Thanks Be to the Nanny State

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive” -C.S. Lewis

What if some parents neglect giving their kids an education? What if some parents give their kids too much liberty that they are put in harms way? What if a family decided they wanted to live off the grid and plan to sell unpasteurized milk to the public? What if a bakery were to give leftovers to the homeless? Thankfully we have a Nanny that keeps us from our own folly; who gives us boundaries and keeps watch over us so we do not hurl ourselves into walls. Right?

Wrong! If you are in agreement, then you have been conditioned well. You see no problems with this, yet that is the very problem. You are okay with a big government. Yet, as we continue to freely relinquish our freedoms, the state happily assumes the role. We are content with that exchange. 

We defend the idea that they are enforcing laws/rules to keep the people safe, to help the poor, and to look out fornanny state the well-being of its citizens. Those who do not have the opportunity, now have it. Those who may do something to endanger their neighbor are furnished with a set of rules or guidelines to follow for safety. Those who have nothing will be helped by those who have too much. We conclude that since many fail to govern themselves, the state simply helps to look out for us and assure order, safety, and equality. Yet, could it be that people neglect governing themselves solely because we have become reliant on the state to do it for us? Lets look at a few examples: 

Education

I have heard this: If we were to leave education in the hands of the parents, there would be some, who for many reasons, fail to teach their children adequately or at all. This is what we were told and therefore, compulsory state education was the answer. Sounds genuine, I mean what about those parents who just decide not to educate their children due to lack of funds, inability, laziness, etc.? Thanks be to the Nanny state! Or not. Since the Nanny has assumed the role, our society is left with this fear. Yet before 1837, literacy rates were very high and concludes the opposite. In addition, this concept was originally proposed to a nation who thought otherwise (yet conceded anyways). Ray Sutton explains:

Let me ask you a question: How could anyone sell this idea to a nation of illiterates? How could State education promoters get taxpayers to finance the schools if the taxpayers didn’t believe in paying for education? It’s ridiculous! The only voters who would accept such an argument have already decided in favor of educating their children. To get a majority behind such a program of compulsory State education, you would first have to find voters who already overwhelmingly were literate and who were interested in educating their children.

In short, the humanists made this appeal to people who had not abandoned their family responsibilities to educate their children.

Parenting

I used to live near a farm where it was the duty of the 10-year-old to drive the tractor. We went to a fall festival there, and he picked up the visitors up at the entrance and drove them down to the farm. The well-being and safety of the adults were at the hands of a responsible and well mannered young man. No problem. My wife is from Nepal. Kids there sometimes walk a mile to school each day with classmates from the same village, without their parents. Yet, in Florida a mother was arrested, facing five years in jail for child neglect when she allowed her 7-year-old child to walk alone to the park. We have been conditioned to ask why the mom would put her child at such risk. Simple. She is his mother, and felt comfortable with her child doing this (as he has been doing twice a week), an ethical decision that is left in the hands of the parents. However, the police felt otherwise, and what they say overrides the authority of the mother over her child. Civil government invaded the authority of family government.

Off Grid Living/Homesteading

I love fresh cow milk. We drank it in Nepal. It was boiled first and left to cool. However, in America the restrictions abound. The Nanny state knows whats best and doesn’t want us to harm ourselves without the proper pasteurization methods. Thanks be to the Nanny state! For instance, here in Virginia raw milk sales are prohibited.

How about this story about Robin Speronis She transitioned completely to off-grid living, and after a local news station did a story on her she received a notice that her property was “unfit for human habitation.” Well, the person living in that habitation obviously did not think so, but it was declared so by Cape Coral code compliance. She was not meeting their “code” standards. The city cited “Speronis for 36 code and ordinance infractions, from an improperly installed electrical system to insufficiently heated water.” And on the story goes…..read it! You must heat that water properly! Thanks be to the Nanny state for not allowing us to endanger ourselves. 

Feeding the poor

How about this: Two pastors and a 90-year-old man charged for feeding the homeless. Fort Lauderdale’s new ordinance publicly bans public food sharing and one could face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. One of the mandatory requirements for providing public food: you must offer toilet facilities, something these guys obviously did not provide. How about New York? Leftover food donations to homeless shelters is outlawed because, “the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content.” Thanks be to the Nanny state for instructing us that it is better to throw these away than to possibly give “improper” food to the poor.  

Conclusion 

The reason many argue for government intervention, due to neglect or ignorance of citizens to do the right thing, is solely because we have become dependent on them to do it. It is a cycle we are in. We are content being babysat by the Nanny state. The nurseries and full, the diapers need changing, and no one wants to potty train. Why do I say all this? Because as Christians we should not follow in the same footsteps as the world. We are to be salt and light. It is the Christians who have been commissioned to disciple the nations. We need to read up on what the Bible has to say about God’s ordained governments and take responsibility. It begins at the bottom up, not at the top down. It begins with self-government. An excellent start is Gary DeMar’s God and Government. Second, to see how we lost these freedoms, and steps to restore them read Joel McDurmon’s book Restoring AmericaGive it a shot. It may just expose your own dependence on the state as well.