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Government is a Gun: Bloomberg’s Heavenly ascent in Perspective

gun sxc hu smallThose of us who do their best to follow the happenings on the political front are no strangers to the name Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City. Some are sympathetic to his many causes and others, like myself, are openly antagonistic to them—Not, as he and his supporters will suggest, because I hate the poor and hope everyone dies a horrible death, but, rather, because I think his entire approach to government and politics is narcissistic, deceitful and misguided.

Having what I think is a rather studied perception of his vision, I was not surprised to discover that, in a past interview, Mr. Bloomberg declared, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”[1]

What does he see as his meritorious work before which the Holy Creator of all should stand in unabashed awe?

1. He fought for gun safety. Part of the interview was his detailing of his plan to spend even up to 50 Million dollars of his own money to “fight gun violence.” He is a vocal opponent of the NRA (National Rifle Association) and of the 2nd amendment, which declares the right of every citizen to bear arms.

Now, remember, Bloomberg is not against guns; he is just against private citizens having guns. He wants a state where some members of society (police & military) have guns, but no one else does… though the very existence of guns means that black market guns will be available for illegal purchase by those less incline to care about law… an ominous situation at best. Police, Military & criminals have guns, but law abiding citizens have none. What could possibly go wrong?

2. He also boasted that he used his position to battle the pandemic of obesity. He is famous for his attempts to legislate salt intake, soda sizes, and medium rare meat eating.

3. He waged war on smokers. His hostility toward smokers is the stuff of legend, seeking to put out those butts even within people’s private homes.

Setting aside, for the time being, his challenge to the existence of God, even in this boast, and his rather poor sense of sin and guilt before the Holy, I’d like to put his confidences in perspective. Let’s suppose that good works could earn you a place in heaven… I don’t believe they can, but let’s play make-believe. I’d like to challenge Mr. Bloomberg’s confidence, even within his own religiously twisted sense of having “earned” his place in heaven.

First a couple foundational questions:

For Bloomberg’s actions to merit salvation, do they merely have to be well-meaning, or do they also have to be effectual? Does he merely need to want to help people, or does he actually have to help people?

Does one get to define “help” and “success” myopically (Look people aren’t smoking as much) or does the long-term, wide-spread effect of one’s actions demand to be counted in assessing help and success? Would lowering crime by establishing an oppressive regime that keeps every citizen in perpetual terror count?

The all important thing to remember is that government is a gun.

Government is about force. Paul notes this clearly in Romans 13:4. The primary role of government is not to take care of everyone, to supply their needs, but to prevent people from harming each other, from stealing or destroying each other’s things. It protects the citizenry from external threats of war and protects each citizen and his property from his neighbor.

This protection of life, liberty and property establishes the best environment for people to take care of their own needs, the best environment for the people to make the most efficient use of the resources available, the best environment for general prosperity.

Every appeal to legislation is an appeal to violence against someone in order to curb some behavior or to demand some behavior. The violence does not have to be actual; it need only be potential. Not every gun to the head must be fired for it to constitute violence. Threat is violence and government and laws are threats.

Every action that erodes or defies rights of life, liberty or property also erodes that environment in which the masses prosper best. When these erosions are implemented by the government then, regardless of the aims of those erosions, the potential prosperity of the whole is affected.

Bloomberg’s entire political career, as well as his boasts before God, should be measured by its effect on the many not its intentions for the few.

The ends do not justify the means, even when the ends are good, but what if even the ends are questionable? To go yet further, what if those means prove counterproductive, worsening a situation they were meant to help?

If Bloomberg robs one person at gun point in order to get something nice for another person, has he done good, or evil? Every tax is a confiscation of wealth, especially when used not to pay one’s share of public expenses, but to force them to pay other people’s share of public expenses.

If Bloomberg kidnaps a person and forces them to do something good for themselves at gun point, has he done good, or evil? What if what he forces on them is actually bad for them in the end and only seemed good to him?

If Bloomberg takes over businesses at gun point to force them to offer what he deems the healthiest choices for all involved has he done good or evil?

If Bloomberg breaks into people’s homes at gun point and forces people to stop smoking, has he done good or evil?

If Bloomberg storms the homes of the citizenry with guns in order to disarm them, stripping them of the power to defend themselves and to resist an oppressive state, has he done good or evil?

Government is a gun. So this is exactly what Bloomberg did or sought to do.

I’d use a gun to keep a person from robbing, abusing, or murdering someone… but should one use the gun of law and government to force people into Bloomberg’s social vision?

Frankly, if I were Bloomberg, I wouldn’t march quite so confidently before God, even if one could earn a place in “heaven.”


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/michael-bloomberg-heaven_n_5157221.html

[2] Media pic is from sxc.hu

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