Mandeville, LA – In Christendom, Gierke wrote, “Church and State were two Co-ordinate Powers” between which there was to be “an inseverable connexion and an unbroken interaction which must display itself in every part and also throughout the whole” of society. The Church, in short, was the soul of the body politic. But with the Protestant revolt and the so-called Enlightenment, the body politic of Christendom was inexorably divested of its soul, and thus its organizing principle, leaving only the great mass of “sovereign” individuals and the government their “sovereign will” supposedly created—the two poles of the simple space we now inhabit. The result, Gierke concludes, was “[a] combat…in which the Sovereign State and the Sovereign Individual contended over the delimitation of the provinces assigned to them by Natural Law, and in the course of that struggle all intermediate groups were first degraded into the position of the more or less arbitrarily fashioned creatures of mere Positive Law, and in the end were obliterated.
How do we escape this absurd predicament before the suicide of the West is completed? It is useless to speak of “states’ rights” and secession, for the states are merely subdivided congruent spaces within the vast simple space of the United States. Thus the last attempt at secession, known as the Civil War, merely cut the overall simple space in two, with each resulting half (including its respective states) being governed by the same Enlightenment-bred principles, expressed in virtually identical constitutions. (The Confederate States Constitution was borrowed from the United States Constitution, including a federal supremacy clause and bans on any establishment of religion, including Christianity, or any religious test for office.)
What is needed, rather, is an internal secession from simple space, involving nothing more or less than a re-dimensioning of the Catholic simpleton into a three-dimensional Catholic man who refuses any longer to accept a life in that flattened and circumscribed realm known as the secular. “Once there was no secular,” writes Milbank. “Instead there was the single community of Christendom with its dual aspects of sacerdotium and regnum.…The secular as a domain had to be created or imagined, both in theory and in practice.”11 What this means is that we have always held the key to our own imaginary jail cell—a prison we ourselves confirm by accepting the errors of the Enlightenment from which it emerged. – Chris Ferrara, RE-DIMENSIONING THE CATHOLIC SIMPLETON