(Tim, w/thanks to Brian) If you, good reader, have never read G. K. Chesterton's essays on womanhood; if you've never allowed yourself to think thoughts contrary to our culture concerning woman's unique calling; if you've never noticed the patronizing attitude of evangelical feminists toward godly women of the church who cook, wash the feet of the saints, show hospitality, teach other women and children, and pray; if you've never taken particular notice of the transfer of charity from Christian women confessing their faith to well-paid female executives running nonprofits or working for government bureaucracies; if you've never had a wealthy female church member who serves as a county supervisor tell you not to worry about the poor in your community because "that's what we pay taxes for;" if you haven't noticed how the loss of constitutional government in these United States has produced bondage and bloodshed for her citizens; if you have never found yourself sickened over the naked pandering at the heart of every state of the union address and every campaign speech of our time; if you didn't hang out in the church parking lot yesterday, basking in the warm sunshine of an early Fall afternoon as you listened to a missionary couple's son explain...
that he's living in Bloomington because his family had to flee their mission work in Germany to avoid their children being removed from their home and they themselves being prosecuted by the state for the crime of educating their own children at home; if hearing such a heartrending story, it would not occur to you that here in these United States we, too, have lost our children to the state; if your life is committed to going along to get along and you'd respond to this young man's lament as the Christians of Germany responded to his parents' dilemma, that they should "submit to the civil authority" because not submitting would only make things worse; to sum up, if you are one of the women or men confessing Christ in these United States today who have made your peace with our Fourth Reich and it's wickedness, salving your conscience by talk of the Apostle Paul's apolitical witness within the Roman Empire orthe spirituality of the church, then read no further. (But of course, I already lost them, didn't I?)
If, on the other hand, with "righteous Lot" you gnash your teeth at
the wickedness that surrounds us and you believe the gates of Hell not
prevailing against the Church is no license for complacency, passivity,
or cowardice, then this wonderfully perspicuous morsel should bring you
Christian cheer on this bright Monday. It's an excerpt from a constitutional law book written by Columbia University law professor John W. Burgess, published by Columbia University Press in 1923.
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The nineteenth Amendment appears, at first view, to be only a political matter, a question of suffrage extension. But it is suffrage extension of a peculiar and extremely important kind. It is not extension to other individuals of the same class, nationality or sex, or to another class of the same nationality or sex, or to another nationality of the same sex, but to another sex of any class or nationality. Also, it must be remarked, that the extension of suffrage to the female sex has a bearing upon the subject of individual immunity against governmental power in these United States far more important than in any other country in the world.
It has been already explained that the necessary socialism for balancing individualism has been, in this Country, voluntary in a much larger degree than compulsory. In Europe it has, on the contrary, been in larger degree compulsory than voluntary. It has also been explained that the compulsory or state socialism of Europe results necessarily in more governmental control and less individual liberty there than where the greater part of the necessary socialistic aims of the state is accomplished by voluntary effort. And, finally, reference must be had to the fact that the great enterprises of voluntary socialism have been carried forward in this Country more by women than by men. It has been preëminently their sphere of communal action. They have been, in chief measure, the makers of the home, the builders of the church and the ministrants of charity, while politics and government have been left for the men. In this way, under these influences, and with this general division of function and activity, the wide realm of voluntary socialism has been administered and preserved, and benevolence and beneficence have made law and force unnecessary in many directions.
The very finest thing which the world's civilization has ever reached is this wonderful sphere in these United States of America of free social cooperation for the advancement of education, religion and morality, the care of the sick and needy, the spread of neighborly kindness and helpfulness, and for the upbuilding, thereby, of enlightened character, which dispenses with paternalism in government and makes democracy safe for our own Country. Without this we could never have attained and maintained that system of limited government and individual liberty which has made us a great and happy and relatively contented people. As we have seen, this great system has received shock after shock since we started out upon that path of conquest in 1898, which veered in the direction of imperialism. It would be a very moderate statement to say that it is now trembling in the balance. It would be nearer the mark to suggest, at least, that it is anxiously awaiting what may be its death blow. If the women of the country, in becoming members of the electorate, shall shift their interest from the home, the church, the school, the hospital, the associations of charity, etc., to the political club, the caucus, the convention, the legislature and office, and abandon their supreme work for civilization within the realm of voluntary socialism, making necessary, thus, the substitution of compulsory socialism, state socialism, governmental socialism, for voluntary socialism, then indeed will the American system of limited government and constitutional civil liberty have made its cycle and reached its end. The impulse will, I conceive, be very strong in that direction. It will call for the exercise on the part of women of great deliberation, intelligence and self-restraint for them to regard, and deal with, these newly won rights, privileges and glories as incidental to their far higher function of chief ministrants of that great domain of voluntary socialism, whose existence and sound development alone can protect us from governmental paternalism and uphold the constitutional immunities of the individual. It will, for instance, require prudence, patience and persistence, in full measure, to seek, through the slow and tedious methods of voluntary contributions the funds for maintaining the institutions of what I have called voluntary socialism, when the quicker and less laborious way of legislative appropriation may be more freely opened by the votes of women. Whether this latter course will be followed leading to compulsory, that is, governmental socialism, will depend most largely, if not entirely, upon the disposition of the newly enfranchised sex. It would not be fair to pre-judge them, but it is friendly and patriotic to call their attention to the great superiority in importance of their old function over their new one in our Country's civilization, and to warn them to maintain it in ever increasing volume and activity and to make their new political power and influence secondary and subservient to it.