The story of Maurice Duplessis, a powerful conservative politician in Quebec, and his ties to the Catholic Church in Quebec is a salutary reminder of the need of churches to depend on the Lord – and not on the State – for their sustenance and protection.
Among other things, this means churches need to rely on the voluntary tithe of believers, and not trust in government subsidies – probably the fastest way to kill a church dead, as the Russian Orthodox Church is about to rediscover yet again…
These and related facts were the reasons that Duplessis won four straight terms starting in 1944. There was no conspiracy with the higher clergy. The Quebec Church was not a monolith and this theory, retailed as historic fact by Ivison, is just the lore of fiction, Liberal and leftist excuses for their many defeats at the hands of Duplessis. But in one sense, Ivison’s analysis was correct: Duplessis played on the paranoia of the rural bishops that there had to be clerical personnel in the schools and hospitals of French and Irish Quebec or the province would lose its Christian character. As educational and medical facilities were steadily expanded (the Quebecers’ life expectancy in the period increased from four years less than Ontario’s to just a few months less), the Church became steadily more dependent on the state financially. Duplessis summarized this in his famous utterance, “The bishops eat from my hand.”
In other ways, “Lick the boot, and gratefully eat up the dog biscuits the merciful conservative politicians toss your way.”
Indeed, it can definitely be agreed that the bishops had plenty to fear – seeing how secular Quebec is now – but they looked to the government to save them, and not to the promises of the Bible, nor to a postmillennial view of inevitable victory, regardless of the might and power of the enemy.
Ah well: as the enemies of God are as sterile and as financially delusional as ever – see North’s The Economics Of Perversion for the repulsive details – this merely accelerates the victory of independent, postmillennial, covenantal/theonomic believers.
You know, those crazy people who
- believe that God upholds His Laws in time and on earth, as well as in the afterlife;
- believe that King Jesus is the victor and master of this world, and not Satan
- believe that Jesus Christ, as desired by the Father, will progressively rule this world vis His representatives. Not all at once, not without setbacks, but step by step, year by year.
Churches should uphold the rule of Christ the King, and not some sweet-talking politician with his big fat promises.