Is the United States an Infant Theocracy?
The word theocracy is derived from two Greek words meaning “rule by the deity.” Throughout history theocracies have gained control of nations for short periods of time. Among Christian societies the most notable theocracies were the Papal States under various popes and in the Muslim world a theocracy was established by the prophet Muhammad in Medina in 622. So the religious fundamentalism that gives rise to theocracies is not something new to our culture. No matter what the belief system or religion, theocracies all have similar characteristics.
1. The society and its leaders believe they have a divine right.
2. The divine mandate is interpreted in specific political contexts.
3. Civil rights and a code of conduct are dictated by religious dogma.
4. Individual aspirations are subordinate to the priorities of the state/religion.
5. Domestic and foreign policy is guided by a religious ideology.
6. Leaders are part of a theologically trained elite.
7. Leadership is limited by religious dogma and is rarely skilled in economics.
The framers of the United States Constitution were keenly aware of problems associated with the mixing of church and state. Perhaps we Americans should once again take a look at the vision the framers of the constitution had when they added the 1st Amendment and see if that vision resembles the country we have today?
Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.