Statism Is Idolatry

From Politics & Evangelical Theology :

"[F]or Hegel and his successors the primary engine by which this utopia would be achieved is an all-powerful, totalitarian State. And I do not mean “totalitarian” necessarily as a bad word. It simply means a State interested in the totality of life, a State that does not turn a blind eye to any area of life where there is human suffering, a State that lets nothing fall through the cracks, a State that produces equity wherever inequity exists. The State is fundamentally benevolent, in Hegel’s mind, for it has humanity’s best interests at heart. It is through the power of an all-encompassing, benevolent State that humanity will overcome that which entangles and hinders human progress (e.g., “petty partisan differences,” racial and social conflict, economic inequalities). After all, if people are going to relinquish their pride and prejudices (not to mention their property), someone is going to have to make them. What better institution than the one with inherently coercive power: civil government?

If all this seems like a tall order, that is because it is. One of Hegel’s most famous quotes is that “[T]he State is the march of God through the world.” You want divine incarnation? You want God to reveal himself? Don’t go looking for a manger in Bethlehem. Look to the benevolent, almighty State. It is He, not the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, who “works all things for good.” The State is, for all intents and purposes, God. And that explains why, when referring to progressivism’s view of the State, I am capitalizing it. For its claims are nothing less than the claims of Deity. Do I exaggerate? I seem to recall a certain Presidential candidate in 2008 promising to make the oceans recede. Yes, that was ridiculous campaign hyperbole; but very revealing hyperbole, nonetheless."

Brian Mattson