But the term "theocratic" can also be used to characterize views advanced by certain non-Catholics on the Christian right. However, non-Catholics on the Christian right usually base their theocratic claims on their understanding and interpretation of the Christian Bible.
By contrast, the views advanced by the U.S. Catholic bishops regarding sexual morality are usually not based exclusively on the Christian Bible. Instead, their views are usually based on the Catholic tradition of thought known as "natural law" moral theory, in which straightforward philosophic reasoning may be supplemented at times with theological understanding.
One of the favorite mantras of the Catholic bishops and their Catholic apologists involves the claim about supposedly "timeless truths." But are there timeless truths? Roman Catholic bishops, including the bishop of
Now, the claim made by the bishops to have figured out certain supposed timeless truths contrasts sharply with the so-called marketplace of ideas. The bishops do not see themselves and their supposed timeless truths as competing in the so-called marketplace of ideas. On the contrary, they see their supposed timeless truths as existing in a realm that is independent of the so-called marketplace of ideas. Granted, Catholic apologists might undertake to refute ideas from the marketplace of ideas. But this exercise in Catholic apologetics is designed to reinforce the idea that certain truths that the bishops claim are timeless truths are indeed truly superior to any ideas advanced in the marketplace of ideas. End of story.
Now, we might wonder what could be the opposite of timeless truths. For example, we might wonder if there may be non-timeless truths (i.e., truths that we do not claim to be timeless truths), which presumably would be time-bound truths, as distinct from timeless truths.
Let us consider the expression that Thomas Jefferson used in the Declartion of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident."
As a thought experiment, let us imagine that he had written instead, "We hold these timeless truths to be self-evident." However, because he did not actually write this, we could argue that the truths he went on to articulate are time-bound truths, not timeless truths. Indeed, I, for one, would argue that he did articulate time-bound truths based on Western cultural conditioning up to his time, which still continues to be our Western cultural conditioning up to the present time. But Western cultural conditioning is not the same as the cultural conditioning in non-Western parts of the world, so it is not exactly surprising that the import of the self-evident truths that he articulated has not always and everywhere made inroads in non-Western parts of the world down to the present time.