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Does The CHP Want To Establish A Theocracy?

Victor Vasnetsov and Vasiliy Polenov. The Church in Abramtsevo.
The new Parliament building, if the Christian Heritage Party is elected?
(Victor Vasnetsov and Vasiliy Polenov. The Church in Abramtsevo. Source)

1) Introduction

The Christian Heritage Party (or any political party which isn't openly Atheist) is often accused of trying to establish a theocracy. Is this accusation true?

Regular readers of this web site know what I'm going to do now: lick my annular! Indeed, how can we know if the CHP is trying to establish a "theocracy", if we don't even know what a theocracy is?

I will now attempt to distinguish at least a few different meanings of the word "theocracy". But remember that this problem is complex, and that I'm far from being an expert.

2) The etymological meaning: Government by God

The word "theocracy" roughly means "Government by God". It comes from the Greek "theos" (God), and "kratos" (force, power). The etymological meaning is weird, in that it has no connection with reality! Imagine, if God really governed, it would be very obvious! A drunk driver barreling down the boulevard in his car would miraculously end up in jail, and his car would be instantaneously parked in the municipal pound! (With a full tank of gas, an oil change and a full hot wax treatment, since God is not only infinitely powerful, He's also infinitely good!) In the same way, bank robbers, wife beaters, and the whole lot of criminals would be instantly put behind bars (and judicial errors would never happen!), and so on for all other functions of the government.

Obviously, this etymological meaning doesn't apply in this world. Too bad!

3) The racist meaning: "theocrat" like "nigger" or "dirty Jew"

In some mouths, the word "theocracy" is emptied of its intellectual content, and becomes a pure insult. Those mouths scream: "theocrats" when they wish to avoid a rational and respectful debate. A characteristic of this meaning of the word is that people who use it often fall into the very sin they accuse "theocrats" of having: religious obscurantism. They superstitiously believe that Christians are like this or like that, and refuse to confront themselves with reality.

The racist meaning is unfortunately present in our society, but of course it doesn't apply to the CHP.

4) The Nazi meaning: Theocracy as a "Gleichschaltung"

One of the worse meanings of the word "theocracy" is unfortunately one of the meanings that applies the most frequently to reality. Indeed, bad politicians are always ready to justify their atrocities with any argument. Human history sometimes seems to be a sad succession of bloody perverts who claim that "God is on their side", that they are only "transmitting orders they've received from God", and in the worst cases, that they are themselves God!

The German word "Gleichschaltung" (which can be translated by "forced synchronization") doesn't refer to God, but to the goal sought by politicians who claim to have divine authority. These politicians want to crush the intelligences of citizens, and "forcibly synchronize" their wills. This is what the Nazis did in the 1930s. (By the way, I recommend you read the wikipedia page here above; scary, especially when you compare that with what's going on in Canada these days.)

In a way, there is no limit to the harm that a government, claiming to be guided by God, can do. Nothing can stop it, neither customs, nor Constitution, nor reason.

Is the CHP populated with "bloody perverts"? No, obviously! Is the CHP immune to "Gleichschaltung"? No, since the CHP is composed of men, like all other political parties, and that men are constantly threatened by sin. See Section 4 of a Small Complaint To The CRTC About CHOI-FM.

5) The Atheist meaning: a country is either officially Atheist, or a "Theocracy"

Another meaning of the word "theocracy" is the one given by Atheists. Since Atheists believe that God doesn't exist, they absolutely reject any connection between God and Politics. A country, according to them, will either be Atheist, or a "Theocracy". It's black or white, no gray. And if you're not white, you're black.

Except that, as we can prove with our reason, if God is dead, nothing is forbidden. The logical (and historical) consequences of Atheism are just as bloody, if not worse, than the horrors perpetrated by the bad pseudo-godly politicians. See If God Is Dead, Nothing Is Forbidden.

Of course, according to this Atheist meaning, the CHP wants to establish a "theocracy"!

6) The meaning by extension: "theocracy" as a "dentist-o-cracy"

Imagine a country where all citizens would be poor and illiterate, except the dentists! For whatever reason, all dentists would know how to read and write, and would have spent many long years in university learning good notions of hygiene, economics, education, etc. In such a country, if the electoral system was well made, a large proportion of members of Parliament would be dentists! We would have a "dentist-o-cracy"!

