Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Will our democracy become tyranny?

This is the question Francis Schaeffer sets out in his 'Christian manifesto.'

His arguement is compelling. He points out that for the first time in history, Western Society is trying to govern and legislate without God. Previously the Christian Worldview ensured freedom was protected yet given appropriate restrain by a right form of law that was accountable outside of itself- to God. He states that without God freedom will inevtiably spiral into chaos and anarchy as our sinful tendencies are unleashed, and that this will in turn bring about a totalitarian regime to check it. The problem here is that this regime also lacks the rudder of God's word, and so ends up restraining good and promoting evil.

It is arguable that we see this working itself out in British society. Rulers have always suffered much pressure from lobbiest to act in their interests. Think of the nobles of the English court. When, however, a King overstepped the mark, he was kept accountable to God by what was declared to the population by church leaders and by parliament's concern to shape their dealings on God's word. This could certainly be overstepped - as it was with Charles I. Nevertheless, it was a check.

Now humanism has largely replaced Christianity as the dominant worldview. This means that there is no higher governor to which human governors or populations submit. Lobbiests still hold sway - as say with the promotion of homosexuality. But there is no real check on this; there is no way of determining good from evil. Instead, the elit who govern decide law and even the nature of profound human institutions on the basis of 'concensus,' and then foist their decisions with the power of law on those who disagree. The looming redefinition of marriage is just one example.

We might say that democracy itself is intended to put a check on this, as those we diasgree with can be voted out. However, with the sidelining of the Christian worldview and the promotion of the humanistic one, this check has no sense of accountability to God and so the population becomes prone to affirm freedom in the absence of right form. Moreover, without this accountability, the power of the lobbiests and the humanistic doctrine of relativism makes it political suicide to question or resist what we are told the 'concensus' is, making democratic a one way street.

The situation we therefore find ourselves in, is one in which the elite in power can and does legislate according to their whims or that of lobbiests or the population - without limits, and then foist their decisions upon all whilst supressing disagreement and debate. Consider how B&B owners are being told they 'must' allow gay couples to share a room in their B&Bs, or how schools 'must' include sex education that affirms gay relationships. Think also of
the Scottish Tory minister stood down from the last election for voicing moderate but mainstream Christian views on sexuality.

These things come clothed in tolerance, but could it be that beneath them we can see tyranny? Could it be we see the rise of the totalitarianism Schaeffer warned about - seeking to assert control, but restraining freedom with the wrong form, and so restraining the wrong freedoms.