Front Page Titles (by Subject) 22.: On the Separation of the Temporal and Spiritual Domains (an unpublished outline) - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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22.: On the Separation of the Temporal and Spiritual Domains (an unpublished outline) - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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On the Separation of the Temporal and Spiritual Domains (an unpublished outline)
[vol. 7, p. 357. According to Paillottet,
“Is there a possible solution to the affairs of Rome?”52 “Yes.” “What is it?” “If we met a pope who says, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ ” “Do you think that would be the solution to the Roman question?” “Yes, and to the Catholic question and to the religious question.”
If in 1847 someone had proposed to abolish the Charter and invest Louis-Philippe with absolute power, there would have been a general outcry against such a proposal.
If, in addition, someone had proposed to give Louis-Philippe spiritual power in addition to temporal power, the proposal would not have been slain by a mere outcry but by the utter disdain it would provoke.
Why? Because we consider that the right to govern men’s acts is already great enough and that we should not add to it that of dictating to their consciences.
What? Is giving spiritual power to a man with temporal power really so very different from giving him who is the spiritual leader temporal power? And is not the result absolutely the same?
We would rather let ourselves be chopped into pieces than let such a combination be imposed on us, and yet we impose it on others!
“But, see here, this state of things that you are criticizing has been going on for centuries!”
“That is true, but it ended by inducing the Romans to revolt.”
“Do not speak to me of the Romans. They are brigands, assassins, degenerate, cowardly, without virtue, good faith, or enlightenment, and I do not see how you can take their side against the Holy Father.”
“And I, for my part, cannot understand how you can side with an institution that has made a people become what you have described.”
The world is full of honest people who would like to be Catholic and who cannot. Alas! They scarcely dare to appear to be.
Not being allowed to be Catholic, they are nothing. They have a root of faith within their heart, but they do not have faith. They aspire to a religion but don’t have a religion.
What is worse is that this desertion is growing day by day. It pushes everyone out of the church, beginning with the most enlightened.
In this way, faith is dying out with nothing to replace it and the very people who, for political reasons or because they are terrified of the future, defend religion, have no religion. To any man whom I hear declaiming in favor of Catholicism, I ask this question: “Do you go to confession?” And he bows his head.
Of course, this is a situation that is not natural.
What is the reason for it?
I will tell you frankly, in my opinion it is entirely due to the union of both fields of power in the same person.
From the moment the clergy has political power, religion becomes a political instrument for it. The clergy no longer serves religion; it is religion that serves the clergy.
And soon the country will be covered with institutions whose aim, religious in appearance, is in fact material interest.
And religion is profaned.
And no one wants to play the ridiculous role of letting himself be exploited right to the depths of his conscience.
And the people reject what truth there is in religion along with the errors mingled in with it.
And then the time comes when priests cry in vain, “Be devout!”; people do not even want to be pious.
Let us suppose that the two powers were separate.
Religion would then not be able to procure any political advantage.
The clergy would then not need to overload it with a host of rites and ceremonies likely to stifle reason.
And each person would feel the root of faith, which never dries up completely, sprout in the depths of his heart.
And since religious forms would no longer be degrading, priests would not have to struggle against human respect.
And the merger of all the Christian sects into one communion would encounter no obstacles.
And the history of humanity would present no finer revolution.
But the priesthood would be the instrument of religion; religion would not be the instrument of the priesthood.
That says it all.
One of the greatest needs of man is the need for a moral code. As a father, husband, master, and citizen, man feels that he has no guarantee if a moral code does not form a brake for his fellow men.
Because this need is generally felt, there are always people inclined to satisfy it.
At the origin of each society, the moral code was encapsulated in a religion. The reason for this is simple. The moral code, in the correct sense of the term, is something which one is obliged to reason over; people have the right to put their maxims into quarantine. In the meantime, the world53 ——. Religion appeals to people most in a hurry. It speaks with authority. It does not advise, it imposes. “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal.” “Why?” “I have the right to say it,” replies religion, “and I have the right not to say it, because I speak in the name of God, who neither makes mistakes nor is mistaken.”
The basis of religion is therefore the moral code. In addition it has dogmas, facts, a history, ceremonies, and finally ministers.
Within the bosom of the people, ministers of religion are very influential men. Independently of the respect they attract as interpreters of the will of God, they are, in addition, the distributors of one of the things of which man has the greatest need, a moral code. . . .
Are things in religion not the same as in political economy?54 And are we not mistaken in seeking the solution in a unity that is false, imposed, intolerant, persecuting, socialist, and in addition incapable of producing its right to domination and its proofs of truth?
Unity in all things is the supreme consummation, the point toward which the human spirit gravitates and will eternally gravitate, without ever attaining it. If it were to be achieved in humanity, it would be only at the end of all spontaneous social evolution.
It is variety and diversity which are at the beginning, the origin, and the point of departure of humanity, for the diversity of opinions must be all the greater if the treasure of truths acquired is smaller and the spirit of man has reached agreement, through science, on a smaller number of points. . . .
[52 ]Following a political crisis in Italy, Pope Pius IX took refuge in Gaeta, in the kingdom of Naples. The Italian Republic was proclaimed in 1849. To please the French Catholics and to prevent Austria from intervening, the National Assembly sent troops to restore the pope in Rome while protecting the new republic. The new Roman republic fell nevertheless after a month of fighting. See also “Pius IX” in the Glossary of Persons.
[53 ](Paillottet’s note) The next word is missing in the manuscript. It is possible that the insertion of would perish would be in line with the thinking of the author.
[54 ]This paragraph and the preceding two paragraphs were found on a separate piece of paper.