Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Despots and Religious Doctrine


The recent uprisings against repressive regimes in the Islamic world and the U.S. call for change leads me to ponder how often history has seen despots and tyrants thrive in countries which embrace Orthodox Christianity. For centuries after Christ, the institutional church colluded with one despot after another, helping to maintain control over the populace by extolling respect for God ordained authority and the need for obedience. Countless activities, which would today be branded human rights violations, were committed with the full support of the church. This mutual support of misconduct extends right into our own lifetimes with racial segregation being a prime example of church sanctioned discrimination.


The hypocrisy of denouncing despotism under the influence of Islam while our own Christian history is replete with Christian despots and Christian inspired mistreatment is evident. People raised to consider themselves morally superior and therefore deserving of exclusive divine rights will inevitably be arrogant, selfish, and mean spirited. Leaders who are influenced by this same doctrine will feel divinely ordained and therefore worthy of respect and obedience. This is the mindset of despotism.


If God operates under the might makes right paradigm because of moral superiority, then his followers naturally gravitate to the same. What could be more natural than mimicking one’s God in attributes and actions. If God has no qualms about exercising ruthlessness in dealing with mankind; why would those influenced by this doctrine not follow suit? If I feel righteous enough or threatened sufficiently, I can and will justify whatever ruthlessness I deem necessary to repress perceived evil. The banner of religious exclusiveness never waves over real freedom anywhere.