The trouble with false gods is that they always demand so much more from us than the real God. Moloch, the Volcano Goddess, Huitzilopochtli—human sacrifice galore. But these are all small potatoes compared to the biggest, falsest idol of them all: the modern state.
Recently Dubuque, Iowa, joined the growing list of American cities and counties that have banned… sledding. It just has to be done. Somebody’s kid might ram his sled into a tree and wind up in the emergency room, needing stitches; and then his parents sue the city for umpteen million dollars.
Of course, a judge could always throw such a case right out of court. After all, nobody has to go sledding. You can very easily avoid sledding accidents by not going sledding.
But! says a New York lawyer, in the news story cited above. But we are not on the Frontier anymore, those days are long gone; and people now “expect government to prevent dangers whenever possible.” How vividly I remember those legends of Daniel Boone taking his life in his hands every time he went sledding. And those wagon trains plodding across the untamed prairies, with the settlers subjected to the temptation to undertake the insane risk of sledding every time it snowed upon the hills.
Well, more and more, government is going to protect us from that risk. There is a study out there that states that from 1997 to 2007, some 20,000 children a year wound up in the hospital being treated for sledding “injuries.” We are not told about the great majority of these injuries. Our attention is only directed to a very few catastrophic injuries resulting in paralysis, maiming, or death.
Oh, how well I remember the snow-covered slopes of Tommy’s Pond in my home town, where all the kids came with their Flexible Flyers… and how the pristine white surface was soon transformed into a blood-drenched killing field, with the screams of the mangled children resounding all throughout the neighborhood—not.
We’re laughing at the sissified absurdity of it: but the fact is, all these various governments really have banned sledding—like it was on a par with entering your kid into a steeple-chase, or a drag race, or a boxing tournament.
But it seems the government can be held responsible if it fails to “prevent dangers.” Which would not be happening unless the false god of the state, and its high priesthood in the courts and universities and bureaucracies, had already staked a claim to be able to prevent dangers. Which is, in fact, what they have done.
The ban on sledding arises from the same queer ruling class mind-set that gives us Global Warming hysteria, international treaties on the inalienable rights of women, the dream of universal higher education and “a meaningful life” for every biped on the planet, etc. These notions can be indulged if you believe that the state has godlike powers—for example, to control climate and weather, to ensure “women’s rights” in Western countries where no problem exists, while totally ignoring how women fare in Muslim countries, or to keep everyone and his brother and sister in some kind of classroom until they’re 65.
The upside is that the individuals administering the state’s omnipotence enjoy vast wealth and power.
The downside is that nothing is ever supposed to go wrong. If the state were as truly omnipotent as its priesthood says, then every time something untoward happened—a downturn in the economy, a terrorist event, the breakout of a disease, an earthquake or a flood—it could only be because someone was at fault. Someone wasn’t doing his job properly. This person must be identified and sacrificed. Then everything goes back to its normal state of perfection. Even the highest of the high priests is expendable, if that’s what it takes to preserve the reputation of the state. Happily, as soon as one grand panjandrum is hanged, there’s another instantly available to take his place.
We know, I hope, that there’s no outdoor activity that is 100 percent risk-free. That means that just about anything we do is subject to being banned sooner or later. There are a lot of indoor activities that can be risky, too. Climbing in or out of the bathtub, cooking, cutting vegetables, getting dressed—here are more “dangers” from which the all-knowing state can protect us.
This is the idol we have chosen, in preference to the living God who made us.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.