In my study of Infallibility: An Inescapable Concept, I pointed out that every system of thought has, if not an open, at least a hidden and implicit doctrine of infallibility. The locale of infallibility will vary; it can be man’s autonomous reason, the aesthetic experience, the state, a ruler, and/or a variety of other things. Men may ridicule an alien doctrine of infallibility, but it will be only to vindicate their own.
In the modern era, the most popular doctrine of infallibility comes to us from Rousseau through Kant and Hegel. Infallibility rests in man, not individual man, but in the general will of all men, which is held to be by nature unerring and good. This general will is not ascertained by majority vote, but by its expression in the elite rulers of the state, who embody or incarnate the general will. Over the years, this infallible general will has had a variety of names and incarnations. Two popular ones of recent years have been the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the democratic consensus. The new name is public policy.
In the name of public policy, a variety of evils are being promoted today. Increasingly, in the name of equality and rights, freedom of speech is being denied to Christians, because Biblical faith requires that sin be condemned, whereas humanism increasingly insists on equal rights for sin. Thus, a very prominent and forthright Texas pastor has been denied the freedom to continue broadcasting his Sunday morning sermons on television. In a sermon, he condemned homosexuality as a sin; this was seen as against public policy, and his freedom to preach was curtailed. In California, sixty three churches have lost their tax exempt status and face sale of their properties for refusal to pay taxes; their troubles began when a stand was made against homosexuality. To speak out against this and like matters is now against public policy, the new “law.”