If baptism really transforms a person, could we say that a state in which the number of citizens who are baptized is decreasing will become more disordered, and that this will be reflected in the statistics of crimes committed and so on? And that the savagery that one would witness in those parts of the world that have not been opened to Christ will once again be seen, though not
so frequently at first?
Sure, baptism does not destroy free will, but we don't want to go to the other extreme and say that it doesn't do anything, until someone by his own free will comes to acknowledge Christ as His Lord and Savior, do we? Does not baptism establish the Christian in a relationship with God, and serve as a "guarantee" in a way of God's help, even if the conditions around him are bad, he is not properly catechized or formed, and so on?
A definitive answer to this will not be known until the Last Day, and I think the subject matter of the question precludes an easy tentative answer in this life... but it was something I was thinking of again while taking a walk towards Watertown.
If a true politeia is to flourish anywhere, I would think it would be one consisting of Christians striving for holiness. (Hence, I am curious about the true nature of the Italian city-states and their conception of citizenship.) But even a Christian state cannot overcome the problems of size.