Corwin Smidt articulates the Principled Pluralist Perspective that is, according to Cochran, similar to the Catholic position (see previous posts), but this comes from a Reformed/Calvinist perspective and is particularly indebted to Abraham Kuyper, 19th century Dutch statesman and theologian. The basic gist of this perspective is that there are multiple spheres of life and God has ordained different authorities within those structures that should not encroach on the others. For instance, the state should not exercise too much authority in the family because it has a sphere of sovereignty that is largely separate from the state. However, the state should intervene when a particular “sphere” is malfunctioning, such as a case of abuse within a family, or something of that nature.
This seems like a pretty reasonable position from the basic starting point – there are some thing that are out of government’s sphere, but there’s a role for government. I guess where those lines are drawn have something to do with what we expect from our government and how we vote. Thoughts?