News Intelligence Analysis




Can Democracy Be Christian?

An Interview With Katherine Yurica
Questions by Terri Murray

Posted October 10, 2005



      1. Can democracy be Christian? If not, why not?


Yurica: It depends on how we define “democracy.” If we limit it to mean: rule of the majority, then I see an inherent conflict between democracy and the great principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition, because there is such a thing as the “tyranny of the majority.” Jesus said all of the law can be said in this one sentence: “Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, mind, and soul and our neighbor as ourselves.”


This sentence is the foundation of democracy in my opinion. Loving one’s neighbor as ourselves necessarily implies the concept of “equality.”


And so the Judeo-Christian definition of democracy is this: “government by the people with political, social or economic equality.” Or to say it another way: Christian democracy must protect the rights of minorities. Minorities must have the same right as the majority has to speak and be heard.


From this we can see that America has already deviated from the Christian standard of democracy. There is an effort by the Republican Dominionist government to shut down the voices of everyone else in America but their own.


      2. Is there some sort of a dilemma between democracy and Christianity?


Yurica: No—not really. If we look back in history, we’ll see that Savonarola, an Italian priest, living in Florence under the Medicci’s is credited with creating the first democracy. He was, unfortunately tortured and burned at the stake. But there is a report I have read of his death that illustrates my point: After being tortured all night on the rack, he was led up the ramp where a priest awaited him. The priest intoned, “I separate you from the church militant and from the church triumphant!” “Church militant,” Savonarola corrected him. “It is not within your power to separate me from the church triumphant!”


There you have the dilemma: there are essentially two churches: Dominionism is the church militant. The church triumphant is following a different God and a different Bible. It’s Machiavelli versus Jesus. Jesus has no problem with democracy!


      3. If democracy is all about majority rule, and if the majority of Americans are Christian, then why can’t they do what they want to?


Yurica: It all depends on whether they believe in equality and justice for all as is implied in Jesus’ teaching of love thy neighbor as thyself. And Jesus also made it clear that one’s neighbor is the very person the church leaders of his day—the hypocrites despised: one’s neighbor is a Samaritan, a prostitute, a homosexual, a tax collector. All of these were despised in Jesus’ day, but Jesus loved them as Himself and bid his followers to do the same!


He taught his followers not to despise anyone—not to exclude anyone—not to hate. To find that model in America today, Christians have to come back to the Democratic party—the party of Christian morals.


      4. People say that Christianity is just a ‘worldview’ and thus there is no real reason why we should adopt it, but democracy is also just a worldview, is it not? Why prefer one ‘ideology’ over another?


I think democracy is a natural extension of Christianity. It’s Christianity working in government.


      5. How do the anthropological models differ in Democracy and Theocracy? Do they differ radically in their views of mankind/human nature?


[Anthropological model: religious teaching about the origin, nature, and destiny of man from the perspective of his relation to God; specif. the branch of systematic theology dealing with anthropology.] 


Yurica: A theocracy is government or political rule by priests or clergy as representatives of God or by religious officials. It by definition is autocratic and authoritarian because it implies having absolute and sole control. The theocracy that is being imposed upon America today is very selective who rules and reigns and who is unworthy to hold public office or to even teach the children of God’s elect.  The anthropological model of this theocracy is to disenfranchise every American that does not believe in the political as well as the religious tenets of their autocratic religion! 


It requires people to believe in unregulated or laizze faire capitalism. It believes in the survival of the fittest – ironically in Social Darwinism! It requires that all Americans must speak with one voice! Pluralism is denounced as heresy. After all—if God speaks to his “Vice Regents of God” there can be no debate. It’s autocratic; it’s cut throat capitalism; it hates the poor and rewards the greedy. It is an absolute abomination to Christianity and to Judaism.


      6. Does democracy really protect religious freedom, when it does things such as, say curb our ability to act on our convictions, such as the conviction that we should not employ homosexuals in our business?


Yurica First of all, democracy is a form of government—a system of governing. It does not act. It does not have the power to act. Laws are passed by and through the people or by and through our representatives. In passing legislation it is essential that our representatives debate the issues openly and with effort. Questions must be asked by the legislators: Does this law hurt anyone—if so who is hurt? Why are they hurt? In our democracy, we are required to protect the rights of minorities. We are also required to separate our personal beliefs from our obligation to serve all the people in a non-discriminating way. This stems from loving our neighbor as ourselves.


If minorities exist in this nation that are despised because of their race, sex, color, religion, or sexual orientation—the government has an obligation to protect that minority. It cannot yield to the desire of those who want to punish other citizens. The Christian religion makes it clear that Christians may work with, associate with, be friends with all manner of people. But St. Paul makes it clear that Christianity may interfere with only one area of influence: the church. In other words, if a practicing adulterer belongs to a man’s church—the church may exclude that individual from that church. Christianity by its own tenets does not and cannot exclude that adulterer from holding a job, sending his children to public schools, or from speaking in the public forum. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).




 Send a letter
to the editor

about this article


Directory on Religious Trends


Related Article:



Christians Sue for the Right to Hate

Many codes intended to protect gays from
harassment are illegal, conservatives argue.
By Stephanie Simon
April 10, 2006

ATLANTA — Ruth Malhotra went to court last
month for the right to be intolerant. Malhotra says
her Christian faith compels her to speak out against
homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology,
where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down
others because of their sexual orientation. Malhotra
sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her
right to religious expression. So she's demanding
that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.




What Would Jesus
Do With Politics?

THERE is no such thing as a "Christian
politics." If it is a politics, it cannot be
Christian. Jesus told Pilate: "My reign is
not of this present order. If my reign were
of this present order, my supporters would
have fought against my being turned over
to the Jews. But my reign is not here" (John 18:36).
Jesus brought no political message or program.
This is a truth that needs emphasis at a time
when some Democrats, fearing that the
Republicans have advanced over them by the
use of religion, want to respond with a claim
that Jesus is really on their side.


 Back to The Yurica Report Home Page

 Copyright © 2005 Yurica Report. All rights reserved.