Are you a statist or do you have respect for others and value freedom?

We are in South Carolina as I write this. We have family here who deserve our effort to visit because they’ve made the trip to our place every year for 35 years. Charleston has a huge amount of history as its foundation. Every historic place we visited was a destination because of war. History is defined by war.

Old Santee Canal was the one place we visited that was built to facilitate peaceful commerce.

In 1914 Randolph Bourne wrote “War is the health of the state,” while observing the fervor leading to our involvement in World War I (much of that being a distraction from social problems here at home and charity for European banks). With the United States being a nation at war for nearly its entire history, the state is in exceptionally good health. Nearly all discussion of issues revolve around what the state should do to resolve those issues.

In discussing the recent controversy in Indiana about “religious freedom” we’ve found it difficult to ask why the state is involved at all, rather than what the state should do. Our lives are totally bounded by what the state, or the common good as forced on us by the state, allows. Morality and mutual respect have been replaced by legality.

This has led to a discussion extremely limited in scope, but perceived as all encompassing. I’ve heard people describe the views on MSNBC and Fox as being on opposite ends of the scale. But seldom is a non-state solution ever discussed. When do you ever hear that marriage should not be the business of the state? Why should our personal relationship with our spouse or God be any business of the state?

I’ve been to weddings recently where the bride and groom ceremoniously sign a government marriage certificate. What a way to cheapen a personal and sacred relationship; having to ask permission of the only entity in our lives that has a monopoly on the use of force and has (historically) been the most destructive organization to God’s creation.

We didn’t see anarchists burning thousands of civilians alive throughout the centuries. It was always the state.

If we are ever going to save this civilization that has produced such abundance in spite of constant aggression by the state, we need to expand the dialogue from liberal vs. conservative to state vs. individual freedom and responsibility, with the state’s only function being protecting individuals from harm, from outside our borders as well as within.

From the left and the right every answer to our social ills and poverty is essentially band-aids on problems created by the state in the first place. The left and the right should step out of the Huffington Post and Shawn Hannity dictates and consider the fact that on a daily basis we get along just fine when we respect the quirks of different lifestyles as long as they don’t infringe on our own.

The extreme sacrifices that are evident at all the historic sites here in Charleston should not have been made in vain. We owe it to the memory of those who served not to bow down to the state but to stand up to the state. We need to preserve and protect God’s creation from those who intend to destroy it by manipulating government as a force to impose our will on others.

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