Bread Over Freedom?
Years ago, a cartoon appeared in a Russian newspaper picturing a fork in the road. One path was labeled freedom; the other path was labeled sausage. As we might guess, the path to freedom had few takers; the path to sausage was crowded with footprints. When given a choice people will choose bread and sausage above the free market and individual liberties. The promise of bread gets votes, even if the bread is at the expense of freedom.
The people of Nazi Germany weren't any more barbaric, uncivilized, or depraved than any other Western nation of the early Twentieth Century, yet the Nazi regime will forever serve as an example of brutality and extreme racism run amok. What led so many people to such extreme ends?
According to Dr. Lutzer, the German people's progression from civility to barbarity was not extraordinary, and more than a few benchmarks from their transition can be observed in present day American society (Do any of these sound familiar?):
- The Church is silenced
- The economy is king
- The lawmakers determine behaviors
- The media controls beliefs
- The Gospel and nationalism become inextricably tied to each other
- And yet, heroes still have power
This short, manageable book does not suggest the United States is definitely marching toward authoritarian oblivion, but that we -- especially we believers -- must be vigilant in our stand for truth, justice, and righteousness.
We must take note of these lessons from history. The parallels are real, but the conclusion is not a foregone one.