Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Disorganized, Semi-Related Vignettes on Government

What follows was once an attempt at a cohesive, well-meshed, well-crafted blog post, but eventually decayed into random paragraphical vignettes which are only vaguely related to their immediate neighbors. Consider yourself warned that this is not the best example of my writing composition abilities.

"Submission" seems to be a dirty word in today's vernacular. But in fact, I consider it an important factor that facilitates an orderly society.

Are we, as citizens, free to do as we choose? To a certain extent. We are bound by laws, such as the law against killing people (unless you're sanctioned by the state), or the law against keeping donkeys in bathtubs (if you're from Georgia). Whatever your reasons for following laws, the fact remains that you are in submission to something, whether it's your own moral code (for you relativists out there), the Bible, or merely submission to the law itself.

Although the military has the most physical power and could make an attempt to rule by force, it chooses to defer to civilian authority. Civilians are the ones who direct the military; in turn, the U.S. constitution is what gives civilians the authority to do so. If the military did not choose to submit to the constitution and defer leadership to civilian authority, this society would degrade one of rule by power. Do what they say or they'll shoot you. Sic semper tyrannis, I'd hope.

This portion inspired by comment #2 by JDavidB on the Common Room post on Government Nannies.

So the constitution is the ultimate law of the land, and it submits to no one. But wait, no it's not, and no it doesn't. It's the mob that is the law of the land. In case you have forgotten your civics, elected lawmakers (put in office by citizenry) can amend the constitution and, in fact, have done so many times. As long as you have a good sizable majority, the mob decides what is right and what is wrong. You'd better hope that the mob has some semblance of morality. Or that your views line up with the majority's.

(Christians cannot and should not assume that their views will line up with the world's.)

Of course, most people in the western world would balk at the idea that democracy is not the most divinely perfect form of government (started by the equally divine Greeks), as JDavidB states in aforementioned comment #2. (There is sarcasm in that last sentence, you know) So what is the right form of earthly government? I have no answer to that, and have no obligation to answer that, because my primary citizenship is in heaven. I am not here to fix earthly governments. Per Luke 4:6-7 (and a host of others), the world is Satan's, and so it figures that nations fight each other (each one thinking its motives are a right and a good and a joyful thing), that powerful states rise and fall, and that governments always turn corrupt.

Anyways, I'm not a scholar of government or anything, so don't take this post too seriously. Unless I say so, or unless you agree (bwahahha). I think I'm done now.

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  • jdavidb

    Thanks for the chance to influence your thinking. :)

    Interestingly enough, I heard James Dobson on the radio Friday or so commenting on how democracy was the most perfect form of government and was God's plan for all nations. I love Dr. Dobson and he's helped my family so much, but he's just plain wrong here. But it's not as if he got there on his own; I've certainly heard that sentiment many times, and I'm sure he was raised in an environment saturated with it.

    God's perfect plan for all nations is the Monarchy of Jesus Christ. I don't know for certain if we're going to get there through a premillenial cataclysm, a postmillenial gradual perfection, or an amillenial end of the world, but I know that I can be there NOW and choose to do so.

    In the meantime, God's put up a strong wall in I Corinthians 5, completely limiting my authority over those outside of my church to ZERO, and my authority to those inside of my church to putting them out of it. Amazing how that reads almost exactly like extreme libertarianism.

    If you want to pursue these thoughts further, you might want to seek out the book "Civil Government" by David Lipscomb. You can find the complete text online; you can also find a reprint for sale.