Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why the elite wants Christianity out of politics

As I wrote my most recent article for WND.com (the subject of my previous posting) I found myself thinking about Christianity's unique effect on our understanding of the justice (and injustice) of human action. The last point made in the article is about the connection between arrogant elitism and the self-inflation the Pharisee derives from comparing himself with other people. In light of this connection we can better understand why the elitist forces that strenuously promote the specious doctrine of the separation of church and state are so often guilty of favoritism. They invoke the doctrine to repress Christian institutions and practices, while treating those of other religions as protected artifacts of "cultural diversity." I think this discrimination has to do with the fact that the words and example of Christ convey an understanding of human authority that supports the sovereignty of the people even as it undermines the assertion of elite predominance (the sovereignty of the wealthy, more intelligent, more talented few.)

However we may characterize it ideologically, the ultimate effect of the present push to overturn the principal of consent as the lawful basis for government is to reestablish the rule of the few, whose assumption of power derives from their Pharisaical claim to be superior to the rest. On the convenient excuse of whatever problem or crisis happens to be handy (the jobs crisis, the health crisis, the environmental crisis, the crises of poverty, hunger, homelessness etc.) they assert the urgent need for approaches that concentrate control of more and more resources and decision-making in the hands of professional and bureaucratic elites. Against the preponderance of evidence and logical reasoning, they pretend that centralized government institutions will deal with the critical challenges we face more effectively than those that respect individual liberty. Of course, as they advocate this view they are not as open as the Pharisee about their assumption of moral superiority. They cloak their assertion of superior righteousness with a fabricated perception of scientific knowledge, global catastrophe and compassionate egalitarian intention. But once the smoke and mirrors of crisis and compassion have served their purpose, we will be left with the reconstructed edifice of unchecked elite domination. The elite promise is that people will enjoy the comfortable dependency of well cared for household pets. But once elite control is consolidated, some will suffer the brutalization and casual destruction of lab rats or noisome vermin while most experience the commingled care and misery once bestowed on work horses or pack animals, valued mainly for the work they perform for their betters.

A discussed in "The Publican's Prayer" Christ's insistence on the perfect standard of God's will ("Be ye therefore perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48) undermines the claim of intrinsic superiority that gives some appearance of justice to this elite consolidation of power. But more radical still is what he says even to the Pharisees: that "the Kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21) In his kingdom, the word of the king is the law. Those who have direct access to the sovereign are therefore privileged to hear at first hand the content of the law. When they pass it on to others they speak with an authority derived from their direct access to the king, and their words cannot be definitively contradicted except by others with the same access. What Christ says to every person is that they have direct and exclusive access to the King of all Creation, the author whose name is the root of authority in every sense. Though common to all, this access is, even so, radically exclusive because it involves the inner being of the individual, to which only that individual has direct access. All the subjects of human kings are thus vessels of God's authority. Made in His image, they have within themselves a model or likeness that accords with His will. The knowledge they derive from this model appears in the natural promptings of conscience, whereby they judge what they do to others in light of their own reaction to what others do to them. ("Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12)

When discussing personal morality, it is common enough in Christian parlance to speak of every individual as a temple of God, i.e., a venue in which the will of God resides. Christ's reference to the Kingdom of God within us also has implications for the just exercise of sovereign power, implications that bear directly on our understanding of lawful government. As a direct and exclusive form of access to the sovereign is available to all individuals, no one person or group of persons can by themselves have an unchallengeable claim to speak with sovereign authority over all the rest. Every other individual is a potential check on their claims, and may in his or her own right claim to be consulted as to the authenticity, content and meaning of the sovereign's will. The understanding of God's rule achieved through Christ thus becomes the basis for limiting the just claims of human rule to governments that respect the individual's right to be consulted, i.e., those "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

This suggests that the political premise of the American Declaration of Independence draws upon and reflects the most basic Christian understanding of the meaning and political consequences of human moral equality (that is, the equality of all people before God.) Christ's American followers face increasing pressure from elitists who seek to drive their exercise of faith from politics, and indeed from all the arenas affected by law and public policy. In dealing with this pressure, we would do well to think through the vital connection between our faith and the principle of government by consent. Christ's teaching does not conflict with the requirements of Constitutional self-government. In truth, government by consent is based on an insight into the nature of political authority that would not have been achieved except through Christ. As Christ's followers are driven, as such, out of the political life of our country, what will become of this insight? It has dim prospects. For some people, that's the whole point; isn't it?

10 comments:

nail-in-the-wall said...

"God's Peace is beyond all understanding, His Justice is within our grasp."

