We Are Helpless Before the State…


“There is only one really startling thing to be done with the ideal, and that is to do it. It is to face the flaming logical fact, and its frightful consequences. Christ knew that it would be a more stunning thunderbolt to fulfill the law than to destroy it.” – G.K.Chesterton, What’s Wrong With the World

Surely by now, we have seen that we can’t ignore God and do it our way. And that means the little spiritual rebellions we think we are and have been getting by with. We aren’t getting by with them. We have simply been ignoring the growing problems.

Look how our earthly political power inexplicably can and has failed in place after place. If we win an election at one level, we lose in another. And it has turned the tide ever so slowly into great momentum against the power and locus of decision making the family once had.  Why is that so? We cannot accept some scriptures and not others and the construct of life for everyone go the right way.  All of the problems we face today, some of us unjustly more than others, are and have been caused by Garden of Eden decisions made by those of us who consider themselves “good Christians”. Those decisions have been constructed this way: “Surely if I do this, what this scripture says will happen will not happen. My problem will actually be solved. The suffering I don’t want to endure will go away.” And when the stated consequences didn’t happen right away, at least in our case, as the years allowed our personal rebellion to “work”, we  have thought the same as did Adam and Eve about dying: 600 years have passed and we are still here. Yes, things have changed around us. They have changed for others. But we are still here! It didn’t change for us!  That is where wrong-headed interpretations of clear biblical mandates of prohibition began. And so many have suffered as a result; suffering others, we in our selfishness, simply ignored. Now it can no longer be ignored because the consequences of those rebellions are catching up to you and I on a massive scale.

Let us take the case of Virginia as one example of many happening now.  Virginia now faces a removal, from the family, the right to defend itself with a serious challenge to its 2nd amendment rights. Virginia is now also facing more encroachment on the family to make decisions for the well being of its members. And that is not because of a judgment rendered in a particular divorce settlement. No, it is happening because the legal framework from divorces has already been constructed so the legal framework for the following is now possible. Now both of those instances of decision making are being accorded to the State instead of where they used to be – with the parents and the family.

So many of us forget that chasing a university education is a relatively new idea in the historical timeline. God and a *real* relationship, real devotion to worship has been pushed aside for that purpose all these years, because both are labor intensive pursuits. Yet what was achieved? What did we get as a result? We got an even more rebellious youth, indeed, a politically indoctrinated youth who have turned against their families and their beliefs in greater numbers. But what preceded that?

The thing that came about because of pursuing the money needed for that education and all the distractions that came with it, whose pursuing at the job for more money tore many families apart: Divorce.  One recalls when facing that startling fact a pertinent question: What did God warn about serving both money and himself? One would be hated. In fact, he reminded us that pursuing wealth would cause us much pain ( 1 Timothy 6:10) Has that happened to many of us?  An honest assessment would have to answer that it has.

The only way around this, especially for Christians, is to go back to doing what we are supposed to have been doing all along: Focus on worship, preaching the good news, and protecting and growing the family. And to do that, the clock has to be turned back (something Chesterton said could be easily done)  – women must go home and men must eschew ambition and power. The family must become a strong and undivided unit again.

Chesterton predicted what would happen if divorce ever became frivolous and easy; it would give more power to the State over the family ….and it has. Indeed, its brokenness has reached into the very holiness of the Church and begun warring with it.

Chesterton correctly and presiently showed us where both the problem is and its solution:  “Without the family, we are helpless before the State.” And so it is that we now are.  He goes on to relate that it is not just any family construct that will save us but only that which God constructs, a family that is the original husband and wife with their own children, man and woman for life.

Here is the quote in context:
“The masters of modern plutocracy know what they are about. They are making no mistake; they can be cleared of the slander of inconsistency. A very profound and precise instinct has let them to single out the human household as the chief obstacle to their inhuman progress. Without the family we are helpless before the State, which in our modern case is the Servile State. To use a military metaphor, the family is the only formation in which the charge of the rich can be repulsed. It is a force that forms twos as soldiers form fours; and, in every peasant country, has stood in the square house or the square plot of land as infantry have stood in squares against cavalry. How this force operates this, and why, I will try to explain in the last of these articles. But it is when it is most nearly ridden down by the horsemen of pride and privilege, as in Poland or Ireland, when the battle grows most desperate and the hope most dark, that men begin to understand why that wild oath in its beginnings was flung beyond the bonds of the world; and what would seem as passing as a vision is made permanent as a vow.” – G.K. Chesterton, The Superstition of Divorce (source: St. Peter’s Basilica)

Image source: Benjamin West,1791, Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise

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