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March 28, 2015

Authoritarian government is the most natural form of government

Human nature being what it is, government always tends toward authoritarianism (or worse), regardless of the nobility or ignobility of a government's founders.  If the citizens were always in perfect harmony with the rulers, authoritarianism wouldn't be necessary.  In the real world, though, government must eventually take measures to create harmony by force.

Many on the right, Christian conservatives included, are justifiably alarmed at the brazen power grabs of the left.  They often think: "If only we can get our folks into power, all will be rainbows and unicorns again."

But is that realistic? George W. Bush, while deeply flawed, had his conservative moments during his presidency, and it was at those times that he faced the full onslaught of a culture that has never been more out of harmony with conservative and constitutional principles.

Remember my earlier statement: in the absence of natural harmony, governments can create harmony only by force.  This is why authoritarian government isn't just the plaything of the left.

The late Francis Schaeffer, a Christian apologist and deep-thinker, saw peril in Christians' tendency to remain silent when government authoritarianism was directed at others.  Writing in 1983, he warned:
Will we resist authoritarian government in all its forms regardless of the label it carries and regardless of its origin?  The danger in regard to the rise of authoritarian government is that Christians will be still as long as their own religious activities, evangelism, and life-styles are not disturbed.

[...] Here is a sentence to memorize:  To make no decision in regard to the growth of authoritarian government is already a decision for it.

How Should We Then Live? (1976). Italics in the original.
More than thirty years later, Christians are now well aware of what it's like to be the target of the government's authoritarian impulses.  Schaeffer might argue that our silence in the past made our current difficulties more likely.

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