Russian writer Leo Tolstoy is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time. War and Peace and Anna Karenina have inspired millions over the last century. Less well-known about Tolstoy, though, is that his interpretation of Christian ethics has had a profound effect upon the world, especially regarding non-resistance and pacifism. In this paper, I will examine the development of these themes in Tolstoy’s philosophy as they appear in The Kingdom of God is Within You.
From my buddy Rob Wicks at The Libertarian Standard:
MSNBC reports on the horrifying death of a two year old. The child apparently died of starvation. This is a good example of why separating the church and state, just as separating everything else and state, is so important. The separation of church and state benefits the church more than it benefits the state. States with close ties to religion do not suffer; the religious organizations which ally themselves with the state do. They begin to take on the characteristics of the state: the lack of accountability, the lack of personal involvement in the lives of people they supposedly serve.
The lack of a genuine personal relationship? The lack of attention to detail? That does not sound like Christianity as I am familiar with it. That sounds like government as I am familiar with it. When religion and state wed, religious practice gives way to state practice, not the other way around. You do not see government unionized workers selling their worldly possessions and working to serve the poor, but you do see people ignoring their own religious tenets in order to qualify for government funds.
Involving the state in charity destroys much of the value of that charity in that it radically alters the incentives of the charity workers. It basically transforms them from philanthropists into government employees, and people like Quasir Alexander suffer for it.