Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brave New Future

One of the side-effects of our increasingly post-Christian culture is the erosion of our liberties. For as much as the unbelievers may grouse at the following observation, individual freedom, republican government, democratic mechanisms, and respect for the rights of minorities are direct results of a Christian culture and worldview.

The farther away from Christianity nations and cultures wander, the more fascist, brutal, thuggish, and tyrannical they become. Tibet would not be oppressed right now if China were a Christian nation. Nazis and Communists both persecuted the Church and pushed a violent form of government that denied individual liberties just as they denied God. Once-Christian Muslim countries are today among the most brutal and repressive. Once-Christian western nations that have now embraced secularism have lost their emphasis on individual liberty and have shifted to a more Marxist model of collectivism to the expense of individual freedom.

This is because Christianity understands rights as gifts from God to individuals created in His image. Rights are thus inalienable. They are not privileges to be bequeathed or revoked by government, not something a citizen earns by loyalty or by holding approved thoughts and beliefs. This tenet of freedom is articulated and inscribed in the founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence (even though its author, Thomas Jefferson, was not an orthodox Christian). Fascism always begins by denying that God gives rights, but rather claims that rights are, in fact, privileges, given (or removed) by government.

As we become more and more paganized, we can see this way of thinking gaining traction. Even the 1990s patriotic anthem "God Bless the U.S.A." erroneously ascribes rights as something that soldiers give to civilians. Supreme Court justices (even the most conservative ones) routinely speak of the Constitution "giving" rather than "recognizing" or "protecting" rights which come from God in the first place.

If you want to see where this is going, especially for Christians who submit to the Word of God without compromise, take a look at Scandinavia - where refusing to share an altar with a woman "pastor" is a criminal charge. Or observe to our North, in Canada, where simply publishing a couple Bible verses in the newspaper without comment results in being summoned before a "human rights tribunal" and convicted of a crime.

We're seeing the first stages of such denial of individual freedom to Christians here in the U.S.A. The following article should be alarming to any believer in individual liberty, whether Christian or not, whether heterosexual or not, whether businessman or not.

Allowing government to transgress on the rights of anyone, no matter how well-intentioned, is one more step toward fascism. In an Orwellian irony, the greatest displays of intolerance are carried out in the name of tolerance.

Remember the ominous words of German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller, pictured above (note: there are several variations and versions of the quotation, but all of the slight variata make the same point):

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.


solarblogger said...


WND is a popular site with some of my friends, but a couple of us have taken turns fact-checking. Some stories are very poorly reported. I've grown suspicious. Even when I agree with the philosophy, I don't use their stories, as I can't count on them to tell it to me straight on a regular basis. I'm more likely now to use their stories as a launching point for research. Though they do bring some good stories to light.

I have heard other tales like this where what was at stake was a different matter from what some reporting showed. Permission to use a facility was given, and then later rescinded, after expensive plans had been made. With services offered to the public, there are many considerations.

But digging deeper, I found that there was no inconvenience created. The couple had only submitted an e-mail query. (Reported here:http://www.catholic.net/us_catholic_news/template_article.phtml?channel_id=1&article_id=6489)
That point is worth noting.

I could imagine cases where a photographer would be guilty if the refusal came at the last minute after laborious preparations that put the couple out, and they had no time to find a replacement. But nothing like that is the case here. The photographers have been wronged. A photographer should be able to have ethical qualms, but has some responsibility to state them up front. That was done in this case.

solarblogger said...

Link for the above article is:
US Catholic News