Thursday, September 15, 2016

When the Government Becomes God

The concept of government as God is nothing new.  In olden times Pharaohs and Caesars declared themselves to be gods.  They were despots. In more modern times, the philosophy of George Hegel and later Karl Marx developed into a society where the government replaced gods and religion.  In progressive thought in the United States, the same belief that the state replaces God as the supreme power is evident.  These entities see themselves as the source of freedom, rights, and provision. In due time, these entities deem religion to be an enemy.  We are not talking about theocracy, a boogieman that is trotted out to justify the expansion of power.  We are talking about totalitarianism. Things to consider as we look to the Presidential Election 2016.

Errantly  ascribed to Thomas Jefferson, there is a saying. "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have."  When government sees itself as divine it naturally claims the rights to give benefits as if they were God's graces.  Whereas God gives of Himself, government must take from others and redistribute them like benefices to others.  The great government god looks kindly on certain peoples.  The great government god looks poorly on others.  To succeed in this, the great government god must appropriate for itself the ability to bestow rights and privileges.

Human rights are no longer inalienable.  The bestowal becomes a matter of political expediency.  Some great government gods seize this control all at once as in the French and Russian Revolutions.  Some take a more long range tactic; convincing the governed to surrender their God given rights one at a time.  In exchange they might promise fiscal security or protection from enemies ,which necessitates the making of and sustaining of enemies and antagonistic relationships. They might promise free this or that, even though what is offered is not actually free, the charge is merely given to someone else.  To achieve this, the great government god must have us at each others throats; we must hate each other before we become okay with seizing each others property and rights.

The great government god chooses winners and losers.  Oftentimes, because the great government god's needs and desires fluctuate,  today's winners become tomorrow's losers and today's losers become tomorrow's winners.  Winners and losers are subject to erratic and sometimes capricious laws which can and will strip every human right away from some groups, even going as far as to deny humanity at all to some groups.  This gives the great government god the ability to do away with entire groups through genocides, pogroms, and persecutions.

The great government god is a jealous god.  It reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship to a state church to the destruction of alternative religions altogether.  It will pay lip service to other religions for as long as is deemed necessary.  The lip service will dwindle as God and religion are pushed further and further from the public life and are regulated to historical nostalgia.  Those who insist on sticking to religion are at first marginalized, then persecuted, and then eliminated.  Whether it be the Colosseum or concentration camps and gulags, whether it be by firing squads or guillotine, the great government god will awash itself in the blood of dissenters.

When the great government god has dealt with such dissenters, then the curtain is pulled back and the totalitarian demon is revealed and it is too late to turn back without the complete collapse of the nation.  With opposing gods contained, other freedoms become easy to eliminate.  The useful idiots who helped in the elimination of the great government god's enemies become the great government god's next victims.  Revolutions eat their own children.  As the saying goes, "The first rule of assassination is to kill the assassins."  

The road to tyranny and totalitarianism is traveled one freedom surrendering step at a time.  The more government grows the more godlike it wants to be.  Be aware, though, of the idols you worship. 

For me, I will stick to the God I already worship.  My God doesn't seek my destruction, nor does He will the destruction of others.  My God loves me and wills I love Him and all others.  My God gives us a free will and the freedom to love, to choose positively the good of others.  My God doesn't want me to have my assets seized, but to give willingly to those in need.  My God doesn't want my enslavement, but my freedom.  My God doesn't want me to look at those around me as enemies, but as my brothers and sisters.  My God sent His Son to save me.  I could on and on...but the upshot is my God, the Triune God, doesn't need a jack boot at my throat.  He loves and desires to be loved; He gives out of His love.  I, for one, will not surrender my rights for trinkets and empty promises.  I will not allow any man or government to spur me to hatred of my fellow human beings.  Even it means sharing in the fate of a Thomas More, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Miguel Pro, or Maximilian Kolbe...I would sooner die for the truth than live as a subject of the great government god.