When we have a choice between God and Caesar, for the sake of our salvation and our freedom, we each must choose to love God first and our neighbor (even our leader) second, and good government allows us the liberty to do so. When we choose to abuse our liberty, good government also allows us each to suffer the consequences. That is how we learn virtue.
Here is the reply from mastersamwise.
But, as I said before, the government is us and those who represent us, our responsibility to have right ideas becomes all the more critical. I wrote a bit on that once.
If the desires of the state via the consent of the government are for virtue as Aristotle and his Scholastic successors contend, where is the issue? In other words, when Caesar is Constantine or Edward the Confessor, must there be a choice between God and government? (from here)
Don’t be tempted to blow off. His argument is actually a very old argument, and throughout most of human history those arguing for powerful leaders have won the argument. Thus, there have been very few republics. For thousands of years at a time, there have been none. Now and then one suddenly appears and then fades into a monarchical state, but that is about it. That includes our own country, the United States. Over the years our president has become more and more powerful. Given our present course, sooner or later, our president will become a monarch. Unfortunately, there have been few leaders like Constantine or Edward the Confessor.
Therefore, I ask. What is the appropriate response to ‘s question? What are the options? Before I offer my own opinion in a post on Monday, I believe it would be useful to hear what others think.