Friday, September 25, 2020

Without God, everything is permitted.

In fact, it will likely be mandatory.

Except for the parts that are forbidden.

If the religious entity ratified by the Vatican in its concordat with China is an acceptable way of "being church," then no Church-State entanglements are out of bounds.

A church that is merely the State's foot-washer, reciter of approved national polices and junior police force? 

Just fine!

Behold the present of the Vatican-approved Church in the People's Republic of China: 

Jesus Christ Executioner

Here is how the textbook presents the story of the woman taken in adultery: “The crowd wanted to stone the woman to death as per their law. But Jesus said, ‘Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.’ Hearing this, they slipped away one by one. When the crowd disappeared, Jesus stoned the sinner to death saying, ‘I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.’”

Christians in China are protesting against a textbook making Jesus a sinner and a killer. Actually, however, the incident is subtler than that. It is not, or not mostly, about painting a negative image of Jesus. It is about the CCP itself. Many CCP bureaucrats, judges, and police officers are notoriously corrupted. Yet, the story teaches that they should be obeyed. If “sinners” would be prevented from “executing the law,” including administering the capital punishment with or without due process, “the law would be dead.”

As told to Chinese students, the story teaches that the law and the Party are good and pure, and transcend the impure human beings who happen to represent them.

Even if the officers are corrupted, their decision should be acceptedbecause, honest or corrupted, they represent the Party, and the Party’s law should never be questioned.

There's a line from one of the faithful monks in the final section of A Canticle for Leibowitz, watching the triumph of the Texarkana superpower and its sidelining of the Catholic Church:

"Caesar is to be God's policeman, not His plenipotentiary successor, not His heir."

Meanwhile, back at the Vatican, our normally-voluble pontiff continues his deliberate silence as Xi enthrones himself as China's god.

[Editor's note: yes, Dostoevsky said the phrase I used in the title.]

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