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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

 

Friday, April 29 2005
Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Welfarism leads
to totalitarianism
(Continuing Wednesday's thread)

Politically liberal evangelicals (mainly Jim Wallis and his followers, and I could add here, liberal Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, for there are some liberals in each of these "camps") advocate government intervention to provide more programs helping the poor, government health insurance, and helping victims of AIDS and education programs to prevent it. Conservative Christians, on the other side, generally emphasize government's role in preserving life (especially the lives of the unborn) and preserving the family by discouraging social movements that undermine family values through such forms of sexual deviance as gay marriage, prostitution, legalized sodomy, polygamy, and—getting more newsprint it seems every week—beastiality.

Often evangelical and serious Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox "liberals" agree that family values are important but that other considerations, like "personal choice" in the case of abortion, must also be accommodated. This was, famously, the position of Jimmy Carter when he ran for President, though since winning the Nobel Peace Prize he seems to have abandoned his former claims to being evangelical. Whereas he used to welcome opportunities to invoke faith and discuss his relationship with Christ, in the interviews I've seen in recent years he seems uncomfortable with the topics and now advocates civil rights for gays (as though a "minority" can be defined by its sexual proclivities) and last year claimed, in the face of all reality, that there is no "abortion on demand" in the United States (of course, there is, virtually everywhere in this country).

The irony I find in the "Christian left's" advocacy of welfare state policies as the sine qua non of Christian action in political or social life is that 1. there is virtually no biblical support for such a role for government, and, 2. welfare states generally move toward more and more centralization which ends up usurping the place of God in their people's lives. As the main "provider" to the public, such governments generally usurp the role of "Providence." In other words, they play God. They expect more and more loyalty from those they provide for, and find ever more intrusive ways to micromanage the lives of their subjects. They provide food, medical care, education, and eventually a substitute object of worship for the masses. Welfare states invarably move toward totalitarianism. And totalitarianism is invariably anti-Christian, anti-Christ. Even if it doesn't start out with an atheistic worldview like Hitler's or Stalin's, it is anti-Christian because God in Christ is the original claimant on the totality of the being of those who love and follow Him. At this point there's always a necessary choice: Total devotion to the Giver of Life, or totalitarian obeisance to the provider of goodies in the form of the welfare state.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

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Thought for today

Bumper sticker of the year: "If you can read this, thank a teacher...and since it's in English, thank a soldier."

Sent by Trudy Myers  

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