Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of a major step toward socialism. Of course, anyone of a paleo-conservative persuasion (as over and against the Reagan Republicans, neo-conservatives, RINOs, etc.) recognizes the downward spiral for decades and even a century. Eminent domain was bad enough for the cause of private property, then they added mill levies—which if not paid (even if you paid off your house) will result in losing one’s house—and now this.
It is clear that righteousness exalts a nation while wickedness devours her soul. Yet, this is simply not another political tirade against the insufferable onslaught of postmodern inanities (witness also the various Donkey Deans of the Democratic Party), but a concise analysis of the spiritual roots of this issue.
I do not claim to know the niceties of the case (reading the long opinions is left to other experts on my side [but who are not in my pocket!])—although I did watch a local PBS Reggie Rivers show wherein two experts agreed that a nuance was accomplished: a nuance that shifted the eminent domain usage of “public use and control” to (the nebulous) “public benefit”, which includes condemning houses for a Megamart which could woo the local city with fantastic—and unproven—predictions of large revenue for the city—but when given certain basic Biblical principles of government and private property, one can a priori determine the illegitimacy of this ruling.
What was the true underlining reason? Could this have been avoided? The answer to the first question depends upon one’s worldview. Mine is rooted deeply in the Reformation doctrine of sphere sovereignty (the demarcation of family, church & state), God’s sovereignty and ecclesiastical and political Republicanism. Yet, part of the root of this problem lies further underground in that first and truly American philosophy: Pragmatism. If it works, do it!
Apparently, part of the rational was that many cities (such as Chicago) were already using eminent domain within this matrix of “what’s good for the greatest is good for all”. (And it seemed to work.) Ironically, this matrix simply expresses the nineteenth century defunct philosophy of Utilitarianism, the cousin of Pragmatism. So: do the greatest good and do the workable. Double whammy.
We so easily forget that these rationales are tools used by postmodern Communists and Socialists. The latter has progressed easily through America by combining both rationales: taxing the rich helps the greatest number; limited land distribution works as well.
Yet, this is not the end of the story: Christians are just as much at fault. The ethics of too many Evangelicals has been that of Utilitarianism or Pragmatism. Laws are passed by the populace because it will “help more people”; politicians are voted in office (again and again) because “they seem to work”. Men are voted into positions of authority because “voting for the right candidate is a losing proposition (not workable), so we vote for the lesser evil (for the greatest good)”. And Christians vote right along with them.
As for the second question (Could this have been avoided?), frankly, given the climate of America in the last thirty years, this could not have been avoided. When the churches spout theological nonsense, it will surely poison the culture associated with it: remember Clinton, Kerry, Jesse and other political and cultural leaders all claim to be Christians!
So, is this blog simply stating a sad state of affairs? No, there is a long-term solution: Principled Politics. Christians need to stand upon the Word and vote the truth—even if it hurts. The American Revolution was accomplished against two-thirds of the populace who were Royalist or indifferent. What’s our excuse? We ought to recognize the sources of the Supreme Court Socialism and act accordingly. We ought to know the Gospel and the power of justification by faith alone in Christ alone instead of justifying our governmental thievery with “well, it works for the greatest number.”