One of the very interesting developments in Western civilization was the separation between the right to rule and ownership. 

Crown

PICTURE: Pro Church Media/Unsplash

Not that long ago, to own was to rule - and to rule implied ownership. Kings, governors, lords, husbands owned those under them.

It was a huge intellectual leap to separate these things. It allowed the democratic system to develop.

William of Ockham developed this distinction as his Christian faith taught him that before God all are equal. How can we be equal if some are owned? And if all are equal, on what authority do rulers rule?

In a democracy we give someone the right to rule, but they don't own us. This was a radical new idea at the time. We have a lot to thank Ockham, and the Christian faith for.

For even God lets us choose to obey His rule.

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at atthetop.org.au.