Abcus: I take your points. My use of “theocracy” was misleading. What I was trying to drive home was my point that “You start playing that game and there is no end to it.” Theocracy is the direction churches are heading when they try to exert political influence, even if they don’t realize it and never succeed in fully getting there. Sure, when The Church says something we like, we get all warm and fuzzy about Church influence. But when goes the other way, it causes a lot of people to reexamine whether they are in the right faith, even though what The Church has said is outside the bounds of faith.
That’s why we have separation of church and state, because societies have recognized how powerful and damaging religious influence can be once it starts taking on issues outside of faith. And it is why most religions support it, because they’ve realized getting into secular issues takes them off the track they should be on. If we learned the lessons of history (which we don’t) we would decry even the slightest attempt at religions trying to have any influence on politics. A little bit of a bad thing is still a bad thing and it often leads to worse things. In the secular world, we will speak out about even a little bit of racism, or a little bit of sexism, etc. as we should, etc. but not about a little bit of creeping theocracy, even though it is just as bad. Creeping theocracy gave us the Crusades and the Inquisition, among other things.
Keep in mind The Church has never repudiated the part of Pius IX’s encyclical “Syllabus of Errors” (1863) where separation of church and state is denounced as heresy or the part about how it is a heresy to believe that Catholicism should not be the only recognized religion of the state. I think the Church should repudiate that document and start distancing itself from those concepts on the world stage. As it is, our roots are showing.