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Friendly Fascism

mal8st.jpg"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Any guess who said this?

C. S. Lewis

I get together regularly with other pastors to look at the texts ahead in the lectionary and brainstorm on what we are going to preach for the weeks ahead. Last Wednesday morning a group of us were looking at Mark 10:41-45 and, for fun, I googled "power" and "quotes" and the above quote popped out. Yes, I have my laptop with me just about everywhere and I love to do research on the fly.

I read this and immediately thought of Joss Whedon's Firefly. It speaks directly, in fact, to the central theme of the movie Serenity in which Captain Malcolm Reynolds is confronted with the fact that the beauracratic and meddlesome Alliance created monsters in their attempts at social engineering. He leads his ragtag crew on a desperate attempt to broadcast the truth about the horrors, "'Cause as sure as I know anything, I know this: they will try again. ...they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave."

It is interesting to me that Mal Reynolds and C. S. Lewis would espouse similar ideas. Mal, the atheist veteran who lost his faith in battle, and C. S. Lewis, the conservative Christian theologian who penned the Chronicles of Narnia, were very similar in their suspicions of do-gooders in places of power.

And, for reading this all the way to the end, here's a treat...


(Sniff) I want more Firefly. (sob)

I remember when I was part of a Church of Christ women's listserv, back before I had three kids and plenty of time to keep up with stuff like that. This was in 2000, and so there were lots of posts about school prayer, God in schools, the need to have Christians in govt. and how great it would be if everyone in govt was a Christian, etc., etc. I'm probably more conservative in doctrinal matters than many people who read this blog, but I had to point out to them that if they wanted to preserve the religious freedom that we have now, they didn't really want a theocracy (seeing as how, unlike in OT times, God Himself would not actually be ruling)--I am sure that at least some of the Taliban are like Saul (pre-Paul) and very sure that they are acting as God would have them to do, and in the best interests of mankind

Vernard Eller and Jacques Ellul argue that the purest form of Christian governance is anarchy.

Well, it pretty much would be, wouldn't it, because if we were all the kind of Christian God wanted us to be, we wouldn't need govt., would we--not even for social programs, really, because we would all take care of each other. I guess the only unit we might have would be the family....and that would be out of biological necessity, primarily, I think

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