Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In case you didn’t learn this at school, this is the content of the First Amendment.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
OK, then. What’s a religion?
A religion refers to a philosophy, or an ideology, of a specifically supernatural nature. Philosophy covers the areas of metaphysics, knowledge and ethics — with some implications for politics, social issues and aesthetics.
Should a philosophy be imposed on the population by the government? Should the government establish a doctrine of Catholicism, Christianity or Islam, for example? Some people certainly think so, and some undoubtedly always will. Yet the whole basis for the separation of church and state was to free mankind from the imposition of any particular religious or philosophical view.
The ideology that we are our brother’s keepers is a form of philosophy. It’s this philosophy which forms the basis not only for all of Obama’s policies and directives, but for the entire transfer-of-wealth state as we know it.
Pick any political issue of our day — Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, bailouts to corporations and their customers — and the central justification is always the same: “Government must step in and take care of those who need it.”
Nobody ever stops to ask: “Why impose this ideological and philosophical belief on the masses?” Instead, they proceed simply to fight over which brothers will be kept, which brothers are to do the keeping, for how long and at what price tag.
But if you think honestly and clearly about it for even a few minutes, you come to realize that brother’s keeperism is a philosophy — specifically, a philosophy applying to the branch of ethics. The entire welfare state — corporate as well as otherwise — is based on the establishment and police-based enforcement of a religion.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from the most influential proponent of this viewpoint in power today, Barack Obama (speaking in 2009):
“I didn’t become a Christian until many years later, when I moved to the South Side of Chicago after college. It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation, but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck no matter what they looked like, or where they came from, or who they prayed to. It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods, that I first heard God’s spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose — His purpose.”
Obama believes in Christianity because giving to others is his ethical ideology. Government, in his mind, exists to enforce this ideology. I don’t know about you, but I call this a state-established religion.
Other advocates of government action on behalf of the poor (and now nearly everyone) utilize the same approach to ethics, and justify their action in its name. It’s commonplace to hear Democrats accuse Republicans of “not being real Christians” when these Republicans (claim) to oppose the welfare state, Obamacare, or similar policies.
These same proponents of self-sacrifice for the collective are strident opponents of state enforced religion in other areas, such as outlawing gay marriage or using government funds to support church programs. They (correctly) oppose state-religion merging in one area, but they favor it in the much more expansive (and expensive) arena of ethics.
Government should neither enforce nor impose a “brother’s keeper” ethics. That matter should be left up to private individuals and whatever institutions of charity (or anything else non-coercive) they elect to support.
Morality — Obama’s version, or any others — should not be legislated. The only concern of government should be to keep people from stealing or killing one another. People have a moral right to exist, think and survive for themselves, and to utilize a government to ensure they are free to do so. But what positions they take on how they should live their lives are their own prerogatives, and their own responsibility to determine.
Republicans are hapless in their attempts to reverse or even slow the unbridled growth of the entitlement state, which is why we’re currently on the same self-destructive, morally and fiscally bankrupt path as the Roman Empire. Most Republicans are Christian, and they have no answer to the leftist claim that, “If you’re truly a Christian, you will support trillions more in spending on aid for others. That’s what Jesus would so.”
The answer was there all along: “You are free to believe that we’re all our brother’s keepers; but you’re not free to impose it. If you wish to help others, nobody will stop you. But you have no right to force me to do the same.”
Nothing else will resolve the matter. Until we face this fact, most of us will continue to have the same stale arguments over and over, expecting different results.
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