What Does It Mean To Live In A Nanny State?
Can the Law be used to shape the morality of a people? Of course, it can. To illustrate just that point we will consider what is involved in creating a nanny state.
When we speak of the nanny state, we do not usually speak of slavery. Yet what a nanny state eventually becomes is a nation of slavish people. Here is an example. Have you considered the why Hebrews who left Egypt with Moses behaved as they did? In spite the fact they dramatically experienced the presence of Almighty God, they had no faith in Him. So it is that when God offered the Hebrews The Promised Land, they feared to enter.
Why such fear? Perhaps they had trouble developing the wisdom that comes from a healthy fear of the Lord. Perhaps that is why God left them to die in the Wilderness.
Numbers 14:26-38 New King James Version (NKJV)
Death Sentence on the Rebels
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 Butas for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. 35 I the Lord have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’”
36 Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, 37 those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the Lord.38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.
What is it about slavery that left most of the Hebrews twenty years old and above so unsuitable to God’s purposes? Consider the definition of “slavish.”
1. of or befitting a slave: slavish subjection.
2. being or resembling a slave; abjectly submissive: He was slavish in his obedience.
3. base; mean; ignoble: slavish fears.
4. deliberately imitative; lacking originality: a slavish reproduction.
To a large extent, slaves are made, not born. When the Egyptians made the Hebrews their slaves they worked to make the Hebrews slavish. That no doubt included making the Hebrews dependent, fearful of making decisions on their own.
Similarly, don’t the people of a nation become dependent in a nanny state? What happens then? Eventually, when it becomes impossible to feed, cloth, and shelter those who are unwilling to work, is it not necessary for some governmental body to assume tyrannical control and enslave the people?
So what does this have to do with the relationship between morality and the Law? Both the nanny state and tyranny are different aspects of the same problem, people abusing government power to shift the burdens of their desires — and the consequences of their sins — onto others.
- Those who desire the nanny state want mommy and daddy government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave. Therefore, we constantly hear various catch phrases. “It for the children.” “It is for the poor.” “It is for the old.” “You don’t know what it is like to be black (or gay, or a woman, or disabled, or a victim of some sort).” “That’s not fair.” “There ought to be a law.” And on and on and on.
- Those who desire to be counted among the ruling class want the power of government to stroke their egos. Even if you cannot be the king, it is still nice to be one of the king’s nobles. Right? Thus, the prideful use government to create slavish souls for their use and abuse. In fact, in the very process of creating a nanny state, don’t we institute special protected classes? When we allow some become more equal than others, have we not given government the power to create lords and ladies from those who were once just one of us?
Consider this argument.
The point is that the whole “chicken or egg” question is a fool’s errand. Laws can and do shape public morality – for good or bad. Libertarians often argue that social conservatives must win the “hearts and minds” of the American people before they can legislate morality. Those libertarians fail to realize that laws are a means to winning the “hearts and minds” of the American people. While the laws do not operate in a vacuum and must be supported with social efforts designed to advance public morality, they do play a key role and can lead to moral reform.
Social liberals are currently seeking legal precedent to advance homosexual marriage. A Supreme Court decision in support of homosexual marriage and federal and state laws in support of it will be used by the left to advance their agenda and to normalize the practice of homosexuality – just like they normalized abortion on demand. It is not inappropriate for social conservatives and others to seek to use the law to protect and advance their position. (from here)
Like it or not, every law has a moral component, an aspect that shapes the morality of a people. Thus, the article cited below states in summary.
Because every law springs from a system of values and beliefs, every law is an instance of legislating Morality. Further, because a nation’s laws always exercise a pedagogical or teaching influence, law inescapably exerts a shaping effect over the beliefs, character, and actions of the nation’s citizens, whether for good or ill. Those who seek to separate morality from law, therefore, are in pursuit both of the impossible and the destructive. The question before us is never whether or not to legislate morality, but which moral system ought to be made legally binding. (continued here)
For the sake of our children — if we want them to learn how to be Godly and God-fearing people, we must ensure our laws promote a moral society. How do we do that? We confine the law to its purpose. We demand that everyone be responsible for the consequences of their own actions (or inaction). We allow our government no more power than is necessary.
We remember our government’s founding purpose. Government does not exist to make the world “fair.” Government exists solely to protect our God-given rights.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (from here)
Interested in considering another point-0f-view? Check out Pulling The Tares of Tyranny and Uprooting the American Experiment at The American Post-Standard.
Also, please consider reading THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MORALITY AND THE LAW — PART 1.