"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Rudyard Kipling
The recorded history of humankind is filled to overflowing with accounts of man's attempt to dominate his fellow man. Beginning with the very first murder committed by one brother who became jealous of his sibling's activities, we have had to endure the boot of one or another tyrant applied with brutal force to our collective necks. The tyrant of the day has varied from pharaoh to emperor (or king) to clergy to dictator and usually under the cover of some variation of war, inquisition, jihad or crusade that simply had to be won in order to preserve our way of life. Strike a familiar chord with any of our modern-day supposedly noble ventures? Featured prominently in very many conflicts has been religion, which provides a cause for the masses to rally behind. Thus we arrive at many wars conducted in the name of good triumphing over evil. Funny thing is both sides usually claim to have the Almighty in their corner and each asks His assistance in prayer prior to battle.
Look carefully around the planet and you will see that many a country claims to be a
(whatever religion) nation, and that those embroiled in the major conflicts of today are among the staunchest at proclaiming their faith - one which they usually insist is quite peaceful! Conflicts aside, there is a longstanding campaign by many in the religious community to gain greater control over the state. And indeed in those countries where they have had more success there is usually an abysmal record on human rights, with little or no tolerance for other religious beliefs and all manner of repressive laws based on their particular interpretation of religious doctrine.
Those who subscribe to the belief that there is only one Redeemer (of man's original sin) and that the ransom sacrifice was already paid, know that any who come after to claim that position are not sent by the Most High. They would also be aware that those who rejected the Messenger sent from on high and colluded with the earthy authorities in having him executed thereby also rejected the Timeless One, and in that day ceased to be His chosen people - though their descendants are certainly free to elect to become followers along with other Gentiles. Knowing this however, affords no earthly authority the right to forbid or oppress those who may choose to follow either of those two major religions or any of the many others that fail to acknowledge the ransom sacrifice of the Redeemer in attempting to approach the Almighty. However the
Father of Lies clearly singled out for special attention the multitude who today all claim to be faithful followers of the rejected Messenger while sowing his seeds of confusion as there are more sects within this group than all the others.
Some twenty centuries ago, many or indeed most of those who listened to the Word believed wrongly that the King of the Jews was sent to deliver them from their earthly oppressors and were prepared to take up arms to install him on his earthly throne. Though he constantly corrected them while teaching that rather than being of this world "the kingdom of God is in your heart", many misinterpreted and indeed continue to misunderstand to this very day. He also made a crucial distinction between church and state when he famously replied to those who attempted to trip him up, by counseling “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. It is interesting too, that the
Founding Fathers also understood the importance of such separation, with Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence) writing in reference to the 1st amendment "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between Church & State", while Madison (main drafter of the Constitution) declared "Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States. Practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both".
Consequently, if your religion counsels you against gambling, or prostitution, or pornography, or addiction, or homosexuality, or any other activity which harms no one but potentially yourself, by all means do follow the dictates of your conscience as you personally understand it. But you cross the line - whether you be dictator, clergy, or democracy whenever you attempt to enforce the dominant view on matters of morality on either the majority, a minority or any individual human being and thereby abrogate the free will bestowed by the Creator - regardless how well-intentioned you may believe yourself to be. Even so, the
'do-gooders' and rescuers will doubtless continue to attempt through coercive means to save us from ourselves while failing to recognize the often horrific consequences of their various Prohibitions. In reality, the only person we can change through force of willpower is our self. The Great Teacher (and his disciples) used the power of persuasion rather than the point of a sword as the only way to reach the hearts of men. As such the state can never legislate morality.
One of the natural outcomes of concentrating more and more power into the hands of a relatively few individuals without insisting on the guidance of a 'no-statute' zone, which would prohibit the passage of coercive or punitive laws that attempt to dictate what activities consenting adults may or may not engage in, is that
Big Brother has continued to expand into every facet of our lives and Western nations have begun to more closely resemble the repressive communist and dictatorial regimes they once fought wars against. Many have been seduced to descend that slippery slope through believing that tyrants can be kept in check by democracy. Think again - the greatest tyrant of the 20th century was elected to office by majority vote! The book of laws is now so complex and voluminous that it has become well nigh impossible for even a law-abiding citizen to go through life without inadvertently running afoul of some law at some time. And every day more people check in to 'state hotels' for either a petty 'offense' or a victimless 'crime', resulting in further loss of human dignity and a fear-based society. If Big Brother wants to get at you he now has a thousand and one ways to do so!
Good Book describes this type of rule as bestial and symbolizes the kingdoms of the earth in the form of beasts in first, the Book of Daniel and later on, John's vision as recorded in Revelation. Those who claim to believe in bible prophecy should take special note of these two prophecies which - though made about 600 years apart, have faithfully foretold the rise and fall of kingdoms with stunning accuracy. In summary, during the end-times the Wild Beast (world governments) turns on the Harlot (all false religion) who has ridden atop its back for all these many years and devastates her whilst devouring all her fleshy parts (human followers). There are other profound events that follow, but the above should be sufficient for all who believe falsely that the clean should be mixed with the unclean to realize that there will be a reckoning for those who believe that their salvation rests with any earthly authority. So if you happen to be in love with any particular political party, remember the wise counsel to "Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation".
On the subject of party politics, I continue to believe that one or the other of the two major parties stateside
will not survive the coming period of severe economic decline. Though exactly how this might occur is mere conjecture at this time, I can see two possible scenarios. The first perhaps more obvious one is that the party now seen as less encumbered by the yoke of religion will gain the upper hand (despite its current difficulties) and play a leading role in spearheading what will many will see as the opportunity for purging its nemesis. But the obvious is often not what occurs during traumatic times, so another possibility would be if the party that has formed a coalition with the religious rightwere to shift fundamentally back to its historical underpinnings, so that the turn against the rider now mounted atop its back would commence first at party level leading to a natural progression nationwide. Of course, they would have to gain power first before this would be practical - might this perhaps occur via a full takeover by Tea Party activists? In the final analysis though, it matters little which of these scenarios (or if neither) plays out as what has been prophesied will certainly come to pass!
As detrimental as the role of false religion has been in spurring on earthly rulers to do her bidding, other vested interests have also played their part in attempting to gain control of the levers of government, more-so in Western democracies with their proliferation of lobbyists. Although the
'die is already cast' so to speak, some of the other major influences will be covered in the coming article along with a few ideas on what may have been done differently to avoid the recipe for disaster that is unfortunately baked into the collective cake. Hint: Freedom takes center-stage!