Our Greatest Strength; Our Greatest Weakness
Life is full of ironies. Books have been written on the subject. One of the tragic ironies of our age and particular to our nation is that of our greatest strength becoming our greatest weakness. America was founded on Christian principles by mostly faithful men who based their belief in liberty and freedom on the concept that it was God given and therefore to be cherished and defended even to the death. They dedicated their property, their fortunes and even their very lives on this principled stand against despotism. Two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were ministers by trade; John Witherspoon of New Jersey was a presbyterian minister and Lyman Hall of Georgia was a congregationalist pastor. Our founding fathers did not draw a distinction between the protection of liberty and the teaching of the Gospels. They were one and the same fight. Religion in America today has become a part of the problem that threatens to steal our liberty and replace it with soft tyranny.
Religion is compassionate and giving by it's very nature. People of faith tend to be believers in the human spirit and want to give their fellow man the benefit of the doubt. This unfortunately extends to politics. As our country has grown and the level of communication has tied us together ever more expeditiously, religion tends to look at the country as a whole as one big congregation. It is only natural, given that perception, for them to look to the federal government as a means to spread the compassion of the faithful to the 'congregation' in need.
The problem with this of course is that it is short-sighted and fails to perceive the inherent evil of a strong central government that our forefathers consistently warned against. While a minister may extol the virtues of providing health care to our senior citizens in the form of Medicare, do you expect that he has foreseen the bankrupting of future generations to that end? While the former is compassionate the latter is despicable. How many ministers when excoriating their congregations for not doing enough for the needy, have thoughtfully and logically determined what is best for them? If you give blindly to the needy without regard to future ramifications, are you helping the needy; or just your self image? Is it compassionate to break up families for generations as welfare has done? Is it compassionate to steal your grandchildrens liberty for your health care? Is it God's will to ignore one of His greatest gifts, Liberty, in pursuit of His greatest charge to aid the poor?
The big lie is that you cannot do both. The people that envisioned this country were very savvy. They knew of our capacity for kindness and giving. They also knew of the evil and corruption of an all encompassing government. They gave us the framework to do both, protect liberty and provide for the comfort of millions; the free market capitalist system coupled with a republican form of government meant to give power to the persons closest to the people. This is how you provide for your neighbor while never trusting your government. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Government is by it's very nature your enemy. Keep them closer. Local and state control at all costs. Federal solutions for only issues of freedom, liberty and leveling the field for all to participate in the free market system. Capitalism has done more to help the poor and disenfranchised people of the world than anything ever conceived by Man. Government has done more to perpetuate poverty and dependence than anything ever conceived by Man. No system is perfect and people must be held accountable for their actions. But nothing is more compassionate than to protect free market capitalism and a repubican form of government for the generations yet born. The protection of liberty and capitalism will put you in God's favor more than anything a tyrannical government can possibly conceive.
by: Keith D. Rodebush