If course, this would just be a confusion of causes. Dentists would wield a lot of power, but not because they have dental drills to put holes in our teeth!

If you think my example is exaggerated, imagine a case where a people would be morally very poor and illiterate concerning Natural Law. Suppose this barbaric people encouraged rape, cannibalism and gay bashing. What would happen if all the Catholic Priests in that country were well-educated about morality and Natural Law? Those Priests would publicly condemn those atrocities, would threaten to excommunicate all rapists, cannibals and gay bashers, etc. If those Priests managed to edify this people, a somewhat unintelligent observer could think this country is a "theocracy", because the Church plays an important role.

In this meaning by extention, the CHP is of course in favor of a "theocracy". Indeed, the people of Canada are in many ways morally illiterate. See O Canada, Land Of Barbarians. (Except that many "Catholic" Priests are even more illiterate than the people!)

7) The meaning of "Biblical principles" on which are based civil laws

Let's assume, for the sake of the argument, that the Bible really contains the written Word of God. (Indeed, if God doesn't exist, or if God doesn't speak to us, meaning 4 and meaning 5 are enough.) Let's also assume the Bible contains precepts related to civil government. (Indeed, if God only tells us what are His favorite colors for repaining church interiors, and what fashions He prefers for the Spring Line of priestly vestments, the Bible will have no connection with civil government!)

If the Bible contains principles on which civil laws must be founded, then these principles are either also knowable by reason, or we need Faith.

If these Biblical principles were only knowable by Faith, then in fact, we'd really have a "theocracy". Citizens who would not have Faith would need to be excluded, since they couldn't know the fundamental principles of good government. We could tolerate them (while waiting for them to accept Jesus as their personal saviour), but not let them participate in the government of the land.

Is this the position of the CHP? That's a very good question! Here, we enter a very practical and concrete problem, so everything I'm going to tell you, even if it were true now, could become false tomorrow morning (or the other way around).

As far as I know, there are currently two wings in the CHP: an Evangelical Christian wing, and a Catholic wing. For Catholics, there is no problem, since "Biblical principles" are knowable both by Faith and by right reason. The Ten Commandments are an overview of Natural Law. All citizens can therefore have access to them, whether or not they are Christians.

The metaphor I often use is that of a blind father who goes to a fireworks show with his little deaf daughter. If both agree to hold hands tightly at each explosion, and that there are three simultaneous noisy detonations and flashes of light, the father and the daughter will squeeze hands three times.

Good Catholics are neither blind of reason, nor deaf of Faith. On the other side, all Evangelical Christians can hear Biblical principles very clearly. But are they blind of reason? Certainly not all of them, but I know a few who currently are. See A defense of Philosophy against arguments by some Evangelical Christians.

So, in that meaning, does the CHP want to establish a "theocracy"? Not as long as the CHP is flying on both wings!

By the way, if I were the Leader of the CHP, I'd seriously consider proposing a resolution to add a clause to the CHP Pledge. Indeed, the five current clauses all begin with "We believe". I'd propose a sixth clause which could look like this:

6) "We all believe the five preceding clauses, but some of us know (and can prove using reason alone) that God exists, that we have a spiritual and immortal soul, that what we call "Biblical principles" are an overview of Natural Law, which itself must be the basis for all civil laws, and that Natural Law condemns abortion, sodomy, theft, rape, perjury, etc."

(Note that if I were to start a new political party, whether at the federal or provincial level, I'd go further than that sixth clause. See What is The "Social Kingship" Of Christ?)

8) Conclusion

Let's summarize. Does The CHP Want To Establish A Theocracy? The answer is:

No (unfortunately); No (fortunately); No, but we must always be vigilant; Yes; Yes; No.

Question for additional points: What is the probability that such a balanced answer will be heard in our anti-Christian media?

Appendix 1) Correspondence with members of the CHP concerning this topic


Mr. James Hnatiuk
Mr. Rod Taylor
Mr. Harold Ludwig
Mrs. Vicki Gunn

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