Jonah Goldberg: Satan shows how we rely too much on government
Earlier this month, the state of Oklahoma received a proposal from New York-based Satanists to build near the state Capitol a 7-foot-high statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed pagan idol. The Satanists' letter boasted that, "The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation."
America is becoming vastly more diverse — ethnically, culturally, religiously and morally. In a great many ways that's a good thing. But in this life, no good thing comes without a downside.
For many liberals that's OK, because a strong civil society isn't a big priority. Indeed, they often talk about the state as if it's synonymous and overlapping with society. That's why ridiculous phrases like "government is just a word for the things we do together" are so popular with people such as President Obama.
The unraveling of the old cultural, moral and religious consensus has been a boon to individual freedom in myriad ways. But you can say this for the old civilizational confidence: It didn't lack for arguments against state-sponsored devil worship.
Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-at-large of National Review Online. You can write to him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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