Hank writes: VD you continue to assume that I’m for big government. You know better than that by now. Bringing up the effectiveness of Soviet censorship doesn’t reduce the threat posed by these extremists here. Was the massacre of Christians in Turkey during World War I have any less barbaric because it wasn’t nearly as efficient or far reaching as the massacre of Jews in World War II by Germany? No social, religious or political affiliation is above falling into the traps of abuse of power like this. It just so happens that it is the neo-cons and religious right who are doing it in this country right now…. I’m all for libertarianism. Let’s give it a whirl. If big transnational corporations don’t swoop in and take over everything it just might work.

Hank, you can rant about the dangers of Christian extremism all you like, with my full and cheerful blessing, as long as you stay true to the idea that expanding government power is not the answer to solving any of society’s ills, whatever we perceive them to be. It’s a major conceptual breakthrough for anyone, of any political stripe, to realize that advocating central state power for their own purposes is tantamount to advocating that same power in the hands of the enemy. There is always a Commodus waiting to wear the purple.

If Hank and his fellow leftists are willing, I’ll be delighted to help them ensure that there isn’t any central state power for Christian extremists to abuse. All the more enthusiastically if these “Christian extremists” are the likes of the current Republican leadership.