Tonight I read two articles by authors who probably don’t quite agree philosophically or theologically, but were actually saying very similar things with regards to the associations and choice of groupings that people are inclined to belong. Brian McLaren was praising an article on his blog who was pointing out the false dichotomy between “big government” and “big business,” as well as fighting off the assumption that either “bigger is better” or “smaller is better,” quoting Rick Warren’s corrective: “Better is better.”
Neither bigger nor smaller is the goal. Freedom is the goal. However freedom for every individual——regardless of race, sexual orientation, or stature in society——is achieved, that would be “better.” McLaren is very adept at pointing out false dichotomies, and as I pointed out in an earlier post, the answers one comes to are fruitless if you’re asking the wrong questions.
The second article I read by Chris Hornberger points out that the founding fathers of the United States understood liberty and what threatens it. He gives particular attention to the concept of rights, which are bestowed upon human beings by their Creator, not by the government. He also explains the reason why we must have any government at all.
How do these two article relate? While on the one hand McLaren points out (rightfully) that the argument isn’t about bigger vs. smaller, Hornberger points out that the founding fathers understood that freedom to associate (“free enterprise”) was a natural inclination of mankind, and Americans would naturally do so in a productive way. Smaller government, to the founding fathers, was assumed; it was “better” by default, because it permitted the freedoms of the people to drive society and thrive upon individuals associating with whomever they pleased.