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Is There a Real Difference Between the Demands of the Modern State and Emperor Worship in Rome?

Maybe not:

Since 1789 the United States government has presented its Christian citizens with no moral problem of critical magnitude. This may mean that the moral integrity of the United States is magnificent; it may also mean that Christian citizens do not recognise a public moral problem when they see it. In the morality of reason and nature the state can do no wrong, particularly when its survival is in question. Decisions made by public authority are not subject to the critical review of the individual citizen. The citizen may abdicate his personal responsibility to the state before he knows it. And if the state becomes the supreme judge of moral good and evil in public affairs, if it can demand unquestioning obedience in its service, what is the difference between the modern state and the Caesar cult except that the worship of Caesar was a merely symbolic act? It is the demonic quality of the state that it tends to become a god. Christians of the Roman Empire were faced with a simple moral problem of giving cult to Caesar. This they knew they must refuse. The cult which the modern state demands is far more subtle; and the citizens of the modern state are schooled to believe that the state can do no wrong. (John McKenzie, The Power and the Wisdom)

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