Saturday, May 21, 2016

Invasive Civil Government

Throughout its history, America was the place people fled to when they wished to escape from invasive government.  When faced with a social or cultural problem, Americans did not think of civil government when solutions were being sought.  What attracted people to these shores was the fact that we governed ourselves.  Because civil government has undergone such monstrous expansion in our time, we have forgotten this.  Most people don’t even know that family and church are governments, tasked to handle social problems, because their roles have been handed over to civil government.  We used to know this, though, and throughout our history charity was always a natural outgrowth of the Biblical morality of private citizens.  When confronted by the social ills brought on by poverty, people banded together and created hospitals and schools and every other kind of charitable institution that could possibly help.

All of this changed when the South was destroyed.  The very fabric of American life was torn by the War Between the States, and it could not be repaired: a new garment would have to be made, and civil government would be doing the making.

Patrick Michael Murphy, “How the West Was Lost,” p.39-40

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