Spiritual Aristocracy

This is a quote that one of my friends posted on Facebook. It resulted in several comments from both believers and non-believers.

What’s your take? I tend to agree.

Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristocracy.
Rousas John Rushdoony

According to Wikipedia,  Rushdoony (April 25, 1916 – February 8, 2001) was a Calvinist philosopher, historian, and theologian. He is widely credited as the father of Christian Reconstructionism and an inspiration for the modern Christian home school movement, His followers and critics have argued that his thought exerts considerable influence on the Christian right.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, Christian Reconstructionism is a movement variously known as Dominionism, Dominion Theology, Christian Reconstructionism, Theocratic Dominionism, Kingdom Now theology, and Theonomy (see http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm). In essence, it is a political movement to convert the United States — and eventually the entire earth — into a theocracy in which dissenters, adulterers, sexually active homosexuals, some sexually active bisexuals, witches, sorcerers, etc. would be exterminated. (!)

One of the comments posted on Facebook was this: Because I am a Christian, and I am very Democratic in my dealings with others. I find that spiritual aristocracy is prevalent in church hierarchies, not so much among true Christians who make up the churches. 

IMO, to say it is only prevalent in church hierarchies is missing the mark. Many (if not most) Christians follow the tenets laid out by their respective churches. Thus, If it’s in the hierarchy then I believe it is also the persuasion of  the congregation.

Your thoughts? Is Christianity anti-democratic? Will “the church” succeed in its efforts to put a theocracy in place in the U.S.?  If not, why not?


6 thoughts on “Spiritual Aristocracy

  1. I just wrote a post about the church’s persuasion on its congregants. I believe that the church can influence its members and those members can influence government, especially in small towns like the ones around me.
    I am not someone heavily engaged in the conversation on politics but my observation is that the religious right has had a notable impact on the conservative party where it seems that vocally religious candidates are often in the beginning race with a supportive following.

    Many Christians that I know are also democrats. I think Christianity has many variances in its doctrines which doesn’t wholly support a conservative evangelical platform. However, I muse that if a movement intent on eradicating “all things Jesus” becomes too threatening that they may find a unifying agenda led by the religious right. Not even the moderate Christians are going to stand on the sidelines while Jesus is obliterated. Currently Christianity is too fractured to put a theocracy in place, but if ever there is a unified call to arms, then I think a solid block of voting Christians could greatly influence politicians.


  2. Hi, Nan.
    John Zande did a comprehensive post on this very subject.
    Creepy would be the understatement of the week….
    Even the Inquisition might be preferable than these nut jobs.

    To answer the question… no, there will not likely ever be such a theocracy in the US. or any democratic country.
    If push came to shove there might well be another civil war in the States before normal people allowed this.



  3. Ark, you’re correct — John’s posting does make one’s skin crawl. Ewwww.

    As to the potentiality of a “civil war,” I would like to think you’re correct. However, I do think Ann (US, above) has a point on the other end of the spectrum.


  4. “Will “the church” succeed in its efforts to put a theocracy in place in the U.S.?”

    At the rate we’re going, I do think it’s possible. I’ve been watching the development ever since one reconstructionist group called “Christian Exodus” moved to SC. Their aim — to take over the political system. Unreal what they managed to accomplish in such a short amount of time. Now the religious right have control of both Houses of Congress.

    “This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”
    U.S. Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT, (New York Times 3/23/05)


    • I agree, Victoria. When I wrote this, I think it was more like a remote possibility, but as things have progressed (especially in the U.S.) and more and more states are backing religiously-oriented statutes (with one even claiming the bible as the official state book!), plus the courts backing Hobby Lobby … well, the reality of it looms larger and larger.

      One thing is for certain. If this movement does gain momentum, the only way it can/will be stopped is if non-believers join together to fight it. Unfortunately, there are many who fall into that category but prefer to remain in hiding. We can only hope they will step out of the shadows on an issue as important as this one.

      Liked by 1 person

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