Tucker Carlson, Virtual Teeth, and the Tension of Religion and Government

Recently, I watched a video titled “Tucker Carlson and the Dogs that Thankfully only seem to have Virtual Teeth” by Paul Vander Klay. The video, which can be found here, delves into the complex interplay between religion, government, and the social dynamics that surround these systems.

In the video, Paul makes a statement around the 14:28 mark that caught my attention. He says, “seldom do we deal with any of these systems at their extreme.” This statement, while insightful, prompted me to reflect on the current state of our society and the escalating tensions we face.

The Growing Power of Government

It’s no secret that the power and control of the government are growing. This power is increasingly being used by both sides of the political spectrum to leverage against the other. As a result, the tension between religion and government is becoming more of a focal point. The extreme end of government power can be likened to a gun barrel pointed at you if you refuse to comply with the law. When the law is no longer “on your side”, the stakes are raised quite high.

The Abortion Debate: A Case Study

Take, for instance, the ongoing abortion debate. One side wants to criminalize the mother and doctor involved in the procedure. This isn’t a matter of virtual teeth; the stakes are high. On one end, we have the life of an innocent child, and on the other, the lives of the doctor and mother. We’re left grappling with the question: would such a law be good or evil? As Christians, how do we vote and have wisdom in the formulation of these laws?

The Fence: More Than Just a Social Media Wall

Paul V. uses the analogy of a fence and dogs to discuss how we converse about these issues. He suggests that removing the fence might calm the dogs down. If the fence is simply a social media wall, I agree with his point. However, I don’t believe the fence is just that. There’s still the fence of the law, and you have two dogs fighting on both sides of it. Removing the fence would mean anarchy, and surely we are not suggesting that anarchy is the solution.

In conclusion, while I appreciate Paul’s insights and the conversation he’s started, I believe we need to consider the broader implications of the “fence” and the “dogs” in our society. The stakes are high, and the conversation is far from over.

The Fear of Christian Nationalism

People are scared of a *top-down Christian nationalism approach because of the teeth associated with it. I myself am a proponent of a bottom-up “Mere Christendom” approach (see Doug Wilson), and believe that our nation’s laws should be informed by the wisdom of Scripture and the natural outflow of a Christian culture. However, being reformed, I am also acutely aware of the problems with Sacralism.

The question of Church and State sphere boundaries is a recurring theme throughout Church History and remains a pressing issue within the Reformed Church today. The debate often centers around the concept of Christian Nationalism, with some fearing it echoes too closely to the overreach of ecclesiastical authority seen in the history of the Papacy.

As a proponent of “Mere Christendom,” I believe some of this reaction is a misunderstanding of what we’re advocating for. Critics often accuse us of wanting to use the power of the government to impose our morals on society.

A Mere Christendom approach recognizes that there’s no such thing as neutrality when it comes to the laws and policies that govern our society. Every law, every policy, is based on some moral or ethical framework. Nations commit immoral actions, look to 1940’s Germany if your having trouble thinking of examples. Was it moral to intern Japanese Americans during that same war? The framework of our laws should be informed by the wisdom of Scripture and the natural outflow of a Christian culture.

This is not about imposing a state religion or infringing on religious freedom. It’s about acknowledging that our Christian faith has implications for all of life, including public life. It’s about seeking to live out our faith in a way that influences our society for the better.

At the same time, we need a proper understanding of the spheres of government. The Church and the State have distinct roles and responsibilities, and it’s important to respect these boundaries. The Church’s primary role is spiritual, while the State’s role is to maintain justice and order. Both have their part to play in God’s world, and neither should overstep its bounds.

*qualification: I am not saying all proponents of a “Christian Nationalism” project are advocating for a top down approach.

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