Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Revolutionary Disestablishment of Christianity

Notre Dame Cathedral from the Seine River217 years ago today, Christianity was disestablished in France.


Anonymous said...

1636 Rhode Island disestablished ALL religions. First one to do it and so far no wild mobs in the street.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

If the colony of Rhode Island disestablished ALL religions, that must mean that they were ALL established in the first place.

If that is so, the colony of Rhode Island must also be the first to have done that, Mr. Anonymous.

BTW, a revolutionary disestablishment does not necessarily imply mobs in the streets.

Anonymous said...

Well, for us it meant putting a barrier to any religion/church claiming state support; unlike other places, Rhode Island never had an official religion or a state church.
Please overlook the verbal infelicities.
We are proud that no religion has ever been able to claim state support or government privileges and that nobody has been forced to pretend to belong to a church/religion to get citizenship, a job, an education/degree and no tax money for clergy.

Anonymous said...

Many people who argue for keeping the government and religion tied or linked claim that uncoupling them will lead to moral disorder/decline.
Is this your view?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Mr. Anonymous,

There are several aspects to the connection between Church and State.

One aspect is the Church as a check on the power of the State.

This aspect, which rarely comes up in modern debate, was more dominant in previous times. Its decline arguably started with the Protestant Revolution.

This is an aspect I strongly tend to emphasize.

Anonymous said...

A check on the power of the state? Why is that a good idea in a democratic state? Why should the clergy, for example, be treated differently from other criminals? Why should they get tax breaks unavailable to others? Why should religious buildings enjoy some forms of legal immunity?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

A check on the power of the state? Why is that a good idea in a democratic state?

Why is the democratic state a good idea, sir?

ceadda said...

Why is the democratic state a good Idea?

i would like to know more about what your views are on that.

Maybe it is because power is handed down from God. Not handed up from the People?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

The problems with democracy, especially modern mass democracy, are many. I would emphasize:

- mandate from the people empowers government, and hence gives more power to government
- short term oriented government
- the buying of votes for other people's money
- the illusion that we rule ourselves

You can check out some of my articles for more of my perspective, e.g.:

- Is the Monarchy Next?
- Monarchy and Democracy at the Top of the World
- Ruler vs. Government – Personal vs. Popular

Please also feel free to browse my other articles. They are accessible from links under MY PAGES in the sidebar.