A satanic group commissioned a statue of the devil to be placed beside a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn in Oklahoma City. “The statue, being sculpted in a New York studio, is nearly complete, according to Lucien Greaves, spokesman for the Satanic Temple.” The statue is an image of Baphomet, or Sabbatic Goat, a figure that has been used to represent Satan for centuries.
I love this response to the proposed satanic idol. “Oklahoma officials say there is no way in hell that a statue of Satan will ever assume a position at the Capitol.”
So what argument can be used to stop the display of the statue? The Oklahoma Constitution:
“Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessing of liberty; to secure just and rightful government; to promote our mutual welfare and happiness, we, the people of the State of Oklahoma, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”
It’s not invoking the guidance of Almighty God and Satan; it’s God alone. In fact, God is the antithesis of Satan. To combine them in a place of authority makes the display philosophically and logically divided against itself: “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matt. 12:25).
The state of Oklahoma would be stupid to allow such a contradictory statement of belief. It would be similar to placing the Constitution of an Islamic nation next to our own Constitution; it would have the same illogical and insane effect.
No person, nation, or state can be religiously neutral. If a government refuses to acknowledge God as the sovereign ruler over its affairs, it is not being neutral. It has taken a position against God and has made itself the sovereign ruler over everybody’s affairs with no ultimate authority to which it would have to answer. The State would be God. G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) said as much:
“The state in and by itself is the ethical whole, the actualisation of freedom; and it is an absolute end of reason that freedom should be actual. The state is mind on earth and consciously realising itself there. In nature, on the other hand, mind actualises itself only as its own other, as mind asleep. Only when it is present in consciousness, when it knows itself as a really existent object, is it the state. In considering freedom, the starting-point must be not individuality, the single self-consciousness, but only the essence of self-consciousness; for whether man knows it or not, this essence is externally realised as a self-subsistent power in which single individuals are only moments. The march of God in the world, that is what the state is.”
There’s no getting around the simple and irrefutable principle that there is always a god in authority.
Even anarchists can’t be neutral since they establish themselves as individual absolute sovereigns. Anarchists will claim that they operate on the premise that they can do whatever they want as long as none of their action infringe on the rights of other sovereign individuals.
Who made up that law? Who says that I can’t bash in the head of another supposed sovereign individual? There is no basis for the claim that harm of another individual is a moral wrong in a godless universe.
If the State ever becomes consistent with its claim that there is no transcendent sovereign and personal God that even the State must obey, then the State will supplant Him. There is no escaping God.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe the government cannot endure permanently half believing in God and half believing in Satan.” I would add, a nation can’t survive that capitulates to the belief that either the State or the individual is god.
Roland Watson gets it right:
“The State may indeed be God’s delegate for a particular duty at a particular time and place but when the modern State attempts to take upon itself the incommunicable attributes of God then there is a monstrosity in the making.
For consider the omniscience of God and the pretence the State makes to this unattainable goal. Thanks to the massive storage and access capabilities of computers, the State has within its grasp all knowledge within its self-appointed horizons. Like God, the State has access to information about us which we can only guess at or have long forgotten or lost.’
Arthur Leff (1935–1981), who taught law at Yale Law School, concluded that, given atheistic or no-God assumptions, there is no way to prove that “any particular act, no matter how horrible, is normatively wrong.” Leff stated:
“I will put the current situation as sharply as possible: there is today no way of ‘proving’ that napalming babies is bad except by asserting it (in a louder and louder voice), or by defining it as so, early in one’s game, and then later slipping it through, in a whisper, as a conclusion.”1
In Leff’s analysis, good for agnostics and atheists to deal with, “‘good’ becomes just a function of nosecounting.”2
The debate over putting a statue of the devil beside a copy of a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn in Oklahoma City is more than a debater’s trick. It’s a pact with the devil that will lead to national suicide.
George Orwell wrote, “For two hundred years we had sawed and sawed and sawed at the branch we were sitting on. And in the end, much more suddenly than anyone had foreseen, our efforts were rewarded, and down we came. But unfortunately there had been a little mistake. The thing at the bottom was not a bed of roses after all, it was a cesspool full of barbed wire.”3
- Arthur Allen Leff, “Economic Analysis of Law: Some Realism about Nominalism,” 60 Virginia Law Review (1974) 454–455. [↩]
- Leff, “Economic Analysis,” 455. [↩]
- George Orwell, “Notes on the Way” (1940). [↩]
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