molechWe are now witnessing how some make the tie between human tragedy and federal spending. Just yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shamelessly implied that the accident that killed seven Marines in Nevada is tied to spending cuts from sequester. Hollywood actor Harrison Ford lamented that “accidents are going to happen” in aviation because of sequester. It’s almost if more government spending is needed to appease the wrath of the Divine State. If not appeased, wrath will reign down on humanity and nature if not given due alms. We know from Exodus that the Lord our God is a jealous God, but is the federal government a jealous god too? Slowing the rate of growth of this god stirs up anger.

We are being told by lawmakers and citizens that we can’t afford to cut federal spending. Never mind that almost every single American has noticed no change from a paltry and temporary slowing growth rate from sequester. But we are told it’s far too dangerous for our safety and humanity’s future. Never mind that we read absurd stories daily about federal spending initiatives that study why lesbians are fat or why they drink more than the general population.

Washington now has the inability to come together to at least make any responsible strides to curtail our spending crisis. Even throughout American history it has generally been understood by both parties that the federal government can’t or shouldn’t solve all of our problems. Instead, we see lawmakers almost ritualistically dancing on the dead bodies of innocent victims in their call for more spending and government involvement in our lives. It’s becoming a gruesome cult like practice.

In Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver declares, “It is likely that human society cannot exist without some source of sacredness. Those states which have sought openly to remove it have tended in the end to assume divinity themselves.”

This summer I am teaching a class at Acton University titled “Religion and Presidential Politics in the Modern Era.” I’ll touch more upon the the topic of divinization of government in that lecture.

We’re witnessing increases in attacks on religious liberty, sin taxes, and massive centralization and debt. We need to ask ourselves going forward if a jealous government god is going to want to continue to compete with the Church?

  • RogerMcKinney

    Ludwig von Mises wrote about the divination of the state back in the 1940′s, calling it statolatry. Most Americans unconsciously attribute omniscience, omnipotence and total benevolence to the state. They become fearful and angry at anyone who suggest the state does not have those attributes.

    Mainstream econ is just as bad, seeing market “failure” everywhere but never seeing any government failure at all.

    This is OT idolatry of the worst kind. The only thing Americans haven’t done is sacrifice their children to the new Molok. Wait a minute, maybe they are with abortion.

    • RayNothstine

      Thanks for the comments Roger. I am aware of Mises’s comment. I need to reread them. You made a really going point about perceptions on the market. Too little study or attention is ever given to government failure. You would think that the massive growth of government and spending might result in more attention to these failures but any serious attention seems to be diminishing not increasing.

      • RogerMcKinney

        Thanks! I think the political economy of the late James Buchanan went a long ways to exposing massive government failure, but most economists choose to remain ignorant of his work.

  • montanajack1948

    Having followed the link, I see nothing at all in Senator Reid’s statement that implies the sequester cuts were to blame. As for whatever harm may result from sequester cuts, this gets tiresome to reiterate, but: (a) the harm will not be felt immediately, and that has been emphasized repeatedly; and (b) the harm is not the amount cut but the indiscriminate nature of the cuts, with little room for flexibility. Finally, even taking your claim about Senator Reid’s statement at face value–how in the world do you get from that to “more government spending is needed to appease the wrath of the Divine State. If not appeased, wrath will reign down on humanity and nature if not given due alms.” I hope that you’ll be a little more restrained and a lot more logical when you teach your course this summer.

    • RayNothstine

      I disagree. Reid went immediately to talking about the explosion to directly talking about sequester and military training cuts. I don’t know how you missed the overt implication and connection.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vance.frickey Vance Frickey

    It’s not just the US Federal Government. James Traub has advocated we have a “secular pope” – the Secretary General of the United Nations, no less – in Foreign Policy magazine http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/22/how_to_pick_a_secular_pope_united_nations
    Unless this is a nod to the similarities between the UN General Assembly and the synod horrenda… it’s a scary suggestion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vance.frickey Vance Frickey

    It’s not just the US Federal Government. James Traub has advocated we have a “secular pope” – the Secretary General of the United Nations, no less – in Foreign Policy magazine http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/22/how_to_pick_a_secular_pope_united_nations
    Unless this is a nod to the similarities between the UN General Assembly and the synod horrenda… it’s a scary suggestion.

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