Dear Alan:

Another great example/posting of that Justice, given in Truth and Righteousness.

-Thanks.

Isaiah 16:5


------------------------------------

Sure miss you at Church,..!

We have so much to share and discuss,..! It is a lesser thing, without you.

Just a reminder we meet every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening,.. 9:00 pm. Eastern Time..

Please drop in. “The field you labor in, will still be there tomorrow.”

Yours in His Justice, a Nail in the wall.

PS. This I know; the future is there for all, yet none can go there alone.

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims." - B. Fuller

Chiu said...

An interesting analysis, but one that ultimately falls short in one critical aspect. Throughout most of the history of Western Civilization, the ruling elite has been content to tolerate or even promote Christianity, in at least some form. Christ's injunction to his disciples to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" was perceived as being sufficient to the interests of the kings and their ilk. Their interests certainly covered the realms of total political and economic fiat, but those kings (with a few notable exceptions) did not think fit to contest the ultimate devotion due to God.

The new elites are not content with being mere kings. They want to be worshipped. Obama's inability to restore a sense of proportion to the inflated image his followers painted of him as a new messiah is not unique. It is commonplace among leftists and progressives generally. It is, in fact, remarkable to find any among them who is able to credibly refuse inappropriate adulation.

It is actually an insult to the (admittedly relative) humility of centuries of Christian rulers to compare them to the current crop of elitists. I am inclined to regard Dr. Keyes' assessment of their designs as being naively optimistic.

"But once elite control is consolidated, some will suffer the brutalization and casual destruction of lab rats or noisome vermin while most experience the commingled care and misery once bestowed on work horses or pack animals, valued mainly for the work they perform for their betters."

Some? Most? Experience of modern totalitarianism indicates that these proportions are reversed. The astonishing poverty and injustice displayed by such regimes in recent history is absolutely incompatible with any idea that there is a serious effort on the part of the rulers of such nations to really value or foster the productive laborer.

I once characterized the destruction of Dresden during World War II as "basically a goofy evil science project". But it pales with the far more ambitious, goofier, and eviler(er) experiment performed on the people of East Germany in the ensuing decades. And really, how else can one characterize that inanity of the Cold War era?

It is not "some" who "will suffer the brutalization and casual destruction of lab rats or noisome vermin" under modern progressivism. That will be the fate of everyone who is not a member of the ruling elite. You will have 'some' degree of choice--whether to be a good lab rat and hope to be assigned to a less horrific than usual experiment, or to take your chances as vermin. But not everyone will get even that choice. Every totalitarian regime needs some Jews, after all. They can hardly rely on volunteers for that role.

This is the secret behind the new absolutist's intolerance of Christianity. The kings of the Christian world could afford to acknowledge the existence of human interests beyond their own authority, because they recognized and respected the productive value of their people. In the eyes of the modern progressives, the common run of humanity are just so much vermin, among which some may be tolerated for their value as experimental subjects.

ecclesiaprimus said...

Dear Dr. Keyes:
As always right to the point...
I jus happened to find your blog which I am delighted to.
You are a real American hero, & I wish you the very best.
Hopefully, one day we'll find you running for the precidency of this country which deserves much better.
God bless,
Robert Nicodemo

pbunyon said...

They want the Power of Yahweh and they actually believe it is attainable. Much like Lucifer, who they ultimately serve, they are battling for your souls, or mind and body. To me the rest is just details that need no discussion as valleys and mountain passes are crossed. There truly is no gray area and no moment of common ground for good and evil.

Alan Keyes said...

chiu_chunling:
Actually, the elites have often wanted to be worshiped as gods, and at many times literally achieved this result. For example, weren't both the Egyptian Pharaoh and the Roman Caesar worshiped in this way?
Obviously, Biblical faith precludes this possibility. No human being can claim to be the god of another, for there is but one God who presides over all. (This is the actual moral of the 'Render to Caesar...' story. The coin belongs to Caesar because it has his image stamped upon it. In like manner, what is made in God's image belongs to God. But the Scripture says "So God created man is his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them." So all humanity, including all the human kings and princes, belongs to God and all humans are subject to His will.)
What's different this time around is that we live in the era that resulted from rejecting the notion that in and of itself superiority is proof of divine favor (the divine right of kings); and applying the insight that access to God's justice is open to everyone, even those the more powerful consider of no account. God's authority commands respect for the right of all people to act according to the right as He has determined it, for all to see, within themselves (i.e., in good conscience.)
Whether the elite find people useful, or consider them vermin, does not determine their worth, or how they should be treated. Both depend rather on God's already determined will than on any human choice or judgment whatsoever.

