Tag Archives: Statism

Mark Steyn argues that big government means less liberty

ECM sent this New Criterion article by Mark Steyn, Canada’s National Treasure, along with Ezra Levant, and Stephen Harper.

Have you heard about Paul A. Rahe’s new book entitled “Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift”? I heard an interview with the author on Milt Rosenberg’s radio show, and the podcast is here. But I also found this book review by Mark Steyn, which seems to be popular in the blogosphere. It’s a long read, but you will find it stimulating – especially the citations of Alexis de Toqueville. Prescient.

Excerpt:

…the consequence of funding the metastasization of government through the confiscation of the fruits of the citizen’s labor is the remorseless shriveling of liberty.Is it, as Mark Levin’s caller said, “inevitable”? No, not quite. But it seems like the way to bet. When President Bush used to promote the notion of democracy in the Muslim world, there was a line he liked to fall back on: “Freedom is the desire of every human heart.” Are you quite sure? It’s doubtful whether that’s actually the case in Gaza and Waziristan, but we know for absolute certain that it’s not in Paris and Stockholm, London and Toronto, Buffalo and New Orleans. The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government “security,” large numbers of people vote to dump freedom every time—the freedom to make their own decisions about health care, education, property rights, and eventually (as we already see in Europe, Canada, American campuses, and the disgusting U.N. Human Rights Council) what you’re permitted to say and think.

If you think you can run a Christian life in a welfare state run by secular socialists, think again. Their goals and values are not your goals and values, and they will force their goals and values on you, and on your children.

And ECM also send me this article by Mark Steyn in the National Review, regarding single-payer health care.

Excerpt:

When President Obama tells you he’s “reforming” health care to “control costs,” the point to remember is that the only way to “control costs” in health care is to have less of it. In a government system, the doctor, the nurse, the janitor, and the Assistant Deputy Associate Director of Cost-Control System Management all have to be paid every Friday, so the sole means of “controlling costs” is to restrict the patient’s access to treatment. In the Province of Quebec, patients with severe incontinence — i.e., they’re in the bathroom twelve times a night — wait three years for a simple 30-minute procedure. True, Quebeckers have a year or two on Americans in the life-expectancy hit parade, but, if you’re making twelve trips a night to the john 365 times a year for three years, in terms of life-spent-outside-the-bathroom expectancy, an uninsured Vermonter may actually come out ahead.

In Canada, you can deliver babies yourself while you wait. (H/T ECM)

And the same thing happens in the UK.

What is it like to be a Christian in an Islamic state?

Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch links to some interesting stories.

First, this story from Singapore, from AFP:

A Christian Singaporean couple were found guilty of sedition on Thursday for distributing evangelical publications that cast Islam in a negative light, court officials said.

Ong Kian Cheong and his wife Dorothy Chan had been charged with distributing a seditious publication to two Muslims in October and March 2007 and sending a second such booklet to another Muslim in December that same year, a district court official told AFP.

The publications were found to have promoted feelings of ill-will and hostility between Christians and Muslims, the Straits Times said on its website….

The sedition charge carries a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to 5,000 Singapore dollars (3,437 US) or both….

I’m surprised, because Singapore has one of the most free economies in the world, next to Hong Kong. I guess someone there cannot tolerate a public discussion about which religion is more likely to be true. This story reminds me of atheists, who sometimes sue people for offering to pray for them.

Second, this story from Pakistan, from Compass Direct News:

Nine pastors from two neighboring villages in Pakistan could face prison time for using loudspeakers to broadcast prayers and sermons from their churches on Easter Sunday. Martinpur and Youngsnabad, 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of Lahore, are majority Christian villages. The nine pastors who lead congregations there say that local Muslim security forces have twisted the law to solicit a bribe….

This reminds me of the left-wing ACLU, which sometimes sues people for mentioning Jesus in speeches.

Third, this story from Tanzania, from Compass Direct News:

Worship in a house church near Zanzibar City, on a Tanzanian island off the coast of East Africa, did not take place for the third week running on Sunday (May 24) after Muslim extremists expelled worshippers from their rented property. Radical Muslims on May 9 drove members of Zanzibar Pentecostal Church from worship premises in a rented house at Ungunja Ukuu, on the outskirts of Zanzibar City.

Angered by a recent upsurge in Christian evangelism in the area, church members said, radical Muslims had sent several threats to the Christians warning them to stop their activities. The church had undertaken a two-day evangelism campaign culminating in an Easter celebration. On the morning of the attack, more than 20 church members had gathered for Saturday fellowship when word reached them that Muslim extremists were about to attack.

As the radical group approached, the Christians fled in fear of their lives. “The group was shouting, saying, ‘We do not want the church to be in our locality – they should leave the place and never come back again,’” said one church member who requested anonymity.

Scary, but free speech is regulated in Canada, too, thanks to those Human Rights Commissions.

Fourth, this story from Pakistan, from Worthy news:

Suspected Muslim militants with links to the terror groups Al Qaeda and the Taliban attacked a historic church in northwestern Pakistan and burned Bibles and other Christian books, but police are reluctant to investigate the case and detain suspects, Christians said Tuesday, May 26.

The destruction of the St. George Grecian Church was discovered by workers renovating the building, said the church’s pastor Ijaz Masih in a statement distributed by rights group International Christian Concern (ICC).

Masih said that shortly after he presided over a Sunday service, workers “were shocked when they arrived” in the morning of May 12, “and found the church’s cross broken in pieces, the altar demolished and partially burned, Bibles and hymnbooks burned and torn apart, and the pews reduced to ashes.”

Well, the secular left does commit violent acts against defenders of traditional marriage.

I was surprised to learn from an Indian commenter that Christians are also persecuted in certain areas of India for evangelizing. Why do states insist on forcing their view of evangelism on individuals who have a different view? I wouldn’t force my view on anyone else, yet atheists and some nationalist Hindus and fundamentalist Muslims seem to do it all the time.

And it isn’t just dogma or strongly-held beliefs that causes extremism. There is no room for coercion in Bible-based Christianity. The more you believe in Christianity, the less you believe in coercion, and the more you believe in persuasion by reason and evidence. That’s what Jesus did.