Imperium Junkies

(Reposted from the sci-fi blog, focusing on a fictional Roman-style interstellar empire in the Traveller role-playing game.)

“I am NOT an Imperium Junkie! I CAN QUIT ANYTIME I WANT!

“Ummm… I can find your name going back to the mid-90s on the Traveller Mailing List

“SHUT UP! JUST… SHUT UP!”

“But your posts….”

SILENCE!“

Ahem.

Really: a decent, kindly, law-abiding God-fearing Christian shouldn’t have such a barely suppressed love of Absolute Autocratic POWER.

I even have some good excuses!

  • “Didn’t God quite deliberately intertwine Roman and Christian history, so you can’t have one without the other?”
  • “Didn’t God have entire book written directly to The People and Senate of ROME? A book of absolutely crushing important to the Faith, at that!”
  • “Didn’t Christ Himself commend the faith of a Roman Centurion above the entire nation of Israel?”
  • “Wasn’t the unity of a Greek and Roman tongue, Classical civilization, Roman roads, and Roman arms indispensable to the growth of the Faith?”

And don’t forget: thousands of years from now, in all the schools of all humanity — cybernetic, bio-argumented, and otherwise (including any uplifted or synthetic intelligences) — untold billions trillions, from tiny tots to erudite scholars, won’t be studying Chinese history, or American history, or Indian history, or Arabic history.

They will be studying the Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judea, a bit of the Egyptian Kingdom, a touch of Babylon and Assyria….

….and a nice, big helping of ROME.


And God Himself raised a coin before the people, and asked “Whose face is on this coin?”

And the people cried out, “CAESAR!”

True: it is the Image of God that is stamped on all humanity, that marks us all as the Lawful Authority over the Earth.

(“… and the rest of Creation”, helpfully adds the Solomani Security observer, peeking over my shoulder.)

But God did delegate lawful authority to human governments – even pagan Emperor-worshiping ones – over various issues related to justice, from executing murderers to upholding a set of predictable weights and standards.

Ergo, the faces and images you see on the coins in your pocket.

Of course, these governments are all accountable to God in how they use this delegated authority… and are subject to His wrath when they abuse it.

Which makes the leaders of said emperor-worshiping governments — and their secularist successors — uneasy. As history demonstrates by the hostility/persecution of those claiming to speak for a higher authority than Caesar.


Postscript

“Yes, all the above is true. But that still doesn’t excuse you from using an ancient tyranny as a model for Future Interstellar Government *eye-roll*.”

“The Roman State – and even its distant successor, the Third Imperium – is far less controlling and intrusive than today’s liberty-loving, deeply rational secularists. You know, the nations that will strip you of your livelihood if you don’t go alone with some man’s delusion of being a woman.”

“Yes. But you can still do better than Pagan Rome!”

“It’s hard to reach the level of the Kingdom of God in a single step! How about we regain the liberties that a Roman freeman had, and then continue on Christ’s road from there?”

“This is tolerable, in the eyes of God. But the walk must continue: you don’t get to be as free as a Roman, and then stop. You must continue on, to the liberty, peace, and prosperity that King Jesus expects His people to enjoy!”

“Okay. I… we won’t slack off.”

“Good. Remember: God’s joy and contentment await those who fear Him first and most… and His lash and sword (and a certain dumpster fire) await those who starts wailing and bleating for a Caesar to rescue them from the pain and responsibility of liberty.”

“I remember.”

“And don’t think of a unitary, centralized Imperial government. Reframe your vision as a sprawling, decentralized Christian civilization, with her citizens and subjects sharing certain mores and core assumptions, and you will be far closer to the truth.”

“Interstellar feudalism for the win!”

“Something like that. But keep that ‘Single Head and Source of the Law’ idea: God approves of it, and we will be using that idea in the future.”

“Exalted be the Name of Christ the King!”

“You’re a fast learner. I like that.”

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