Chiu said...

I do find more commonality between the modern elites and the Pharaohs and Caliphs of the non-Western tradition than between them and the usual concept of kings, even those claiming a 'Divine Right' to rule.

But my more pragmatic concern is that the Progressives of today have no real interest in fostering productivity or strength in the people they would control. The modern expression "population control" speaks everything that needs to be understood about their true agenda. The notion that those who simply keep their heads down and labor diligently will be treated with the respect due a beast of burden is a manifestly false hope taken from an inherently flawed understanding of the true aims of modern totalitarians.

The kings of Western tradition, both Christian and pagan, sought to use their people as a defense against the unforgiving wild which lay always just outside their gates. In the contest between man and nature, they were unarguably on the side of man. Even in most of those cultures which elevated their rulers to godhood, the duty of their deified leaders lay clearly towards protecting their people.

But the new gods of progressivism do not view most humans as anything other than a nuisance to be eliminated. The particular method varies from one modern totalitarianism to another, but the end result is identical. Their love of murder in all its forms is not accidental. In the end, they will permit only the concupiscent, those who have been emptied of any desire greater than sensual satisfaction.

I understand them, perhaps, better than any good person can.

pbunyon said...

The Japanese Emperors were worshiped in that way just a few decades ago.

Dawg_em said...

There can be no doubt surrender is the only option. We can surrender, as is happening, to the treacherous leaders we have enabled, or we can surrender to the One and only Master. In the first instance enslavement will end in death. In the second, liberty. A seeming dichotomy. Yet, when we subjugate our desires to that of our Heavenly Father, he blesses us. While not perfect, our founding proves this. Once we praised Him, glorified His name, and brought forth petitions in the sure and certain knowledge our pleas would be heard.

Now we place our trust in men. Men who consistently tell us one thing while abrogating their responsibilities to those global and "worldly" elitists seeking our destruction. They see us as weak, and we are; so they are going for blood. Still, they know if we ever turned back to our Creator, nothing could stop us. This is why they will tolerate anything but Christianity.

Not only do we foolishly believe their lies, but when they tell us to our faces they want us dead, we just don't believe it. It couldn't happen here, not in America. This pride is fatal.

Some will gladly be considered a household pet. Longing for attention they will sit, stay, rollover and play dead for that elusive treat. Others, in the name of science, promote experimentation and the production of chimeras. Afterall, change is good. The last group consists of those willing to suffer the indignity of standing in line, naked in the cold because those in charge only want to help. Our benefactors only want to de-louse us. After the bugs are killed all will be well.

IlĂ­on said...

"This is the actual moral of the 'Render to Caesar...' story. The coin belongs to Caesar because it has his image stamped upon it. In like manner, what is made in God's image belongs to God."

What an insight; thank you.

chatstack said...

I often find people take the "render to Caesar" comment Jesus made out of context. People also take the epistles command to "respect the governing authorities" that God appointed out of context. Rome was a republic that eventually became a monarchy. Though I do believe the Bible says those things, remember we are a Republic. And as such we are self-governing. That is We the People are the governing authorities that have elected officials we voted for to represent our interests. We are not governed by an emperor like Caesar. Being as our nation is unconstitutionally taking taxes that are not Caesar's or even the government's they are basically stealing our money. Despite that I do believe it is scriptural to pay our taxes as law-abiding citizens until we are able to legally overturn this unconstitutional precedent. The church can do more to help the unbeliever while not incarcerated though we do support prison ministries. So this begs the question, why are those elected officials not paying the same taxes? And when is it unjust and actually a sin to continue to pay them (such as in the case of funding abortion, etc.)

As far as those concerns that Christians have had too much power in society historically rendering injustices, I really believe you will find many more millions died under the persecution of communist secularist leaders and atheists than ever did under the guise of the Church displaying too much authority. And I do believe, not being a historian, that those endeavoring to achieve that power for the church in times past were in some cases doing so to protect the church's interests within their governmental powers. Though none can deny in many cases it has been done out of greed or hunger for dominance.

As it stands now it appears many of those in the western world, demanding "tolerance" of all beliefs, do so with the idea of tolerance toward any and all except for Christians. Those demanding freedom of speech continue for their own views are often demanding they discontinue for Christians and the gospel of Jesus Christ going forward. And this indeed is a huge hypocrisy and very scary seeming more and more that persecution of the church will grow faster. But this is more evidence we live in the Last Days John the Apostle prophesied about in Revelation.

Thanks be to God we believers in Christ are not of this world but of the world to come which is Christ's reign, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

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