Thursday, February 07, 2008


Great minds think alike?

It amazes me how I will be following a line of thought and - just like that! - I find articles and commentary in the same vein. It may just be that I'm more zoned in. Or maybe there really is zeitgeist. Who knows? Hat tip to Catholics for Ron Paul. Anyway, John Zmirak has this to say:

In an American context, given our constitutional heritage and the large
body of legal decisions solidifying its interpretation, on nearly any issue,
Christians of any denomination should reject the assistance of the State. Our
efforts to capture it, the courts have made it clear, will always fail. Any
attempt to infuse the activity of the government with the moral content of a
revealed religion will be rejected, in the end. Indeed, the more our own
institutions cooperate with the government, the more they will be compromised;
hospitals which take federal funds will be subject to secular ethics on issues
like contraception, end-of-life, and even abortion. Religious colleges accepting
federal grants will eventually be federalized, and so on.

It seems clear that the public sphere in America is irretrievably secular. So the only logical response of Christians must be to try to shrink it. Instead of attempting to
baptize a Leviathan which turned on us long ago, we’d do much better to cage and
starve the beast. We should favor low taxes—period, regardless of the “good” use
to which politicians promise to put it. We should oppose nearly every government
program intended to achieve any aim whatsoever. We can make exceptions here and
there: We can favor the protection of innocent lives, which would cover things
like fixing traffic lights and throwing abortionists into prison. But that is
pretty much that. Christian public policy should focus not on capturing
the power of the State but shrinking it, to the bare minimum required to enforce
individual rights, narrowly defined. Likewise, the share of our wealth seized by
the state must be radically slashed, to allow for private initiatives and
charities that will not be amoral, soulless, bureaucratic and counterproductive
(like the secular welfare state). Instead of asking for handouts to our schools
in the forms of vouchers, we should seek the privatization of public
schools—which by their very nature, in today’s post-Christian America, are
engines of secularism. And so on for nearly every institution of the centralized
State, which has hijacked the rightful activities of civil society and the
churches, and which every year steals so much of our wealth to squander on
itself that we can barely afford to reproduce ourselves. (So the State helpfully
offers to replace us with immigrants, but that’s another article.)

The social gospel needs to be rethought.

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