More evidence that democracy destroys Catholicism

The election of an anti-clerical, pro-gay, pro-Muslim socialist as president of the once staunchly Catholic Philippines is yet one more instance of the universally observed trend:

  • Democracy always, always leads populations away from the Catholic faith.
  • Democracy nearly always energizes Islam.  (The only exception I know is Iran.  Maybe there’s a Shia vs. Sunni difference here.)

If salvation of souls is the most important thing, was the Philippine Church not foolish to undermine the Marcos dictatorship?  Filipinos would be much more likely to attain heaven in a dictatorship than in a democracy.

Catholicism is hierarchical, authoritarian, dogmatic, and difficult.  Outside an authoritarian matrix, it quickly becomes unpopular.  Islam (at least Sunni Islam) is egalitarian, demagogic, perpetually aggrieved–a perfect religious fit to democracy.

17 Responses

  1. […] More evidence that democracy destroys Catholicism […]

  2. I don’t at all dispute your basic points that democracy undermines Christianity (including Catholicism); not least because it involves putting an immoral decision making process (voting) at the pinnacle of evaluation. And also I agree that a state church is often stronger under a dictatorship (although not when it is communist).

    Nonetheless, if we are talking about Christianity – then Christianity is something which cannot be coerced (it must be chosen) – and strong state churches are often not Christian, but simply a part of the state – and in net effect strongly anti-Christian.

    Sometimes in situations of State-Church harmony, the mass of people are genuinely very religious (e.g. probably in Ancient Egypt and Byzantium – which is why their polities lasted so very long); but often and probably usually, the mass of people in coercive-chruch regimes are indifferent/ hostile to the state religion. As can be seen when it ceases to be imposed (e.g. in Spain post Franco, or to a lesser extent Ireland going into the EU mid-20th century – with *extremely* rapid and complete collapses of Roman Catholicism.)

    Motivations matter absolutely for Christianity (in a deep sense, nothing else does matter) – and for a national population to live an obedient and obervant Christian life *because* they are coerced to do so, does not have any intrinsic Christian value whatsoever.

    Conversely, it seems asif *some* populations living under anti-Christian communism probably contained a large number of secret and devout Christians (e.g. Russia and China – to judge by the extreme rapidity with which Christianity spontaneously re-remerged in both places as soon as the boot was off its throat — Russia experienced a massive Christian revival still ongoing; and there are now more active Christians in China than in Europe – mostly Protestant, because the State keeps-out Catholic Bishops and Priests – but if they were allowed then the RCC would probably be dominant in China, as it used to be).

    My point is that what is going on in The West is something new under the sun – there is no real historical equivalent of the irreligion and officially-sanctioned, increasinlg, increasingly wide-ranging moral *inversion* which we are experiencing.

    (We are, of course, for that reason, *by far* the most evil/ Good-destroing/ Ssin-promoting society ever. That is the water we swim in; breathe and feed in.)

  3. As A Filipino,I think it would be better for the Philippines to be part of the Spanish Empire again. Also,Marcos once thought of putting up a Family Planning Program similar to Obama.

  4. @Bruce C

    That Spain and other countries experienced religious collapse after democracy was instituted proves only that democracy is toxic to Christiainity.

    No one forced Spaniards to go to mass under Franco, yet ~70% of them did.

  5. I agree but I don’t see how Iran is an exception. Islam went hand in hand with overthrowing the Shah.

  6. From what I’ve heard, the Iranian populace (at least urban) has been getting more and more secular since the revolution. We’ve all been told to think of Iran as some wild-eyed theocratic state, but it’s actually pretty liberal by Muslim standards.

  7. Exactly. The fact that people will stop believing in something under one social context doesn’t mean they won’t really believe it under another. Society strongly affects what people find plausible.

    The freer a people is, the more it rejects Catholicism. This is not a point against Catholicism (Why should the truth be appealing to the undisciplined mob?); it is a point against freedom.

  8. @Bonald – “The freer a people is, the more it rejects Catholicism. This is not a point against Catholicism”

    I think you would have to qualify that to *Roman* Catholicism – since it does not seem to apply to Orthodox Catholicism, at least not universally (e.g. as well as Russia, there is Romania).

    Given that qualification – I think what you say is probably usually true; but I don’t regard it as a very positive attribute – at least not as it stands. The same could be said about almost any state religion when the state is dominant. What really matters (to Christians – although not to the other two major world monotheisms) is what is in the hearts of Men.

