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Government has typically in history taken (by coercive force) the role of parent over its citizens. The citizens of most cultures have submitted both because they could not effectively fight back, and because civil (or even uncivil) government was often a blessing -- it kept some kind of order in an inherently chaotic pagan or secular universe.
There is no principle of objective moral order in either a secular or a pagan cosmos, so the only order there can be is that of coercion by the local strong man. Or, in our kinder and gentler age, tyranny by mind-control. Even a tyrant is often better than chaos, the fighting among the ever-present would-be tyrants.
Or, in the case of modern secularism, the borrowing of a moral order from the more or less conquered remains of Western Judeo-Christendom.
But the Parental Govenment leaves the citizens in a child, rather than an adult, relationship to government. In an adult relationship, the citizens as a body rule the government. In a child relationship, the government rules the citizens through control of education, welfare, and/or health care, backed up by a near monopoly on coercive force. A government not under the law and grace of God will be the arbitrary decider of right and wrong, and of who is and is not a person, and thus of who should live and who should die. We see it today in abortion and Obama's proposed Health Care program.
That kind of government is not limited to being a referee, it becomes a full fledged parent to a childishly dependent and childishly obedient population. An honest referee does not make the rules of the game as the game goes along, he enforces those rules made by the players and organizers of the game. He is their paid employee, not a parent.
Along side of lack of moral order, there is one other factor which almost always undermines whatever might begin of a free society -- government control of education. Government control of education happened unwittingly and naively in America because no one had any idea yet of the power of mind-control and brainwashing -- which did not get invented until the late 1800's in Germany. And government had come to have a "friendly" demeanor In America.
The problem with government education, however, ought to have been obvious for the simple reason that all law is coercive, including education law. The problem is that government does almost everything coercively, as it were, at gunpoint. That is the legitimate nature of civil government -- which is also why it must be limited. But being coercive is not conducive to a free-market of ideas, and therefore not education-friendly. Civil government should never control education.
Furthermore, certain persons advocating government control early in America must have had at least an unconscious awareness of the negative power of enforced education.
Horace Mann, the primary early perpetrator ca. 1830-50, of government-controlled education, was a Unitarian who did not like the Christian education system. It was, of course, no "system" at all, it was an almost entirely free-market education. Government had little influence in education, and that little was almost all local and easily controlled by parents. Free-market education: you want to educate your children? Go ahead. It's your business. Hire your teachers, build your schools. Have at it. And we had the best educated population in the world, by far. The issue for Mann et al was not better education, but control of education. And thereby, control of the thinking of the people.
Something in the psyche of Mann and his allies told them that if government got control of education, and if then they got control of government, they would have a lock on the minds of the people. He used as his model, of all places, probably the most militaristic nation on the face of the earth -- Prussia, run by the Junkers, the military elite class who had a hammer lock on the population through a state-controlled, tax-supported, mandatory education system. The goal of government education, right from the beginning, was control, not education. The Junker culture fed right into the later fascist culture of Germany.
There is no hope of any people being able to control a civil government) to which a people gives both a near monopoly on coercive power and, at the same time, the right and power to educate its citizens. The students (the whole young population) become the child of that controlling body because the controllers will educate the people keep them dependent on the government, and to vote them back into power, not to be truth-seekers in the political arena. Every dictator in the world goes immediately after the education of young minds. The now child-citizenry will never be able to keep control of a parent government which educates it. Mind-control education has become the primary way tyrants and despots keep control of the people. Some the most gifted and highly trained psychologists in the world dedicate their labors to those efforts of control.
The same can be said of both welfare and health care under government -- they become coerced, not freely chosen, and thus controlling and infantilizing the population.
Only if there is a working free-market of ideas can there possibly be an adult population, standing on its own intellectual, moral, and spiritual feet, which can control those whom they appoint to referee the public arena. Where that free-market of ideas is lacking, the referees will soon become the Centralizers and Controllers, the referees become the deciders of right and wrong, the deciders of who shall and shall not live. They become not only the parent, they become The Parent -- an idolatry of government over God. That idolatry was "officially" established by the Supreme Court in 1962, when it dismissed God as Sovereign (Engel vs. Vitale - outlawing prayer in government-run schools), and took for itself the role of God.
The civil government does not, as claimed, have "an overriding interest" in educating the people. The people, themselves, have that overriding interest, society has that interest. Civil government is the creature of the people, and thus is itself the child of the people, of society. The only interest government has is to referee according to the rules set by We, the People, under God. The people as a body are the boss, not the government. That is how our Declaration of Independence and Constitution set up our government.
How do the people keep their adult relation to the government wielding all that coercive power? How can these disparate individuals be "a body"? ...only by being under the authority of, and therefore bearing the authority of, God. The people cannot be a meaningful "body" unless they are held together by a moral consensus.
God, and only God, can give the people that moral consensus which unifies them sufficiently to stand as a united body in control of their governors (referees). No civil government can long stand against a morally united people. It is the Church's task to help parents and families form that moral consensus. The family is the smithy where souls are forged. The Church is the Conscience of society. The Church has no coercive force, but operates in the free-market of ideas to educate the people about their spiritual heritage, to lead in worship, to proclaim the word of God -- the word of freedom, as our Liberty Bell quotes Leviticus 25:10: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof".
God, and only God, can give the citizens that intellectual, moral, and spiritual adulthood which enables the population to maintain its own freedom in the face of a potentially tyrannical government. Such an adult people will never allow themselves to be nannied by the government, and so they will never become slaves on a government plantation.
The forces of tyranny and centralization of government have so badly compromised Western people, largely through government-controlled dis-education systems, that very few peoples are anymore able to be adults with respect to their governments. (Socialism/communism/fascism/etc. -- "right" or "left" makes no difference, the issue is centralization, not which party does it.) We are being routinely nannied into submission. That being the case, elections are a sham, and the controllers stay in power while the people fight irrelevant contests between the political parties.
Not until Americans, and Westerners all over, especially Judeo-Christians, regain their intellectual, moral, and spiritual integrity, will we be able once again to take an adult role with respect to those whom we elect to rule over us. Only the children of God can be adults with respect to their government (go to Only a Saved People can Keep Civil Government on a Constitutional Tether).
Such a system was developed over centuries of Western struggle between Church and State, leading to the English common law and parliamentary system, and to the American democratic republic under God.
We either will restore our Biblical foundations, or we can plan on a long and unpleasant childhood, not under God, but under civil government.
Either Jesus is Lord, or civil government will be lord.
See also, Free-Market of Ideas.... on the Separation (1) of Powers & (2) between Church & State.
BK Eakman: Cloning of the American Mind - Eradicating Morality Through Education
Educating for the New World Order
Trojan Horse in American Education
Is Public Education Necessary?
John Taylor Gatto: The Underground History of American Education
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