This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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The relations between Church and State

In attempting to reconcile the ends of man with the ends of the State, we are brought to an examination of the proper relationship between the Church and the State. We have already dealt with various aspects of this problem in another section of this manual, but will provide a few remarks and citations here that relate directly to Catholic Social Teaching.

The problem with liberal secularism, which is the governing mentality in most modern States, including the U.S., is that such regimes attempt to take a stance of indifference toward religion. Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, a purely negative stance toward religion is not in reality a neutral one, as is supposed; to stand aloof and refuse to make affirmative statements about religion inevitably leads to a positive exclusion of religion from all public considerations, even if this was not necessarily the intention the founders of such regimes. On this point, Leo XIII is in agreement:

“To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name.”[1]

In short, liberal regimes are based on the absurd idea that a man can have freedom of religion while his neighbor has an equal share of freedom from religion, as if the two ought never to come into conflict. For this to be true, the two men would essentially have to live entirely in isolation from one another, which is to say they would have to cease to live in the same community.

The expression of one’s religion will always come into direct conflict with the freedom from religion. It is of its very nature to find social expression. There is no such thing as “private religion.” Thus, to create a society that exists free for, and at the same time free from, religion is impossible. For the State to choose not to choose is for it to adopt a negative position against all positive positions, and this negative position is atheism. Even agnosticism, for the State, is not a possibility.

[1] ID, 31.

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