Deacon Richard, thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions.
When you said
Clearly, the pourpose of civil law is not to enlighten such as these, but merely to curtail their activities.
I think you’re probably getting closest to my own view, although I will admit I am not a particularly political person. Mark 12:17 is also a passage that has always stood out to me. The model of civil society you outline above is I think a worthy one. It is of course not that simple, and that civil law or actions taken by the government to maintain civil society, often veer in to areas that are highly morally problematic. We know this can go well beyond protection of individual rights and in to the positive enforcement of moral precepts. I do believe it is all related to the thorny topic of religious justification for violence, holy war, and warrior saints. Exactly what is allowable in the temporal world in defense of religious values? It is a difficult topic.