under what circumstances a person could have an abortion. Would the “government” convene a Christian conference every time something had to be decided? Kind of like a Congress maybe.
If a conference wasn’t the vehicle for making such a decision, maybe the Chief Minister chosen by the ruling denominations could make the decision. Not every Christian though would be happy with the decision I’m sure.
How would any decision be enforced is an even bigger question. After asking people to comply doesn’t work, followed by stigmatizing social pressure, what’s left? Would Christian leaders have to intimidate its subjects like the Taliban has in Afghanistan by using brutal force?
Whatever enforcement method, it would be a mess. Just like democracy is a mess, so would a theocracy except that a vast majority of people would have no say in their theocracy. At least in our democracy, citizens have many avenues to pursue the resolution of their grievances. Let’s count the ways. Voting. Going to the federal courts. State courts. Protesting. An online petition. Administrative appeals to all levels of American government. Writing to the President and to your Governor.
Once people realized how few options they had for getting their grievances addressed, the initial sheen of theocracy would dull quickly. In other words, people would be pissed off and wishing for the good old days.
Wait, but we are in the good old days now. Why even think about giving theocracy a look then?
Ken Grotewiel is a Founding Member of the None of the Above Society.