Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Limits to Political Authority?

I find it compelling that we are clearly at a pivot point relating to precedents set which have significant bearings upon future society.

COVID-19 is certainly a serious illness, especially for the vulnerable among us, those with current health conditions, obesity and the aged. There is no question that many of these people becoming ill at the same time is of significant consequence upon limited medical resources.

Yet it is also a fact that authoritarianism has been a serious societal illness throughout world history and it is due this fact that Western Civilisation have established the foundational principles of the "Rule of Law" and the "Separation of Powers." Checks and balances designed to prevent the horrors of the authoritarian abuse of individuals.

It is well known that human beings, when given unbridled power over others, tend to abuse that power. Of course this is not surprising, given that generally, the hearts of men is not submitted to the righteousness of God, but instead, is submitted to a more subjective righteousness of their own choosing (ie. ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil - Gen 3:6, being ignorant of God's righteousness, go about to establish their own righteousness - Rom 10:3).

What is more dangerous to society? A pandemic or authoritarianism?

I hear calls for a "National Plan" by the former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security...

<<<We must have a national plan and a national mobilization, not state-by-state ad-hoc approaches; a UNITED States plan. We cannot half-ass it; this is an "all-in" moment in history if there ever was one. We cannot think about this in terms of weeks; it took two months for each successful country or region to get this under control. We must act now.
A forceful declaration from our national leaders would also bring stability to the economy and the country. The messaging needs to be clear and factual; Americans can handle the truth. We have a UNITED States plan; it works; the next two months will be bad, but we will bounce back beginning in June if we make these collective sacrifices. It’s an "ask not what your country can do for you" moment.>>> Opinion Piece, USA Today

A "National Plan" would clearly further undermine the authority of the States of the Union as declared in the Tenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution, which is clearly why President Trump, so far, has stated that it is up to State Governors to make their own decisions on behalf of their own State.

<<<The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.>>> Tenth Amendement, United States Constitution

China's extreme authoritarian measures are being hailed as a successful model by some and then promoted as an approach that the United States ought adopt...

<<<More severe steps are needed in the USA, these officials say, although they cast doubt on whether Americans could do what the Chinese did, for a mixture of reasons: political will and deep-rooted cultural inclinations among them. >>> This is what China did to beat coronavirus, Experts say America couldn't handle it, USA Today

What about s second wave of COVID-19? A third wave of COVID-19? Future pandemics? Where will it end? Is there a limit to "what needs to be done"?

I had a good friend many years ago and he had a large pumpkin patch on his farm. In the midst of this pumpkin patch he had a little wooden sign with "The Government" written upon it. He told me his pumpkin patch was like the government, it just grows and grows and spreads its tendrils everywhere. A very fitting description upon reflection.

The "new normal" is a buzzword being bandied about for this "new way" of doing things in the face of global threats like COVID-19.

Yet what is more dangerous to society? A pandemic or authoritarianism? I don't see many asking that question at all.

Do authoritarian policy structures actually deal with crises or problems better? I personally do not believe so.

It is a fact that the further we go down the authoritarian road the more difficult it will be to turn back, especially in an age of technological surveillance and artificial intelligence.

It's not just in Nature that we see cycles, we also see it in the actions of men. We ought all pay attention to history and its patterns.

Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.


  1. What is your view about street preachers? Do you feel that is the way to go about evangelizing? What do you think is the best way to evangelize? Thank you. God bless you!

    1. We have the liberty in Christ to act in accord of our conscience. I have done outreach on the streets.

      I suppose my main issue with much of the modern street preaching today is that whilst may well point out that the sin must stop they still preach the their message in the context of Jesus death as being a substitution. This they compel people to "believe and trust in Jesus" and present the Cross as an abstract concept. This easily produces false conversions because people are unaware that a real repentance requires a real death of the old man, not a mere emotional experience and agreement with some words.

      We also have to be careful in what manner we speak to people. Remember Jesus was very critical with the religious authorities but was very compassionate to the people.

      When I speak to people I prefer to be more congenial and appeal to their conscience through reason and am therefore against shock tactics.

      We all have our own views on certain things but the main thing is for each of us to make sure we truly KNOW and walk with God. When our foundation is TRULY in Christ then we will have good discernment.

      Some street preachers I have liked and others I have found abhorrent.