  9. Roman Catholicism is “orthodox” Catholicism. Eastern “Orthodoxy” is not. And in any case, Orthodoxy was much stronger in Russia under the Tsar than it is now.

    I’m glad God has given you the ability to see into the hearts of men and know their true intentions.

  10. Yes, I should have said Roman Catholicism, which seems to be unusually socially fragile. Naturally, I wish this wasn’t true. It would be better if Catholicism could thrive even in imperfect (i.e. free) social conditions. Note that Catholicism can remain strong even if it is not the official belief system (e.g. Cold War Poland), just so long as it doesn’t have to function in a liberal polity.

  11. Catholicism thrives both when officially established and when officially repressed. The “neutral” state is unique in its ability to eviscerate the Church.

    That said, it doesn’t appear that Catholicism is alone in thus vulnerability to false neutrality.

  12. *this* vulnerability

  13. The idea that there is a massive “Orthodox” revival sounds to be the figment of someone’s imagination. Most statistics indicate that while more Easterners have identified as Orthodox church attendance rates remain abysmally low (10%) lower than many Catholic countries like Poland.

    then Christianity is something which cannot be coerced (it must be chosen)

    It certainly can be- I didn’t choose Christianity- I was born into it. The issue of choice is a modern phenomenon.

    What really matters (to Christians – although not to the other two major world monotheisms) is what is in the hearts of Men.

    This betrays a very modern and pietistic bias against traditional religion. Pre-modern Christians did not put such singular emphasis on the interior state. For traditional Christians religion was a communal activity- an outwardly focused experience with rituals and symbolism. It was a good thing that in the pre-modern and other Catholic countries that successfully resisted modernism that Catholicism was the state religion as it allowed Catholicism to inform the entire society, religion was not something closed off in the private lives of some like is the case in America.

  14. At least Catholic countries fought against modernism and liberalism unlike the Anglican church which has been excusing some of the most egregious atrocities of liberalism since its inception or Mormonism which deifies classical liberalism. Let’s also point out that the Mormon church has skyrocketed in numbers in the Philippines.Shouldn’t this be making that country more traditionalist according to everyone here? Bonald, you go after the easy target of Islam why not mention the burgeoning number of Protestants sects in the Philippines? What about their connection to modernism? Is any country in the world were Protestantism or Mormonism growing in at the expense Catholicism getting more traditional?

  15. Are pro-gay and pro-Islam compatible?

    What is meant by “freedom”? As Zippy points out, for every “right” there is a correlative obligation or lien on others. Does giving somebody the “right” to push opium, or pornography, or SSRIs make people more free than if they had the “right” to live in an environment free of such evils.

    A possibility here, is that “democracy” just *is* the transnational liberal regime. When a country becomes “democratic” this just means it has been effectively conquered by the Western power structure which governs not only by force by by psychological and doctrinal warfare. In this case, it would not mean that democracy (as a system of government) necessarily undermines Christianity (though Plato’s anti-democracy arguments would also imply that this is the case). I am rambling now, but perhaps democracy itself should be viewed as a tool of the Western oligarchy.

    Also, speaking of Marcos, are you familiar with Yamashita’s Gold? That’s a fun one.

  16. […] has More evidence that democracy destroys Catholicism. And also energizes Sunni (i.e., low church protestant) Islam. Yup. Also some wisdom from the Laws […]

  17. In his article called “Catholicity Necessary to Sustain Popular Liberty,” Orestes Brownson says that people need a religion that will govern them. It can’t be Protestantism, he insists, because Protestants govern it democratically. He believes that religion governing needs to be Catholicism because the Catholic Church is the only one that will refuse to adapt its doctrine to majority opinion.

    He writes about a Protestant minister who preaches an unpopular sermon he knows he ought to gives. So his parishioners criticize it and assure him that, if he keeps preaching what they don’t want to hear, he’ll need to find another congregation to shepherd.

    What does he do then? He thinks about his children and his lovely wife and compiles with his congregation because he knows that he should support his family.

    http://catholicism.org/catholicity-liberty.html

    The Eastern Orthodox are autocephalus. The Greek Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox and so forth are independent of one another. And the think the pope is the first among equals, not Christ’s Vicar. So they deny that he has primacy of jurisdiction. By Catholic standards, they are schismatic heretics because they refuse to submit to the pope and reject papal and conciliar infallibility.

    Their belief about infallibility puzzles, too, because the accept the Council of Ephesus and reject infallibility when that council says that it teaches infallibly and that Pope Celestine taught with St. Peter’s authority.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.ii.html

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