Religion and government were always married, ever near a divorce and never comfortable with one another. Their marriage bed was sacred but seldom kept undefiled. One or the other was always playing the harlot.
Christianity intruded in the war of pagan versus theist, allying itself with theists while insisting it had one God in three persons. Orthodox theists were horrified.
Christianity imposed itself in the culture clash between monotheists and atheists, aligning itself with monotheists while insisting God must be sensed in the person of Christ, a modern appearance, with verifiability, repetition and form. Ancient monotheists were appalled.
Christianity impaled itself in the center of human history, intent on fighting for the souls of men, its battle interrupted more than occassionally with war(s) for its own soul.
Jewish monotheists would not accept Christianity because it had three gods. Oriental thinkers, the progenitors of all earthly religion, could not accept Christianity because it made god personal, embodied.
There is nothing worse for a religion than social acceptance. Christians had no cultural entry point and so multiplied rapidly. Everywhere the faith was attacked. Everywhere it prospered.
Religious men may be the most persistent of imitators. Human sacrifice takes the form of ritual cannibalism in the apostle's religion. The faith became the church and began to prey on itself. Living with a monster, the church became the sacred monster; a creature untouchable but in a form not appearing in nature.
The ancient Mexica Indians, captured or sold for slaves to pay off debts, mounted the steps of the giant pyramids, sullen but unresisting. In their culture it was more important to die courageously than to resist death. Their religion had taught them to act alike. Vastly outnumbering their captors the Mexica trudged up to the altars for their cardioectomies.
European anglos would never understand the Mexica mindset, part Latin and part Amerindian. Both cultures prized manners over accomplishment. If nothing ever got done, it did not matter so long as protocols were kept. If everything happened on schedule, all could be ruined by a thoughtless moment of impoliteness. La familia mattered most of all, though no one could have said all the reasons why la familia mattered most. The tribe, the clan, the social unit had been virtually destroyed, rebuilt and then destroyed again. In a cashless society, devoid of precious metals, the only form of currency was cheap land with cheaper labor. Europeans would see a society of haves and have nots. They would conclude the lower classes were incorrigible.
The peons were not incorrigible or even lazy. They were the product of two social orders who naturally divided under stress, relying on the smallest form of social order to sustain them. La Familia would not fail them, though the hacendados tremble and fall. A man could be deracinated and detribalized. He would retain his familial ties until death, which death he bore with dignity.
Fatalism hung just behind the nearest holy curtain. Life was so fragile, no one could be certain of tomorrow. Failure was venerated, so long as it had grace. The world was ending. Long live the earth.