Proverbs 21:30

Leviathan, Civil Society and National Morality

by Joe Carter:

Don’t blame the culture wars for the recent debates about contraception, says Phillip W. De Vous in this week’s Acton Commentary (published Apr. 4), the real culprit is statism. The full text of his essay follows. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Leviathan, Civil Society and National Morality
by Phillip W. De Vous

Political campaigns in every era have included talk of morality and moral principles in general. They rarely shy away from discussing even very specific moral issues if those issues are currently in the air or of national salience. The current presidential campaign, however, has been by any reckoning almost surreal in its discussion of very intimate and personal moral issues. This reality is perfectly illustrated in the current debate over contraception and the contraceptive mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services that forces all insurers to cover birth control and other “un-family” planning.

This is interesting. Many of my fellow conservatives think that the reason the contraception issue has made such a dramatic appearance in this political season is due to a new outbreak of the ongoing culture wars that have been afflicting American unity since the 1960s. There is some truth in that analysis, but it is incomplete. The appearance of these controversial, even intimate moral issues has more to do with the unchecked growth of state power incarnate in the welfare state. The ideology that is fueling this debate is known as statism. This idea and form of governing insists that there is no real limit to the coercive and confiscatory power of the state as it applies to the lives of citizens. It views the people of a nation not as citizens who are sovereign but as subjects to be “cared” for, directed, and regulated.


ht linda



April 4, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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