Idolatry in America
Idolatry is a sin considered to be very grave in the mainstream religions of America (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). Idolatry is the practice of worshipping an idol (especially physical objects such as statues carved or molded in specific images of a particular deity or god). Now you may be thinking, “Who could accuse every-day Americans of worshipping idols? Surely this is a practice reserved for savages in some third-world country. We live in a country built upon Judeo-Christian laws! Surely we would be smarter than to worship carvings of stone and clay!”
Well, Idolatry is a sin that is sometimes not fully understood. The main problem with the common conception of Idolatry is that it’s assumed (wrongly) that you need to be worshipping a physical object of some kind in order to be accused of Idolatry. In fact, institutions are even more powerful as idols of worship than physical objects of worship (especially in this day and age). An appropriate example of this is to look into the writings of the old Socialist writers. Bossuet, for example, says the following.
“One of the things which was the most strongly impressed upon the mind of the Egyptians, was the love of their country…. Nobody was allowed to be useless to the State; the law assigned to everyone his employment, which descended from father to son. No one was permitted to have two professions, nor to adopt another…. But there was one occupation which was obliged to be common to all, this was the study of the laws and of wisdom; ignorance of religion and the political regulations of the country was excused in no condition of life. Moreover, every profession had a district assigned to it…. Amongst good laws, one of the best things was, that everybody was taught to observe them. Egypt abounded with wonderful inventions, and nothing was neglected which could render life comfortable and tranquil.”
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just provides us with another example.
“The legislator commands the future. It is for him to will for the good of mankind. It is for him to make men what he wishes them to be.”
These men believe that the State is what gives life to all men; it is the State that gives men their form and teaches them virtue. There are many politicians here in America who, while they haven’t admitted so outright, believe in this nonsense, and cannot be convinced of their error. How could they believe that it is the State that gives men their form and teaches them virtue instead of God Almighty!?
Lepelletier provides us with yet another example.
“Considering the extent of human degradation, I am convinced, of the necessity of effecting an entire regeneration of the race, and, if I may so express myself, of creating a new people.”
What!? How can these men be considered great men, and these horrendous writings be taught to our children in the universities!?
The idol being worshipped by the authors of these quotes is the State, and what an impressive idol the State is! It can create the laws of civilization at will; it can tax, subsidize, imprison, legalize, and criminalize whoever and whatever it wants!
You wouldn’t think the State to be an idol. “What!? The State an idol!? What nonsense! The State isn’t some lifeless piece of stone or clay, the State has life, and shows its life in its management of the affairs of civilization!”
The Prophet Mohammed (on whom be peace) pointed out that the idols the Arabic people worshipped had neither the power to help them, nor to hurt them. If you picked up a stone or clay idol, and threw it across the room, could it save itself? Of course not, so how could this same stone or clay idol be of any use to you?
The State has this same problem, with a twist. The State is unlike any other idol in the since that it is, effectively, a living entity as the would-be critic pointed out in the quotation above. The problem with the critic’s analysis however is that he doesn’t address how the State manages to have life in the first place. Does it have life and form on its merit of its mere existence?
The truth is that no collective has a will, or even an existence independent of the individuals which make it a collective. While it is true the State has life, this life has come from the individuals which give it life. Without the individuals of society, the common man, the State could not even exist. He gives life to the State through his compliance with its laws, and his advocacy of its importance.
This in and of itself would not be a problem normally. We need a police force, a military, and courts of law. The problem arises when far too much importance is placed on the State, as in the quotations above, and I must emphasize to the reader that while no politician in this day and age would openly say such things, their actions speak differently. Take for example, Montesquieu, and his belief that the laws, and therefore the legislator, should divide up the fortunes accumulated by the whole of society in order to make the rich poor and the poor rich. Montesquieu says the following on this:
“To sustain the spirit of commerce, it is necessary that all the laws should favor it; that these same laws, by their regulations in dividing the fortunes in proportion as commerce enlarges them, should place every poor citizen in sufficiently easy circumstances to enable him to work like the others, and every rich citizen in such mediocrity that he must work, in order to retain or to aquire.”
Thus, according to Montesquieu, one of the functions of the law, and thus the legislator, and thus the State, should be to commit theft in order to pursue equality!
It is my belief that when you violate one Commandment of God, you are bound to violate another unless you repent. These writers went from worshipping the State as the force that gives life and form to civilization, in direct violation of the Commandment, “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me”, to advocating the law to steal from one group to give to another, in direct violation of another of God’s Commandments, “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”
How can it be that a country built on Judeo-Christian laws could commit these sins on a collective scale? The answer lies in the fact that religious faith is fading, for reasons I will not discuss in depth here, but it is enough to say for now that the main motivation for the denunciation of religious faith in the Western countries is due to the blatant hypocrisy of the Preachers, the Imams, the Rabbis, the religious scholars, and the people who follow them.
Those who either do not have faith in the teachings of God, or don’t know how to apply them to society are in manifest error! They violate, knowingly or unknowingly, the Commandments of God!
The legislators of today act as though they are indeed God, and while some challenge these actions by the legislator, the vast majority of the opposition to these transgressions are skin-deep. Many of them challenge the actions of the legislators/politicians because they would rather have their plans enacted and not those of another man.
A prime example of this today is Paul Ryan, who said of the president’s economic plan, quote;
“By failing seriously to confront the most predicable economic crisis in our nation’s history, the President’s policies are committing us and our children to a diminished future.”
He goes on further to say;
“Are we interested in treating the symptoms of poverty and economic stagnation through income redistribution and class warfare, or do we want to go at the root causes of poverty and economic stagnation by promoting pro-growth policies that promote prosperity?”
But what does Paul Ryan advocate in the place of the current plan? Well, looking at his voting record, he voted YES to making the Patriot Act permanent, YES to $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler, YES to $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending, YES to extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks, and YES to providing $70M for Section 8 Housing vouchers, among other things.
The current president is doing all of these things to a greater extent. If anything, he should be patting the president on the back, but instead, he speaks of values that he himself clearly doesn’t hold, and advocates a plan which differs from the current president only in degree of intensity. Indeed, at their core, the current president (Barack Obama) and Paul Ryan aren’t different at all. We can see quite clearly that the only real problem Paul Ryan has with the current president’s course of action is that it’s the president’s plan and not Paul Ryan’s.
The president (the position, not the person) is yet another idol the general public worships. They expect the president to plan for millions of differing micro-economies, as if anyone but God Almighty could do such a thing! If you don’t believe me, turn on the news and listen very carefully to the commentators and pundits. You’ll hear things such as, “This president’s plan is doing such a great job,” “This president’s plan is failing horribly,” “This president doesn’t have a plan for this or that,” etc. Turn on a presidential debate, and you’ll hear the moderators ask questions such as, “What is your plan for the economy? What is your plan for healthcare?”
How can anyone but God Almighty plan like this!? This is lunacy, and to think that a reasonable person is expected to support this nonsense!
Idolatry is truly an evil sin, and we have to watch the way we conduct ourselves very carefully, especially in this day and age.