By Matthew Clark
For centuries in Europe the church, and the state, were interconnected. Bishops, Cardinals, priests, the Pope, could, and would, weigh in on political matters which resulted in legal consequences. In many cases the church had it's own courts. Perhaps the most (in)famous example of this situation was the Spanish Inquisition.
Conversely political leaders often had the ability to intervene in matters of religion. Monarchs of England, France, Spain, to name just three nations, demanded, and received, the privilege of vetoing papal nominated bishops within their realm.
Christianity received much needed revitalization during the Protestant Reformation, followed by the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation. Christians focused on trying to find their Lords message, while attempting to live according to that message with renewed vigour. Unfortunately, because the new denominations continued the practice of aligning with the state (i.e. Presbyterianism in Scotland, Lutheran in some German nations, Church of England in England), while Roman Catholics continued their centuries old practice of state alliance, the result was a proliferation of war. Examples are the 1638 Bishops War between Scotland and England (despite having the same monarch) over a line in the Royal Prayer Book. France had an awful 16th century civil war contested by Calvinist Huguenots against Roman Catholics. Worst of all was the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) where Europeans turned Germany into a wasteland. These are just 3 instances among many which inflicted Europe at that time.
In each of these cases disputes amongst Christians were turned into murderous conflicts because armies under state jurisdiction became involved in religious matters.
To behave in such a manner, in the name of a benevolent, just God, was a plight upon European civilization. Europeans started to rebel at this obvious violation of their saviours message. The most famous critic of this situation was Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), son of a treasury official, and a mother who came from the lowest rank of French nobility. Arouet would become a prolific writer, taking the pen name of 'Voltaire.'
Voltaire became a great champion of separating church from state, religious toleration, and ending superstitious practices. Some historians make the claim he was an atheist. This ignores his deathbed statement, "I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition."
While Voltaire, and other enlightenment philosophers called for the separation of church and state, some men in the new world were making it so. Thomas Jefferson, writer of (most) the Declaration of Independence, later 3rd president of the United States, led the cause among the American Revolutionary leaders to separate church from state. Jefferson was successful. Many decades later, Canada's founding fathers would agree that Canada, while not separating religion from the government, would nevertheless have no official government backed denomination.
Over the course of the 19th, 20th, and early 21st century(s), those Christian denominations which still aligned with their nations government (Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, Church of Norway etc.) have fared poorly. In many, if not most, cases their congregations have rejected the teachings, often turned banal due to politicization, of their clergy. On the other hand those Christian churches who have achieved independence have a heightened vitality vis a vis the establishment/traditional denominations. This is particularly true of the evangelical movement.
It is a peculiar trait of (fallible) human beings that as they correct one fault, they often depart upon another.
Scientific knowledge started to expand in western nations with the commencement of the Renaissance. This knowledge was generally acquired through private experimentation, which was then shared with the public through written and, or, verbal presentation. Eventually, as the Westerners expanded their influence around the globe, scientific knowledge became an international possession. It was discussed, and practiced, worldwide.
Many were the benefits in the acquisition of scientific intellect. Business, economics, medicine, everyday pleasures, all were often increased due to science. Above all, the ability to wage war successfully, was increased through sound scientific achievement. Rifles that could fire faster, and more accurately, artillery with longer range, as well as a myriad of other applications, resulted in successful military encounters. Since governments wage war to increase the nations influence (and also their own), they were all soon involved in promoting scientific discovery.
This alliance between science and government had the same effect as the alliance between state, and religion. In the latter part of the 19th century Europeans conducted wars of conquest around the globe. These imperial wars transitioned into outright Armageddon during the 20th century, with the horrors of World War One, and World War Two. By the mid 1950's the countries with the most advanced scientists were developing weapons of mass destruction, such as Fusion Hydrogen bombs, all at the behest of national governments.
While war provided the first marriage between science and the state, that relationship was expanded into many other endeavors. Chief among them was medicine.
Throughout the 20th century, into the 21st, governments all over the globe gained control over their nations health infrastructure. They also were successful in gaining the legal power to regulate it. Earlier accomplishments of medical practitioners, such as the Polio vaccine, were mandated into coercive universal injections. As had occurred during the alliance between state and church, so now transpired between state, and science. Devastating wars, and the suppression of individual liberty. Supposedly this was being enacted to benefit mankind.
Philosophers such as Daniel Dennett justified this new influence for science by claiming, "But when it comes to facts, and explanation of facts, science is the only game in town." Theologian John Haught countered by pointing out, "This argument is self refuting since it requires it's adherents to assent to beliefs that violate it's own stated requirements for knowledge!" ( A rejection of the practice of always questioning scientific findings to make sure they are right).
Events over the last three to three and a half years (late 2019 -2023), indicate, it can be argued, that most national governments and scientific institutions have too close a relationship. If, as happened in medieval Europe, the pursuit of God's salvation could be distorted by a partnership of church and state, so it can be, and is, between science and government. For all their genius, scientists are very fallible. Politicians, constantly accumulating power, and influencing their comrades to do so as well, are particularly fallible. Combining these two professions has resulted in economically devastating lockdowns of society, the circumventing of proven medical procedure in order to universally apply medically unproven vaccines in a manner coercive to individual liberty. There is evidence that the physical effect of these vaccines is counter productive to the patients well being, yet this is difficult to prove as records on this issue are instituted, and stored, haphazardly. (Something to hide?) Furthermore the vaccines neither prevent acquisition, or transmission, of the malady they are suppose to extinguish. To add insult to injury scientists, and politicians, want to inflict on the population a draconian digital passport to ensure compliance of their edicts.
Meanwhile, in areas such as the Ukraine, Taiwan, the Chinese Indian border, nuclear capable forces face each other militarily, the use of these scientifically invented abhorrents only a finger push away from being a reality, and with it, genocidal destruction.
In the 18th century, faced with the crisis of perpetual warfare, Westerners decided to pursue God's grace separate from the coercive affairs of the state. The result was a flourishing of their civilization to a level never previously achieved. At almost the quarter mark of the 21st century the whole world faces an even greater existential crisis than that of 1700's Europe. This time it is the union of Government and science which must be annulled. Failure to do so leaves the entire human race in peril.
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