Church has moral influence over practices of the State
May 28, 2013
In my letter of May 17, I pointed out that public figures in Bermuda have recently made statements consistent with secular liberalism, a political subcategory distinct from both secularism and liberalism, readily characterised as overtly hostile to the Christian world view.
Mr Starling’s letter of May 22 completely ignored this, offering instead a straw man rebuttal evidencing the presence of two things in Bermuda’s history, neither of which were denied in my letter: political secularism and the principle of a separation between Church and State.
I merely observed that nowhere in Bermuda’s laws or Constitution is a separation expressly acknowledged or defined. Moreover, certain people motivated by an ideology hostile to Christianity occasionally make appeals to this principle in hopes of misleading others into believing the Bermuda Government is constitutionally obliged to expel Christian morality from all laws and policies.
Of course the principle of a separation of Church and State exists but contrary to Starling’s bizarre assertion, it has not “existed in probably every single civilisation and society”. It is a consequence of two events unique to Christianity: the relationship established between man and God through the person of Christ; and His founding of the Church.
The unification of Church and State was common among pagan societies because they tended to deify their living rulers. For example, so long as people acknowledged no higher power than the will of the divine emperor, religious tolerance and freedom of worship was well-established under Roman rule.
Christians were deemed enemies of the State and many martyred because they insisted all humanity owes allegiance to an authority higher than the emperor, namely the divine person of Jesus Christ.
As Christianity spread, the established Catholic Church recognised that it must always remain separate and distinct from the State, so as to safeguard the eternal truths of Christian dogma from political corruption. Starling rightly acknowledges this truth, but perverts it in favour of secular liberalism, concluding it mandates the elimination of all vestiges of Christian content from Government. The complete opposite is true.
The principle of separation of Church and State exists to protect the profound responsibility the Church has in exercising its direct moral influence over the laws and practices of the State — the very thing Mr Starling wants to eradicate.
GENESIUS OF BERMUDA