When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws. — GK Chesterton
Wars of Small Laws
Donald Trump pivoted from billionaire celebrity to the world’s most powerful politician by promising peace. We believed him to be sincere in his critique of American foreign policy over recent decades. He openly criticized our adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American people are tired of always being at war against literally everything and everyone — drugs, alcohol, genders, ethnicities, races, religions and other nations. We want more reason, patience, forbearance and love. We demanded time horizons for deliberation, negotiation and settlement that take more than 144 characters to express.
What we got instead is the most tweety personality the world has ever seen. I have a feeling that his decision to assassinate the second most powerful political figure in Iran took place at the speed of a tweet. I hope he regrets the decision. And I pray that Iran exercises restraint in it’s response.
Most Americans know nothing about the Middle East. Our most organic connection is through Israel. America’s largest religious expression, Protestantism, developed a cohort over the last century that invented a new theology related to the Israeli government that works more like magic than reason. It matters not that Israel is as far as a society can be from the fundamental moral teachings of Christianity. Suffice it to say that the modern state of Israel is NOT Christian. And that’s a fact. It may be allied politically with the United States of America. It is not, however, interested in advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ in any way, shape or form.
America, on the other hand, was formed with European Christianity in mind. The lessons and culture of northern European Christianity — especially that of Britain — inform who we are as a people and a nation. We speak English, not Yiddish. Were we to heed the twentieth century’s most prolific writer in English, GK Chesterton, we’d realize that big laws are more important than small ones.
We are becoming a nation of debt and small laws that number in the trillions. Because the Ten Commandments can no longer be displayed or taught we must “trust” our government to maintain order with trillions of small laws and regulations. This small mindedness has produced a toxic impatient culture that attempts to move at the speed of Twitter’s stream (almost sounds urinary doesn’t it).
Trump is using his twitter feed to shift attention away from his Impeachment. War in the Middle East will surely accomplish that objective. He says he doesn’t want World War III. We must pray Persia chooses patience.
America’s spent a couple hundred years falling away from the big laws of faith, hope and love. We’ve ignored fidelity to Christian first principles while building out a culture and economy that is exclusively materialistic. Our Constitution is NOT the Bible. It does not exist in the world as the lens through which God’s will is viewed for all of mankind. It is not our duty to make the world safe for democracy. Democracy is not divine. Our constitution and democracy are mere constructions for civil government. They do not a theology make.
We must choose humility here. Iran and Iraq are the modern expression of Persia. Their civilization goes back thousands of years before Christ. Ours … if you include England … descends into the murk of pagan oral traditions at around the time of Christ. While our civilization is Christian and theirs is predominately Muslim there is no reason we cannot coexist on Earth. I think we must. To do so we are going to have to pursue a course of localization in this information age.
To use a boxing analogy the clock’s bell has rung. It is time for us to return to our corners before the next round. If we just keep swinging we risk landing a nuclear punch that will bring annihilation instead of surrender.
Here in America the big laws governing immigration, respect for local customs, enforceable borders, homogeneity of neighborhoods and marriage as the rule for sex must be written and enforced. The quibbling over special rights for porn addicts and financiers must end. We need a new breed of ruler.
Chesterton observed a hundred years ago, “Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.” Things haven’t gotten any better for the English speaking world. It is time to grow up.