The View From 1776

§ American Traditions

§ People and Ideas

§ Decline of Western Civilization: a Snapshot

§ Books to Read

§ BUY MY BOOK

Liberal_Jihad_Cover.jpg Forward USA

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Political State vs Responsibility

The Judeo-Christian tradition teaches personal responsibility; the secular political state of liberalism destroys it.

—————
However politically-incorrect or “insensitive” it may be to state the facts, the United States was founded by Christians and was based upon the expectation that individuals in society would be self-restrained by religious morality.

Liberalism is based on exactly the opposite presumption: socially desirable conduct comes, not from individuals’ moral senses, but from the opinions of the intelligentsia, imposed by the collective power of the state to regulate conduct and to teach social justice in the schools.

These opposing doctrines lead to markedly different kinds of political societies.  The government of limited powers, in a religious and moral populace, maximizes individual political liberties. 

The liberal-socialist state is one that, of necessity, is always somewhere along a continuum toward totalitarianism.  Even here in the United States, our Supreme Court’s socialist Justices feel empowered to override the will of the majority of people in a majority of the states to impose, by fiat, their opinions about social justice, ranging from abortion, to gay marriage, to the death penalty for savagely inhuman murderers under the arbitrarily chosen age of 18.  Saying anything that offends the sensibilities of liberals can cause a student to be thrown out of school.  Speakers who question politically-correct dogma are not permitted to address many college audiences.  Liberals in the Senate block the appointment of Christians and religious Jews to the Federal judiciary.

The root of this dichotomy is the sharply opposed views of human nature held by liberal-socialists and those in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  The heart of the matter is the human heart, or soul.

Our minister preached an entire sermon this Sunday morning on the hundreds of times that the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament, uses the word heart.  As he explained, the Hebrew word that is translated usually as heart has the sense of one’s center, or innermost essence. 

What, you may ask, has this to do with the political state and responsibility?

The answer is that the human heart, or soul, is the portal through which God teaches morality to individuals who will listen to His Word.  Without this, there can be no real personal responsibility for conduct.  In contrast, under liberal-socialism, the Word of God, through each individual’s heart, is replaced by the political state and its regulatory commissars.

The first use of the word heart, our minister noted, is early in the first book of the Bible.  Genesis 6:5-6, which records the state of matters after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, reads, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”  From this comes the understanding of human nature held by religious Jews, classical Greek philosophers, and Christians, namely that humans have the potential for good or evil, and that only through striving for communion with God, through prayerful meditation, can the human heart be softened and channeled toward doing the right thing.

Taking the polar-opposite view, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the early prophets of the secular religion of socialism, theorized that humans had been benevolent and peaceful before someone thought of private property and the political state was created to protect property rights.  From this come the basic doctrines of liberal-socialism, which can be summed up as, “It’s not your fault; let the political state take care of everything for you.”  To paraphrase President Franklin Roosevelt, one of the saints of socialism, the aim of the game is, not responsibility, but Security.

First, individuals are not responsible for crime or anti-social conduct; the fault lies with the structure of the political state that supports private property rights.  Imposing the death penalty, for example, is to punish the victim, when the villain is really the existence of private property.  Second, redistributing income and property from “the rich” to the poor will reduce crime and make of society one, big happy family.  Third, individual human happiness comes, not from obeying the Will of God to live a moral life, but from material possessions and satisfaction of sensual desires via the welfare state.  Fourth, human happiness is therefore the prerogative of the collectivized political state through the arbitrary exercise of its unlimited regulatory powers.

Now this has great appeal to the several generations of students who have been schooled in a secular, anti-religious education system.  It’s comforting to hear that no one need worry about ignorant ideas like right and wrong, or individual obligations to help others.  Just let the government take care of all that, with its mighty armies of bureaucrats commissioned to oversee every aspect of daily life.  It’s comforting to be taught that Judeo-Christian morality is really just a ploy to destroy Social Security, or an effort to force old people to eat dog food and go without their medications.

Liberal-socialism, in short, destroys personal responsibility by instructing its citizens that the guideline for person conduct is “eat, drink, and be merry.”  History demonstrates, however, that this results, for society as a whole,  in a drunken binge, followed by a fierce hangover.