Yes, Obama lied, but that’s OK! Have you read how nearly everybody in the media and among Democrats are making excuses for President Obama about his promise that we could keep our insurance if we want to? It’s insane, but expected.
Some have argued that Obama needed to lie in order to get the Affordable Care Act passed. If he hadn’t lied, we would not have ObamaCare today. Actually, every proposed government program is based on a lie.
One of the most ingenious excuses for Obama’s big lie is the claim that most Americans don’t know what’s good for them so they need government to intervene can care for them with other people’s money.
The liberal argument goes something like this, as Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller describes governmental paternalism:
“The proles [those of the lower classes] were happy with inferior plans. They were too stupid to know what’s good for them. Obama’s lie was necessary in order to bring about the greater good for the most people. The ends justify the means.”
This is the real issue. Government has become our caretaker. Millions of Americans expect government to do things for them – everything from womb to tomb financial security to educating us from cradle to grave. Millions of Americans want the State to take care of them. It’s a form of self-imposed slavery.
Herbert Schlossberg described it best in his book Idols for Destruction:
“The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as [C.S.] Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. “Our whole lives are their business.”1
“The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency.
“When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction.”2
Parents provide for their children in order to guide them into adulthood. Dependency can become a great evil, especially when it leads to idolatry. Schlossberg again:
“[W]hen we regard the state as the source of physical provision we render to it the obeisance of idolatry. The crowds who had fed on the multiplied loaves and fishes were ready to receive Christ as their ruler, not because of who he was but because of the provision. John Howard Yoder has rightly interpreted that scene: ‘The distribution of bread moved the crowd to acclaim Jesus as the new Moses, the provider, the Welfare King whom they had been waiting for.’”
Obama and Co. want the people to be dependent on the State. In biblical terms, civil government is a servant — a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4) — not god.
- C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 314. [↩]
- Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, , 1993), 184. [↩]