T. M. Moore has an excellent article at The Fellowship of Ailbe. Here it is:
Statism is not a new phenomenon. Its roots can be discerned in the actions of even Biblical rulers (a point I will be arguing at length all next week at TheWilberforceProject.org). The basic tenets of statism are clear enough: government is our best hope, in every area of life, for realizing maximum human fruition and prosperity. In the statist agenda, therefore, government must assert itself by every means into every area of life, beginning with those sectors and segments most vulnerable, most obviously in distress, or most immediately open to regulation and control. Thus, government believes it knows best how to educate the children of the land. It insists that it alone should manage the mail, monitor the banks, regulate the economy, define the terms of marriage, maintain the nation’s health, and even determine who should manage the nation’s industries. Statism is like kudzu. Kudzu grows and overgrows everything when there is no deliberate effort to control and confine it within its proper bounds of utility. As kudzu turns everything it overwhelms into a vague remembrance of its former self – shapes of fences, barns, and trees, all overgrown by kudzu – so government leaves in the wake of its expansiveness mere memories of such venerable institutions as schools, families, marketplaces, political parties, the press, and even churches. Statism doesn’t just happen to a nation; it is the result of a determined effort on the part of those with a clear agenda to change the status quo by top-down efforts, enforced by legislatoin, bureaucratic control, and taxation. Statism today is threatening to engulf our nation, according to Andrew C. McCarthy, writing in the current issue of The New Criterion. In his review of Mark Levin’s new book, Lberty and Tyranny, McCarthy points out that one of the prime targets of the statist agenda, because it is his primary opposition to same, is traditional religion – especially, Christianity. The statist will not be able to pursue his full-bore agenda until he either confines, controls, or corrupts the religious leaders and institutions of his society. Today pastors must not preach political sermons. This would have horrified the pastors of the founding era. Soon they may be prevented from preaching any kind of “hate speech.” And they will comply; that tax-exempt status is just too precious. Are we building our churches on solid rock, or kudzu?