I will not call the Federal City after our first president, as it is too great an insult for his name to bear! Please let me explain.
The Bible teaches that there is a heavenly kingdom, which we should seek to be citizens of. This is the kingdom of those who serve God and who today have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord. Those who belong to this kingdom obey a heavenly master. The Bible also teaches that there is opposed to the heavenly kingdom an earthly kingdom, which seeks power and money rather than the love of God. Satan has turned man’s attention from the heavenly kingdom by using pride, lust, envy, hate and greed among other tools to set man against man. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome all came and went.
Though some empires accepted and aided the church to varying degrees, no empire can truly project a sound faith over vast territories and differing peoples. The Roman, Carolingian, Viking, and Holy Roman Empires helped the spread of the early church to some degree, but empires always had the acquisition of land and power as their core interest. The Spanish gave us the Inquisition, and a lust for gold that was slightly tempered with a spread of the church. The French added ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ with a sizeable body count from wars of conquest.
The British saw the sun never set on their lands and did manage to send missionaries to spread the Gospel to many lands, but their core interest was commerce.
The American colonies broke away from one of the great empires of the Eighteenth Century. One common theme among most of the founding generation was the need to avoid setting up a strong central government to endanger their new found freedom. The memory of abuses endured from the seat of empire in London were fresh on their minds. Yet the impulse for empire can be traced back at least to Alexander Hamilton and his schemes for an American commercial empire to rival the rest of the world. This could only be accomplished with the aid of an energetic federal government. Some (Washington, Jefferson, and Mason come to mind) sought the pleasures of living close to the land, producing that which nature provides, and trading for what else was necessary. This ordered way of life, set to the rhythms of nature, the seasons flowing across the land, naturally led to a respect for traditions and an acknowledgement that the divine was in control of the world.
Hamilton, with his schemes of subsidies, tariffs, and his ‘blessing of public debt,’ stood in stark contrast to those conservative men of the soil. As with other forms of patronage of old, these schemes reek of envy, greed, pride and lust for money. The farther the central government moved from the agrarian tradition, the farther removed from its roots in the ‘plain folk,’ and the closer it came to serving the interests of a ruling elite. This has accelerated as the behemoth in the Federal City has continued to ignore the hard working citizens of ‘fly over country.’ The corruption and waste are so pervasive, it is hard to draw attention to the problem. We are so used to the circus which performs in the capital city, no one seems to know how to go about reforming it.
Ron and Donnie Kennedy chronicle this rise of this empire in their book ‘Yankee Empire: Adventurous Abroad and Despotic at Home.’ The resulting loss of liberty for the average American was presaged by the barbaric invasion of Dixie. This Yankee Empire was built on the ashes of the South, its first conquest. Since then, the United States has been quick to send in the navy, marines, and greedy exploiters of other people’s resources to far off lands, seeking influence and plunder. Though many in history have sailed ships with Bibles in hand, the current empire sails ships loaded with the tools of commerce and exploitation.
What are those of us who see the current federal government as an obstacle to liberty to do? The elite, like ‘court parties’ of absolute monarchs, have contempt for those of us who value, in the words of Mel Bradford, the ‘permanent things.’ Only those who ‘think local’ can understand liberty. It loses its meaning as we move farther from our native soil. It would seem, then, that liberty is not an attribute of our current empire. Liberty has been supplanted by a mad pursuit of money and profits. These are values which enslave men to their passions of greed and envy, which animate them to the lust for empire. Unfortunately for us, this is the empire which the Bible warns us is of this world, and is doomed. The Bible often references Babylon when describing this man made, evil, worldly frame of reference. Therefore I propose we rename the Federal City: Babylon-on-the-Potomac, a much more descriptive and appropriate name.