“To being with, I see only four things in the entire book that Sider can be commended for. He opposes abortion, euthanasia, thoughtless and uncritical nationalism, and American exceptionalism. Really, that’s it. Here is the best statement in the whole book: “It is blasphemous idolatry to claim that the United States—or any other nation—is God’s new Israel to redeem the world.” The problem is that Sider makes a thousand other statements that are either not so good or just nonsense.
Sider seems to recognize the true nature of the state:
The state is that organization in society that has a monopoly on the use of coercion to help it achieve its purpose of overseeing just relationships among the individuals and institutions in the society.
It is a historical fact that virtually every state has tried to exercise a monopoly on lethal force to compel obedience to its laws and protect its borders.”
The state alone has the authority and power to use coercion to enforce its laws in every area of society.
It is a historical fact that, almost without exception, no state has tried to govern without lethal violence.
But then he says: “The state is a gift from God, not an invention of Satan.” It is “a crucial element of a good society.”