Does Rick Santorum Want a ‘Theocracy’?

The following is from Scott Whitlock who writes for News Busters:

An angry Chris Matthews on Thursday denounced Rick Santorum, smearing the Republican as wanting a “theocracy” to “trump” the Constitution. The MSNBC anchor ranted about birth control after playing a clip of Santorum on “The Bill O’Reilly Show.”

Any time a conservative brings morality into politics, he’s a theocrat who wants his brand of theocracy to “trump” the Constitution. Liberals have been imposing their brand of religion on the Constitution since its inception. Everybody knows it, including Matthews.

Theocracy is an inescapable concept. The rejection of one theocratic government leads to the choice of another theocratic government. There is no escape from theocracy. Matthews is a theocrat. He just worships a different god. Politicians have been “trumping the Constitution” for two centuries, Democrats and Republicans alike.

The rejection of one god leads inescapably to the choice of another god. If any person, group, court, etc. establishes himself/themselves as the final arbiter of right and wrong, then he/they have assumed the attributes of a god. Thus, he/they are theocratic. Matthews and his ilk have limited the word to a strictly theological/political sense. This is not how Josephus (the person who coined the term) used the word.

Democracy can become theocratic if absolute power is given to the voice of the people. You’ve heard the phrase: “Vox populi, vox dei.” Those who promote a particular worldview and want to see it implemented socially, educationally, politically, and judicially, have elevated the majority to the status of gods. Their intentions are theocratic. Only their choice of god has changed.

“Messianic” is used in a similar way. While it’s generally attributed to a religious figure, it is often used to describe people or institutions that have salvation in mind. For example, education1 and politics and often said to be messianic. Theocracy is no different. Horace Mann and John Dewey are venerated as educational messiahs by the educational elite. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have been anointed as political messiahs. Conservatives have followed a similar path with Ronald Reagan. There are no messiahs in Washington.

Liberals like Matthews want to give to the State nearly total power of life, death, and control of property, domains that properly belong to God alone and are delegated to individuals in a limited capacity. The civil magistrate is given very specific but limited authority and power by God.

The Bible teaches a jurisdictional separation between church and state but not a separation between God and the state. There’s a difference, and our Founders understood it.

One becomes a god when he sets himself up as the ultimate authority. It’s the attributes of deity that makes someone god-like, not by nature but practically and administratively. The Caesars declared themselves to be gods. Domitian declared himself to be dominus et deus, “Lord and God,” but he wasn’t, no matter how many coins were stamped with the claim.

John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” At the Constitutional Convention, the elder statesman Benjamin Franklin quoted Psalm 127:1: “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” In the same speech, Franklin continued: “I firmly believe this and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. . . .”

Chris Matthews and his fellow-leftist theocrats are Babel builders while claiming to be “like God.”

  1. see R. J. Rushdoony’s The Messianic Character of American Education []