Monday, October 3, 2016

Monarchy, Religion, and Priorities

I have Catholic monarchist friends who have no problem getting along with fellow Catholics who have no use for Monarchy whatsoever. Ultimately, their religion comes first. The same is probably true in Orthodoxy, though I'm less familiar with those internal debates. That would frankly be more difficult for me. (Thankfully I don't seem to encounter anti-monarchist Anglicans very often.) 

I suppose the fundamental difference between me and those who are firmly committed to the exclusive truth of their particular variety of Christianity is this: while I understand that a Christian must put Christ first (that is, while there are non-Christian monarchies I like, I wouldn't defend Saudi Arabia from justified Christian criticism simply because it calls itself a Kingdom), I'm not willing to put the divisions _within_ Christianity ahead of Monarchism. I would be Catholic if I lived in France in 1685, Protestant if I lived in England in 1570, and Orthodox if I lived in Tsarist Russia, but I would not become Muslim if I lived in Constantinople in 1453...I hope. So, I'm a Christian first, but a Monarchist second, and an Anglican/Protestant (if Anglicanism is Protestant, but that's a whole other discussion) third. To the extent that I identify as an American at all, that's fourth at best.


Michael E. said...

The Mad Monarchist has a YouTube video that I found fascinating as a Catholic Christian:

Without in any way denying the Catholic faith as the true Christian faith, as opposed to any others, Catholic Popes and Bishops have supported monarchs and monarchists against their enemies or rivals--even when the monarchs or monarchists were not Catholic (or even any kind of Christian).

I hope I would have been Catholic in the 1640's, and I hope I would have supported King Charles I in that conflict, Anglican or not.

If Jesus said "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar" and Peter said "Honor the Emperor" at a time when Caesar the Emperor was pagan, I can see how that's in full keeping with the faith.

Ponocrates said...

That's fair. If a Muslim king thought it was useful to have Christians living in his realm, then he might provide a sector where Christians could live and practice their religion, but be contained from the greater Muslim society. I think the same could be done in a European country – a sector provided for Muslims – they would be second-class subjects – and contained in that area. Frankly, I'm skeptical that Muslims add anything to Christian kingdoms and they are better kept out of it. Why? Muslims don't recognize or accept limits on the universality of their religion – unlike Jews. They aren't worth the risk.

August said...

Given that most people are not smart enough to understand doctrine, practice is what matters most. We separate under pretext of doctrine, but what keeps us fragmenting is the diversity of practice. Liturgies held cities together.

Now liturgies, and for that matter whole denominations, function more like luxury goods. The are not understandable (or even affordable) to the entire community. People appear to assume they can read and interpret the bible all by themselves, regardless of their reading comprehension abilities. These are recipes for atomization.

I am sympathetic to your idea here, since, logically, it would result in the people of the realm acting in accord with one another.