Did The Catholic Church Really Support The Divine Right of Kings?
(03-25-2015, 08:34 AM)Ave Castitatis Lilium Wrote: Again, I guess I'd be considered a neo-reactionary by most people's estimations. But my views are closer to Carlism and or maybe integralism than anything Moldbug is rambling about.

You and I are in agreement.
Somebody with more knowledge about this correct me, but was not the divine right of rulers an idea promulgated by Eusebius while in service, if you will, of Constantine?
I spent time in libertarian circles, and it bothers me that many libertarians seem to care so much for the abstract principles of individual liberty that they are blind to the pressing matter of collective freedom, namely freedom from foreign bondage and the shackles of debt. If you consider the composition of the classes or interested groups in question, debtors and creditors, or rather the owned and the owed, there are interesting national (and ethno-religious) fissures, which raise real issues of sovereignty and self-determinism.

At this point, I'd eagerly settle for even a bad king if he were still our king and loved his nation as his own.
Divine Right of Kings vs Absolutism

A reader of my article wrote this comment

Quote:Your article does not show that the divine right of kingship was not a Catholic idea. Rather, it shows that absolutism was not a Catholic idea. You implicitly define the “theory of the divine right of kings” as stating that the king is infallible or that the theory is in use when a monarch abuses his authority. This is very strange and doesn’t pin down the real issue.

All throughout the Middle Ages monarchs, clerics, and theologians wrote about the sacred nature of kingship. The first Carolingian king was anointed and crowned in the same manner as King David in the Old Testament, as were all subsequent French monarchs (probably down to the Revolution, but you may double check that). Medieval kings were exhorted to emulate the rulers of the Old Testament, understanding their role as kings shepherding the new Chosen People, the Christians. Generally-speaking, all of Christendom believed in the sacred nature of the monarchy. The kings were called “vicars of Christ” (with a lower-case “v”). As you acknowledged, their authority came directly from God, but this was not believed in the same manner that you describe it. For medievals the idea was not only based on Scripture but also on the notion that authority must come from above, not from below.

I am disturbed that you felt the need to align the Catholic tradition with a document produced by Freemasons. America has never been a Catholic country. Protestants knew that we did not fit in here. I recommend the book Liberalism is a Sin.

Here is how I responded.

Quote:Thanks for your reply

I will admit that my knowledge regarding the monarchy and its history in the Medieval Ages is still in need of expertise. The idea of a monarchy is something that has always interested me and I consider myself a monarchist for most part. This is why this subject interested me to begin with.

I do believe that you are right that there is a difference between Absolutism and the notion of the Divine Right of Kings. However I believe that what most people including historians and those who use the phrase "Divine Right" of King  usually refer to the notion of Absolutism. In other words I don't believe that there is a difference in usage between the two terms for the modern listener and historian.

Also in regards to the Deceleration of Independence form my research I have come across several articles and some primary source documents that stated that there could have well been a Catholic influence in the Deceleration. This might not be true... I don't know I will look further into this.

Lastly thanks for telling me about the book "Liberalism is a SIn" I have heard of it but have not read it. I do believe that the book is talking more about doctrinal and theological liberalism though. Is that true? I will read it when time permits.

God Bless


I have a copy of Liberalism is a Sin and I'm pretty sure it's about theological liberalism rather than political liberalism. I haven't done more than skim it, though.
It depends what you mean by "political liberalism." That book deals with the idea that reason is supreme and independent of faith, faith is not necessary, and therefore one creed is as good as another.  Given this, in the political sphere it means that religion should be left in the private sphere, and the state and all public life should be governed solely by "reason." You can be religious in your private time at home, but not bring that into political life.  In practice, this "reason" is manifested either by the absolute and unrestrained will of the masses or  the absolute will of the elites who have judged themselves to be the reasonable ones. 

The Catholic Church teaches, on the other hands, that we are to ensure that "the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city" (Gaudium et Spes 43) and infused "into the mentality, customs, laws, and structures of the community in which one lives" (Apostolicam Actuositatem 13).  The state and civil society should measure their decisions against the divinely revealed religion or risk the kind of absolutist domination discussed in this thread (see CCC 2244 and Quanta Cura 4). 

So ideas of a limited government, whether it be democratic or monarchical or something in between, do not fall under the idea that "Liberalism is a Sin"as they don't necessarily violate the above (they may or may not--there isn't a necessary correlation).

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