The Theodicy Of The State: A Primitive Religious Reaction

The theodicy of federal government seeks to defend the goodness of government in the face of tragedy. So just as some religious groups might blame a weather event on insufficient fealty to the relevant god, some progressives blame — before we actually know what is even going on in a given tragedy — insufficient fealty, sacrifice, and offerings to the relevant god of federal government. And so they explain that the god of good government would have been able to take care of us if only we’d given it sufficient power to do so. In this case, that power is gun control. Progressives tend to believe that government — if made to have sufficient size, scope, and proper management over the affairs of man — will fix or at least seriously mitigate the problem of evil in the world. Conservatives tend to believe that human nature is flawed and inclined toward bad things. Conservatives believe that government, being made up of humans, will also be inclined toward bad things, and therefore it must be restrained and not given a dangerous amount of power. They tend to see greater success for fixing problems in society with voluntary associations and institutions, such as families and community and organizations. Progressives tend to believe that man can be perfected, and perfected through government action. These almost cartoonish denunciations of prayer we saw yesterday, combined with the implicit praises of government action, are best understood as a sort of primitive religious reaction to the problem that growth of the state still hasn’t fixed the problem of evil in the world.

—Mollie Hemmingway, “The Left Prays After San Bernardino Shooting, To Its God Of Government


  1. That is a great and insightful peace. In step with this, I noticed a great place of devotion (a holy place and pilgrimage site?) was mentioned by a news outlet as being near the sight of the shooting in your twitter feed– a PP clinic. I howled with laughter at how ridiculous that was.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that many talk much about diversity and how great it is, but they don’t seem to believe that there is also religious diversity. They tend to group all religious people in a group and then pile on about the evils done by religious people, when in fact the religious examples from the present are primarily from one religion.

    • OOops! Meant piece, not peace. Going to hold off my post next time or just stop. I’m embarrasing myself.

    • Is one ever far from a PP temple these days? They seem ubiquitous. The headlines can almost be auto-generated to include proximity to a PP.

  2. i recall while living in Guangzhou, China back in the ’90’s that people who knew its colony of Uighur migrants held that you could get any illegal drugs or weapons you wanted there–despite the pervasiveness of the totalitarian state’s control.

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