One Christian’s Case Against George Bush
The United States Constitution is unique in its devotion to maximum individual freedom under God’s law. Most politicians, on the other hand, believe that social change is the result almost exclusively of politics and state coercion. They believe that society can be radically altered by means of state-financed public education, health education, welfare programs, speech codes, and the like. Christians, on the other hand, believe in regeneration (John 3:3). Men are not changed by politics but by God.
The problem with the president’s philosophy of government is that it follows the liberals’ line. It ignores our Founders’ philosophy that the role of the state is simply to defend and protect life, liberty, and property, and to reward the externally obedient by protecting them from the externally disobedient (Rom. 13:1-7). Its role is never to make men virtuous. Civil governments that attempt to create a virtuous society are totalitarian governments.
Unwittingly perhaps, President Bush’s leadership has contributed directly to the notion of a bloated, deified state that can solve all of our problems. Yes, God ordained civil government, but this does not mean that Christians must throw in their lot with the modern superstate. Thus, for example, Bush’s faith-based initiative may sound inviting, but in reality it will make churches dependent on public money, in direct contradiction to Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 9:7 that giving is to be completely voluntary.
Bush tends to be a social engineer, offering us programs to solve this or that social ill. Scripture, however, promises a completely changed life as the result of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When the president promises to take care of people’s social needs, he directly contradicts the scriptural teaching that men who do not work should not eat. Indeed, the whole idea of a welfare state is based on a violation of the eighth commandment, which prohibits theft. Keep in mind that men like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry protested against a tyrant who was taxing the colonials at a rate of about five percent. Today the average American is taxed at the rate of about 50 percent. Just as importantly, Scripture clearly says it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children and to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). God never suggests that this duty should be transferred to the state.
It is all a matter of returning to the foundational documents of our nation, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Read them and you will see that they do not promise a perfect society but a free one. The Founders’ concept of the state was one that was strictly limited. Their delineation of the role of government may be found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. To remove any doubt as to their intentions, the Founders added the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States...are reserved to the States...or to the people.” Hence there is no authorization for about 90 percent of what our federal government currently spends. This includes the $14 billion the president has promised for AIDS relief in Africa and the $47 billion we spend on Food Stamps annually as a nation.
In short, there is no biblical basis for attempting to accomplish Christian objectives through politics, no matter how noble one’s intentions may be. Bush’s call for taxes, welfare, and state-sponsored health care and education squares neither with the Holy Bible nor the Constitution he took an oath to defend and protect. The solution? Leave the money in the pockets of the taxpayers and let them voluntarily give to the charity of their choice. As history shows, that is exactly what they will do.
My friend, if you haven’t read the Constitution in a while, please go here. It is an amazingly simple document. It will remind you that the United States was founded on the principles of individual freedom, free markets, private property, and limited government. Once you’ve read it, you’ll find yourself less apt to be seduced into believing that you cannot live without the political paternalism promised by the president.
And while you’re at it, why not take a look at the Constitution Party’s platform? If you are a Christian who believes in a strictly limited role for civil government, as our Founding Fathers did, you may be pleasantly surprised.
March 24, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, will be released this year.