Rushdoony supports, they say, the subjection of public norms to religious morals and a "theocratic necessity" which "submit(s) the state to the Bible with a logic that is no different from the one that inspires Islamic fundamentalism."
Fr. Spadaro and Figueroa then treat of the prosperity gospel and the rhetoric of religious liberty, first citing Norman Vincent Peale, another 20th century Protestant pastor. Peale authored The Power of Positive Thinking and was close to President Donald Trump, as well as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
In the section treating of the prosperity gospel, they also speak about "a particular form of proclamation of the defense of 'religious liberty.'"
"The erosion of religious liberty is clearly a grave threat within a spreading secularism," they write. "But we must avoid its defense coming in the fundamentalist terms of a 'religion in total freedom,' perceived as a direct virtual challenge to the secularity of the state."
Next, the authors describe what they call a "fundamentalist ecumenism" developing between evangelical fundamentalists and "Catholic Integralists", who they say are "brought together by the same desire for religious influence in the political sphere."
They note that some Catholics "express themselves in ways that until recently were unknown in their tradition and using tones much closer to Evangelicals … Both Evangelical and Catholic Integralists condemn traditional ecumenism and yet promote an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state."
For Fr. Spadaro and Figueroa, "the most dangerous prospect for this strange ecumenism is attributable to its xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations."
They describe this as a paradoxical "ecumenism of hate" which contrasts with Pope Francis' "ecumenism that moves under the urge of inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges. This presence of opposing ecumenisms – and their contrasting perceptions of the faith and visions of the world where religions have irreconcilable roles – is perhaps the least known and most dramatic aspect of the spread of Integralist fundamentalism."
"Here we can understand why the pontiff is so committed to working against 'walls' and any kind of 'war of religion.'"
In the article, Fr. Spadaro and Figueroa argue that "(t)he religious element should never be confused with the political one."
"Confusing spiritual power with temporal power means subjecting one to the other…There is a need to flee the temptation to project divinity on political power that then uses it for its own ends," they say.
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As an example, they point to the "shocking rhetoric" of Church Militant, a website formerly known as Real Catholic TV, which changed its name to in 2012 after being told by the Archdiocese of Detroit that it did not have permission to describe itself as "Catholic."
Church Militant and its founder Michael Vorris are known for their controversial positions. Vorris has claimed on one of his programs that only faithful Catholics should be allowed to vote. In 2011, Vorris was banned from speaking at any facility owned by the Diocese of Scranton, Penn.
Fr. Spadaro and Figueroa noted that the group portrayed the U.S. elections as a "spiritual war," creating "a close analogy between Donald Trump and Emperor Constantine, and between Hilary Clinton and Diocletian." By suggesting that Trump's victory could be attributed to the prayers of Americans, Church Militant portrayed "a divine election," they said.
"This warlike and militant approach seems most attractive and evocative to a certain public, especially given that the victory of Constantine – it was presumed impossible for him to beat Maxentius and the Roman establishment."
A truly Christian theopolitical plan would be eschatological, they said.
"And this is why the diplomacy of the Holy See wants to establish direct and fluid relations with the superpowers, without entering into pre-constituted networks of alliances and influence."