Week In Religion: Catholics = Dictatorship; Protestants = Democracy

Guest Columnist

sam fields

Traditional anti-democratic Catholic culture is, once again, on the rise in Latin America.
The kind of authoritarian governments it once bred and supported are re-emerging in Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia and Bolivia. And let’s not forget the coup in Honduras.
Unfortunately for Rome, this rebirth of authoritarianism is more often than not leftist and anti-Rome.

Faithful readers know I have regularly written that governments reflect the culture of their society
For 500 years, the most constant permeating cultural experience in Latin America has been the undemocratic, secretive Roman Catholic Church.
Transparent democracy–allowing for open dissent and a direct control of church power by the members–is a product of Protestantism.
The ugly truth is that, unlike Protestantism, democracy is not a core value of Roman Catholicism.  So why its obedient followers should feel any different in their secular lives? 
Coral Ridge Presbyterian is a perfect example. 

Notwithstanding troglodyte politics, it is democracy in action.  Dissenters recently started a recall of its minister even though he happens to be the grandson of Billy Graham.

[Special note to Irv Rosenbaum. I am referring to the Reverend and not the pro-wrestler.]
Compare that with the recent closing of 14 South Florida Catholic churches and shuffling around the priests.

Remember the parishioners voting on this? If you do, you’re the only one.  The Archbishop was the shot caller and dissent was not welcome.
Coral Ridge personifies the Protestant culture that most often produces stable democracies.
When was last time you heard of a military coup in Lutheran Norway or Sweden?
Unfortunately for the Vatican, most of new authoritarian governments in Latin America are not very friendly to Rome.
Hugo Chavez, the de facto dictator of Venezuela, is a case in point. Like Pinochet in Chile or Batista in Cuba he has effectively silenced his critics. He has made elections a joke. 
He grew up a Catholic and learned his lessons well.  The Catholic school student has used the teachings to bite his teacher in the ass.
Beginning in the 1980’s Latin America began moving in a democratic direction.  It was an anomaly.

We are now reverting to traditional Latin American governments headed up by The Man On the White Horse.

4 Responses to “Week In Religion: Catholics = Dictatorship; Protestants = Democracy”

  1. Mister Courthouse says:

    A sweeping statement like Protestants are more likely to be democratic is another example of your ridiculous anti-religious attitude. The Nazis were from a Lutheran country. What about that?

  2. Sad But True says:

    I usually don’t care for religious rants but this one hits the mark. It is undeniably true that the Catholic Church has a decidedly dictatorial bent and that they have been deeply involved in trying to manage political affairs everywhere that the church has taken hold.

    Their record for religious success in South and Latin America is huge. Catholicism is by far the most popular and practiced religion there. But the record of these countries for promoting governmental success has been abysmal. Few if any of those countries is known for their governmental excellence.

    I am a Catholic and I don’t like how our priests are told to insert political speech into sermons or to encourage particular partisan views among congregants. I object to that because it is beneath the religion to be playing such games when their purpose is to help us as people rise above the pettiness of the world. But old habits die hard, and the Catholics have been at this game probably longer than most.

    Fair comment.

  3. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Mr. Courthouse,
    Germany had a majority Lutheran population but the Nazi movement was clearly run by Catholics. Hitler, Goering, Himmler, Goebbels were all Catholics. Not one was excommunicated or publicly resigned.

    Nazism originated in Bavaria and gave it him his largest vote counts in the elections of 1932 and 1933. They were overwhelmingly Catholic.

    Hitler’s earliest diplomatic success was a treaty with the Papacy in 1933.

    Dear Mr. Sad But True
    All religions preach politics from the pulpit. The difference is that in Catholicism the message is not the will of the parishioners. It is the message of the capo di tutti capo.

    While I am reasonably sure that you were born to Catholicism I wonder why you continue to support a religion whose central tenet is all power and control flows from top to bottom and not the other way around.

    Last month Time magazine published and article about Newt Gingrich becoming a Catholic. That should improve the quality of Protestantism and Catholicism.

    Talk about your ironies; he did it to please his 4th wife.

    The article went on to say that for every one person becoming a Catholic four were leaving the Church.

    The truth is that most educated American Catholics think like Protestants and are Catholic by habit.

  4. Mr. Field is wrong says:

    All religions flow from the top, as in from the Word of God.