The expanse of socialist government has numerous ills, but one of them is that it quickly becomes self-serving: bureaucracies not only implement policy, but eventually become client populations that by dint of sheer numbers also vote for the further expanse of government and its powers.
The bureaucracy becomes an unwieldy parasite whose high cost creates a tax burden that pushes families into greater dependency on social assistance, a vicious circle undermining the families whose healthy function is at the root of a just society.
It does so without any clearly articulated understanding of what it is aiming to achieve besides achieving the arbitrary statistical benchmarks it sets as its own standards.
What it does not do, and can never do, is to determine when it has overreached its powers. It has clearly done so at the moment it undermines marriage and the family unit, the cornerstone of a healthy society. Healthcare, welfare, and education lie within the mandate of the family. It is also clear from the Bible that these are prime social responsibilities of the church.
There is no sense in which the state can or ought to be involved in them.
One of the key ethical conflicts of our day involves the overreach of the government into the areas of health, welfare, and education. The usurpation of familial sovereignty has gradually eroded national sovereignty. With Brexit and an anti-establishment Trump Presidency, there is a clear sense of a need to push back against the progression of the total state.
But the more consistent flashpoint isn’t in the political realm, it is at the grassroots level, in conflicts over the overreach of the bureaucracy into the family sphere.
The real question in the case of Charlie Gard, an infant that the medical establishment wanted to withdraw care but whose parents wanted to save, is this:
“Who has the right to decide on Charlie’s behalf, given that Charlie himself has never had a chance to express his wishes?”
Here the libertarian ethics of personal choice don’t apply.
So who has the lawful authority over children under God? The family, or the state?
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