“Where . . . the government is thought to possess authority just as the people consent, no intrinsic limit exists. If the people consent to something, the government, in a positivistic fashion, is assumed to have the requisite power. It turns out that popular sovereignty is a covert route to totalitarianism.
“Only where authority is ultimately located in God is the government limited in a stable, definable fashion. For example, since all authority comes from God, the government has no authority to approve abortion or same-sex marriage, the consent of the governed notwithstanding. Similarly, the government has no authority to separate us, to keep us from church, or to remove our livelihoods due to a generally nonlethal respiratory virus, the consent of the governed notwithstanding.
“We now reach the question why the government’s response to SARS-CoV-2 has succeeded in the present era. One can imagine the response would have failed decades ago when society was more united. People with a strong social identity will not sacrifice their communities for a generally nonlethal respiratory virus. Only a collection of individuals could tolerate this insinuation of government into the spaces between them.”