Obeying ceasar
#1
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I've always been taught to "obey ceasar" and live with non-Catholics and never to have a moral code or "extreme" views on anything because I should "judge not." The message I was given as a Catholic was: follow the law, work, mind your own business, and don't cause trouble. Afterall, Adam Smith said this was good for the economy and didn't Christ say to give unto ceasar what is ceasar's?

I started thinking about that quote from Jesus Christ. He knew that Constantine would convert and make the most powerful empire in the world Christian and spread the faith everywhere. Hence, for this reason, God granted the Roman Emperor his power. It was thus righteous for Christians to obey ceasar in Christ's time, because God had a special purpose for him.

But what special purpose does God have for regimes that topple legitimate Christian kings and replace them with non-Christian ceasar's? Would he still demand the same thing? I doubt it. The more that I look at it, Christ's words were spoken because he knew the role that the Roman Emperor would play in bringing peace to the whole earth, hence he blessed the institution, not necessarily the person.

But this wouldn't apply to Freemasons rooted in deism, would it? What right then, do we Christians have to "obey ceasar" now? I don't think it is holy to obey anymore, it is more like aiding and abetting a murder. And the people who always tell me to simply work, avoid "extreme" views, and obey the law? I'm starting to think they are apostles of hell. There is something sado
masochistic about being Christian living in a non-Christian soceity, akin to "bend-over, don't complain and no matter how perverse our actions: don't judge!"

I think "freedom of religion" for Christians means perpetual slavery under a non-Christian yoke. We can't survive in that system and the only way we can live at all is to have the protecting hand of a God appointed, Christian ceasar with temporal authority like Europe's kings and Popes used to have. 
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#2
This is an error of Wycliff, Hus, and certain early Protestant groups and has been definitively condemned by the Church.

This chapter of St. Robert Bellarmine's "De Laicis" explains this in more depth, including why God would give to dominion to those without the faith, etc.:

http://catholicism.org/de-laicis.html/8

As St. Augustine says:

“He Who gave dominion to Marius, gave it also to Caesar, He Who gave it to Augustus, gave it also to Nero, He Who gave it to Vespasian, father or son, most benign emperors, gave it also to the most cruel Domitian; and that it may not be necessary to recount every instance, He Who gave it to Constantine the Christian gave it also to Julian the Apostate.”

That being said, you don't have to obey any law that is openly repugnant to the divine or natural law (cf. Leo XIII, Diuturnum 15; CCC 2242).
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#3
(12-05-2011, 06:25 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: That being said, you don't have to obey any law that is openly repugnant to the divine or natural law (cf. Leo XIII, Diuturnum 15; CCC 2242).

Yes, I think that some forget that the Jews lived relatively comfortably under Roman rule.  They were allowed to do their thing without Rome forcing them to sacrifice to gods or somesuch.  The Jews (and here I mean mostly the Sanhedrin, for I've read that most Jews didn't mind the Romans all that much at the time of Christ) merely wanted a kingdom for themselves, not for the glory and proper praise of their God.

There was no reason for them not to render unto Caesar what was his.  Now, in a world where your tax dollars go to abortion, things are a bit different.
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#4
I made a similar post about a month ago. I'm certainly not for sedition, but I don't fully recognize the authority of most of the modern world governments. Their existence and most of the basic laws as well as infrastructure I acknowledge and respect, but theres too much corruption for me to be comfortable when paying taxes or voting.
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#5
Our Lord said we must render to Caesar what is Caesar's, but no one would agree that the martyrs who refused to offer incense to Caesar's gods was in the wrong. :) This must be our guide... we are called to worship "choice", "democracy", "tolerance", etc., but we must adore only the One Who deserves it. Dominion was given even to Stalin, so here we are. Pray!
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#6
(12-05-2011, 11:36 AM)seanipie Wrote: I made a similar post about a month ago. I'm certainly not for sedition, but I don't fully recognize the authority of most of the modern world governments. Their existence and most of the basic laws as well as infrastructure I acknowledge and respect, but theres too much corruption for me to be comfortable when paying taxes or voting.

I quoted a similar thought in this thread: http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...237.0.html

I took the pertinent quote from a comment in response to an article on Veteran's Day. The commentor made the following point:
Quote:Modern democratic governments, frankly any non-voluntary government, is not proper. It is not legitimate. It is based on coercion and de facto assumption of power alone, which is contrary to God's greatest commandment.

The Church has no special insight or knowledge as to when a government is "legitimate" or not for purposes of applying Just War Theory. However, using basic principles the Church can promulgate, one can deduce that in fact Congress, for example, is not legitimate.

He makes a good point. To my knowledge, the Church hasn't provided much clear guidance on what makes "legitimate" government. In many cases, it's obvious that the state is just the group of guys who can assert coercive power (i.e. violence) most effectively. So for instance, if there is a regime change in a country by violent upheaval, and an opressive dictator takes power, is his power legitimate simply because he asserts it? This de facto assumption of power seems to be the only thing that defines governmental power (with the exception of divine right, as embodied in the Old Testament kings and Catholic kings of old).
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#7
I wish so-called Catholics obeyed GOD like they grovel at Caesear's feet.
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#8
(12-05-2011, 06:25 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: This is an error of Wycliff, Hus, and certain early Protestant groups and has been definitively condemned by the Church.

Exact wording?
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#9
(12-05-2011, 02:42 PM)rbjmartin Wrote: He makes a good point. To my knowledge, the Church hasn't provided much clear guidance on what makes "legitimate" government. In many cases, it's obvious that the state is just the group of guys who can assert coercive power (i.e. violence) most effectively. So for instance, if there is a regime change in a country by violent upheaval, and an opressive dictator takes power, is his power legitimate simply because he asserts it? This de facto assumption of power seems to be the only thing that defines governmental power (with the exception of divine right, as embodied in the Old Testament kings and Catholic kings of old).

I'm no expert, but my reading of St. Augustine is that he sets the bar pretty low.  Book XIX of Concerning the City of God seems to imply that a legitimate government does two things:  maintains the earthly peace (which is the function of government in the first place) and allows Christians to worship freely.  Now, Augustine would certainly want government by Christians, but he doesn't seem to think that it's necessary.
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#10
I don't know about anyone else, but I feel like The United States of America is illegitimately occupied by the federal government. I word that in a way that will easily be misconstrued, but I can't think of any other way to say it. I think the country collectively turned its back on God around the time of Vatican II, what with free love, legalized abortion, ban on school prayer, "british invasion", woodstock, feminism, etc.. I could go on forever.
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