Yet further indications of the desire for Christendom, but at least this rendition recognizes that the desire for a comprehensive Christianity can turn into totalitarianism (something that neo-Calvinist promoters of a cosmic Christ rarely possess):
For more than 1500 years the Church was a major influence on Western politics. That is how it should be. Ultimate standards matter, and if the Church doesn’t explain what they are and how to apply them someone else will. It’s not an improvement when her authority gives way to that of journalists, advertisers, TV producers, cultural entrepreneurs, and “ethicists.”
That’s what has happened, though. Catholic social doctrine and the political views of the hierarchy have become a minor consideration even for the great majority of Catholics, who vote as other people do and in response to the same concerns. As a result, the political influence of the Church is gone except in special situations like communist Poland, where she served as a focus of national resistance to foreign domination.
Elsewhere, and especially in the West, she seems to have less and less power of leadership or even resistance. She feels ever less entitled to give offense, and can’t proclaim her teachings without doing so, so she falls silent. Nonetheless, she still wants to play a public role, so she has tried to stay in the game by cooperating with more influential players and identifying herself with their projects. Thus, Church leaders have lined up behind causes such as the UN, the EU, various social welfare schemes, relaxation of restrictions on immigration, and so on. The “servant church” has become a servant of others’ causes.
In some ways there appears to be a solid basis for such cooperation. Both the Church and the main tendencies of modern secular politics want a society that brings humanity into a coherent whole that eliminates conflict, fosters cooperation, and is concerned for the worldly needs of each member. So why shouldn’t everyone join together to bring that about?
The problem is that evil systems also share those goals. The communists supported them, the rulers of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World supported them, and ISIS supports them. Basic principles matter, man does not live by bread alone, and the Church should be very careful when she gives her support to political projects whose leaders are not guided by a Catholic or even humane vision. We need to think politically, and ask who is being empowered and what system of things we are helping to bring into existence.
Politics today is extremely ambitious. The abolition of transcendent standards in favor of technology and human will give it an ultimate significance it never had in the past. Projects such as the EU and Obamacare are part of a movement of comprehensive social reconstruction—“Hope and Change”—that serves our rulers as a religion. That movement is based on an understanding of man and the world that rejects human nature, natural law, and any transcendent standard in favor of Choice, otherwise known as the Triumph of the Will.
The result is that we live in a world that is evolving less toward the Cosmic Christ than the Worldly Antichrist.
But again, where was the notion that Christians should play a role in government before the emperor converted (how convenient, a Christian ruler and now Christians start talking about Christian society)? You certainly don’t find it in the New Testament unless you use fancy pants exegesis that lets today’s readers think they know what the original readers understood in the New Testament.