Ask a Christian which is the most dangerous religion and the answer will most likely be Islam. Ask an atheist and he might answer: “Religion is the cause of most of the wars in history, so all religions are dangerous.” Ask an anarcho-capitalist or a hard core libertarian, and he will say the belief in authority or government is the most dangerous religion.
What? Belief in authority or government is a religion? Read this excerpt from Larken Rose’s book The Most Dangerous Superstition:
“…patriotic rituals and songs, as well as the overtly religious reverence given to two pieces of parchment – The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution – also demonstrate that people do not merely view ‘government’ as a practical necessity; they view it as a god, to be praised and worshiped, honored and obeyed…The other gods people claim to believe in, and the churches they attend, are now, by comparison, little more than empty rituals and half-heartedly parroted superstitions. When it comes to their everyday lives, the god that people actually pray to, to save them from misfortune, to smite their enemies, and the shower them with blessings, is ‘government.’ It is ‘government’ whose commandment the people most often respect and obey.
Whenever a conflict arises between ‘government’ and the teachings of the lesser gods – such as ‘pay your fair share’ (taxation) versus ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ or ‘duty to country’ (military service) versus ‘Thou shalt not murder’ – the commands of ‘government’ supersede all the teachings of the other religions.
…Perhaps most telling is that if you suggest to the average person that maybe God does not exist, he will likely respond with less emotion and hostility than if you bring up the idea of life without ‘government’. “
What makes the religion of government dangerous is that people believe there is some group of people that have the right to rule and do things that the average person does not, and that it’s a shared religion among all faiths. Even atheists worship at this altar.
If you’ve read this far, you no doubt think the above views are extreme, and maybe even offensive. I invite you to read Larken’s book. It will challenge your beliefs on “authority” and the role of government. You might not even agree with most of it, but hopefully you might start asking yourself does government have the right
– To say what I teach my children?
– What my pastor preaches?
– How much of my labor I get to keep?
– Where and when I can pray?
– What lifestyles I have to embrace?
– Who my enemies are?
– Throw me or my neighbor in a cage for _________
I doubt Larken Rose is a Christian; however, don’t let that stop you from considering what the role of government should be.