Adam Graham
June 6, 2005
The Church and Statism
By Adam Graham

The Church is engaged in a battle with secular humanism over the sanctity of human life, marriage, and the place of faith in the public square. Yet, secular humanism is not the only ideology that must be challenged. A far more subtle force threatens our nation's survival and soul.

Unchallenged in most churches is the idea that we require a strong federal government to take care of the poor, strictly regulate economic activity, and meet the various and sundry needs we expect of the federal government.

The New Idol

What the church has failed to recognize is that the State, in effect became another god sometime during the FDR administration. Many devotees of FDR will talk of how he saved the poor of America from certain death. Tell them that many economists now say that the New Deal prolonged the depression and they will treat the statement as blasphemy against their savior.

The New Deal taught us to look to Washington for solutions and not to rely on the church and community. Thus, as we bemoan the downfall of community and the lack of true neighborhoods, we can look to a government that has presented itself as our provider and the solution to any given problem.

Traditional Christian charity has produced grateful, productive citizens who provide charity for their neighbors when they are able, thus strengthening and preserving communities. What does government "assistance" to the poor achieve?

Those on the doll are not grateful. Government isn't providing enough for them. I had one lady tell me that she would pull our troops out of Iraq so government could increase her SSI benefits.

In addition, the welfare state has been successful in developing generations of dependency. Some women got on welfare with illegitimate children, and how their daughters and granddaughters followed them onto the welfare rolls. Thus our modern welfare system has produced continual poverty and fatherlessness, while at the same time increasing crime rates by providing incentives for illegitimacy.

The dependency system robs people of their dignity. It takes away purpose and meaning from their lives. Thus. they slide into alcoholism and drug abuse, and other undesirable habits as a result of our abandonment of community for a system of government "compassion."

By subsidizing illegitimacy, lack of industry, and dependency, the federal government has created hopelessness, despair, and poverty. The governments attempt to eradicate poverty has been a colossal failure. Christ told us it would be, when he said, "The poor you have with you always."

Government at all levels has become the first place we run to when we have a problem. Yet, we find a lack of stewardship, abuse of power, and oppression of citizens in the Federal government.

In terms of stewardship, money is often wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy and programs. Consider that the federal government gave $70,000 to the Paper Industry Hall of Fame or the fact that $67 million has been spent on "wood utilization research" since 1985.

Congressmen use their positions to gain honor for themselves. Robert Byrd is legendary for having things named after him, but he's not the only one. A 60,000 square foot courthouse was named for the late former Senator Paul G. Hatfield (D-Mt.) in 2002 and at the same time a 72,000 square foot building was built next door, named after the man who defeated him in the 1978 Senate primary, Max Baucus (D-Mt.) who is a living member of congress.

At the same time, congress spends $75 billion a year on Corporate Welfare, doling out the tax dollars of working men and women to favored corporations. When the size of government can grow as large as their imagination allows, our congressmen have shown that like Hans Solo in Star Wars, they can imagine quite a bit.

What we forget as well, is that a government so powerful it can give us everything, can take it all away. Countless ranchers and farmers have been driven off their land and out of business by government agencies. The stories of abuses, losses, and suffering of innocent people at the hands of government could fill a volume.

Scripture tells us to" do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8) How can we remain silent in the face of Statism? The growth and power of government must be checked for with its seemingly unlimited power, its destroyed lives with misguided welfare programs, rewarded themselves and big corporations at taxpayer expense, and ruined the lives of innocent, productive citizens. To remain silent in the face of such government actions is unjust and unmerciful. There must be a Christian response.

© Adam Graham

 

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Adam Graham

Adam Graham was Montana State Coordinator for the Alan Keyes campaign in 2000, and in 2004 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Idaho State House... (more)

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