Lately I have been working my way through Wayne Grudem’s textbook-like tome “Politics According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture” because I have seen it mentioned by several of the organizations and people we monitor and it’s been blurbed by the likes of Chuck Colson and Timothy Goeglein.
In it, Grudem lays out the proper Biblical position on everything from abortion and taxes to tariffs and farm subsidies … but I haven’t gotten to those issues yet as I am still working my way through the introductory chapters where Grudem lays out how the government is stealing precious seconds of his liberty and making the nation’s children fat and cowardly:
Every incremental increase in governmental regulation of life is also an incremental removal of some measure of human liberty. When small losses of liberty occur again and again and again over a period of years, people can become essentially slaves to the government without ever realizing its happening.
Here are some examples: If my local government would prohibit grocery stores from providing plastic bags, as San Francisco did in 2007, it would force me to use paper bags. This deprives me of my liberty to choose which kind of bag I want. But I cannot carry nearly as many paper bags as plastic bags from the car to the house, because the paper bags break and tear more easily. Therefore every trip to the grocery store will now require some additional trips between the car and the house, an incremental loss of human liberty for every citizen. The paper bags also take up more storage room an don’t work as well for certain other tasks, so there is another small loss of liberty. Perhaps some people thing this is insignificant, and perhaps others think there is an environmental benefit that comes from avoiding plastic bags, and that is worth the price of depriving the citizens of a small amount of liberty in this way. I do not. But my point is simply to note that my freedom to use my time as I wish has been eroded a bit, and no one seems to notice that this has happened.
Almost all of the really fun playground equipment that I loved as a boy growing up in Jim Falls, Wisconsin, has disappeared from playgrounds across America. there are much fewer merry-go-rounds or teeter-totters or high slides or high swings. Because of the threat of bankrupting lawsuits (and the lack of laws that place commonsense limitations on liability and damages for injuries), everything is padded and “safe,” and children are growing fat and timid and lazy, and they have lost the excitement of that great adventure of testing your courage and strength and balance and endurance against the playground equipment and against every else playing on it. Because of our nation’s failure to have some commonsense legal reforms, our children have lost much of their freedom (and health!) and nobody seems to notice or care.
Recently the US government required that all incandescent light bulbs (that fully light instantly) have to be discontinued by 2014. We have started to switch to cheaper energy-efficient bulbs, but when I walk into the closet or the kitchen pantry and turn on the light, it now takes several seconds until the room is fully lighted. So I wait, and another tiny bit of my liberty has been eroded – liberty to choose the kind of light bulb I prefer for each room, and liberty to use those few seconds of time as I wish.