form of government with religious leaders

Theocracy is either government by divine guidance or, more commonly, government by or subject to religious institutions and leaders.


  • Religious ideas, supposedly private matters between man and god, are in practice always political ideas.
    • Christopher Hitchens, The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish (1990), Chatto Counterblasts
  • Churches are becoming political organizations... It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave. All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition. All laws defining and punishing blasphemy — making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment. It strikes me that God might write a book that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that a real God could produce a work that would excite the admiration of mankind. Surely politicians could be better employed than in passing laws to protect the literary reputation of the Jewish God.
  • A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened. Then, again, every major change in policy demands a corresponding change of doctrine and a revaluation of prominent historical figures.
  • My dream is to organize a Christian political party including the Protestant denominations, Catholics and all the religious sects. Then, the communist power will be helpless before ours. We are going to do this because the communists are coming to the political scene. Before the pulpit, all the ministers of the established churches must give their sermon on how to smash or absorb communism — but they are not doing that. We are going to do this. Unless we lay the foundation for this, we cannot carry it out. In the Medieval Ages, they had to separate from the cities — statesmanship from the religious field — because people were corrupted at that time. But when it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. So, we cannot separate the political field from the religious. Democracy was born because people ruled the world, like the Pope does. Then, we come to the conclusion that God has to rule the world, and God loving people have to rule the world — and that is logical. We have to purge the corrupted politicians, and the sons of God must rule the world. The separation between religion and politics is what Satan likes most.
  • He’d seen theocracies all over paratime, and liked none of them; priests in political power usually made themselves insufferable, worse than any secular despotism.
  • By the theory of its origin the Muslim State is a theocracy. Its true king is God, and earthly rulers are merely His agents, bound to enforce His law on all. Civil Law is completely subordinated to Religious Law and, indeed, merges its existence in the latter. The civil authorities exist solely to spread and enforce the true faith. In such a State, infidelity is logically equivalent to treason, because the infidel repudiates the authority of the true king and pays homage to his rivals, the false gods and goddesses. All the resources of the State, all the forces under the political authorities, are in strict legality at the disposal of the missionary propaganda of the true faith.
    • Jadunath Sarkar , History of Aurangzib, Vol III.
  • When public offices are distributed in consideration of race or creed and not of merit, when birth and not efficiency is the qualification demanded in those who are to serve the State, public posts rightly come to be regarded as the spoils of war ; the official system becomes a hereditary form of military pension and not a machinery for doing certain necessary services to the community at a minimum cost and maximum efficiency. The non- Muslim populations are, therefore, driven to conclude that they have no lot or part in such a State; it is alien to them, and its fall would mean no injury to the community but only a personal loss to a body of self-seekers. The Islamic theocracy when set up over a composite population has the worst vices of oligarchy and of alien rule combined.
    • Jadunath Sarkar , History of Aurangzib, Vol III.
  • Therefore, the growth and progress of non- Muslims, even their continued existence, is incompatible with the basic principles of a Muslim State. The political community is in a condition of unstable equilibrium, till either the dissenters are wiped out or the sceptre passes out of Muslim hands. The literal interpretation of the Quranic Law sets up a chronic antagonism between the rulers and the ruled, which has, in the end, broken up every Islamic State with a composite population. And the reign of Aurangzib was to illustrate this truth in a form clear to the meanest intellect.
    • Jadunath Sarkar , History of Aurangzib, Vol III.
  • Perhaps a creed is best known by what it does when its holds political sway.
    • Ram Swarup. Quoted from History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996) by S.R. Goel, Ch.20
  • The biggest threat to America today is not communism. It's moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that's happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe … I really think that. … When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very, very right wing, almost toward Attila the Hun...
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