Sunday, October 30, 2011

Are Dictators Better than Democracy?

This is of course a rhetorical question.  No, because dictators, no matter how benevolent they may become, or seem to (it's usually just a gloss, an appearance) got to their position by violent and corrupt, unethical, unrighteous means, or his ancestors did.  And of course the majority of dictators, 99/100, commit atrocities, violate human rights, and start unjust wars.  But I bring this question up because certain middle Eastern dictators have benevolently protected, or at least ignored, the Christian minorities in their countries, but the so-called Arab Spring threatens this protection of women and minority religious groups.

(I would here recommend Philip Jenkins work on the history of Christianity in the Middle East.  It's very enlightening as to how the region of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia became so predominantly Islamic when it was so thoroughly Christianized by the 7th century, even to India and China.  He is a reputable scholar, not some Christian hack writer.)

Unfortunately, democracy is risky.  It is particularly risky for minorities.

Democracy must be rooted in a constitution and rule of law, and strong central authorities must enforce the law.  This is the only way that minorities can be protected in a "democracy."

Republics are best, because they inherently create levels to slow down the power of the majority, which can sometimes be a mob and oftentimes is not right, just big, the power of emotion.

The Democratic party is no longer truly democratic except in the sense that since the 1960s, they have wanted to extend voting and other rights to minorities.  And that is a good thing, of course.  But they do not want a majority rule if it goes against what they wanted.  Then they resort to the Supreme Court.  Case in point, abortion.   If it had been put to a referendum, abortion would never have passed as nationwide legislation. 

I think of November as the month that is set aside for prayer for the persecuted church.  We should be particularly aware of it this year with these seismic changes in so many countries--Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria--where dictators are being ousted, understandably, but are possibly going to be replaced by something worse.

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