Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hankerin' 2

At church tonight, my pastor talked politics. There were a number of things that he said that directly opposed something I said in my previous post:
I think God still thinks that all of our governments are unnecessary.
That may have been a bit strong. He was specifically talking about the role that a Christian should play with politics. He was explicitly *NOT* telling anyone how to vote. But he did make two points that that I want to comment on:
  1. The power that the government has is delegated to it by God.
  2. We should get out and vote.
First things first. I agree with point 1. I obey the laws of this country and do not plan on doing otherwise. However, I think that the government that we have in this country is a shell of it's original intentions. The system of government that we have is, by far, the most free system of government in the world. But I think it's been in a slow and steady decline. And I don't see much hope for improvement. Our government was borne out of the concept of freedom. Yet, we have a the Kelo decision, and all of its successors. We're supposed to have equal protection under the law, yet if you're a bank, you can get special legislation that gives you immunity from patent law. If you are unlucky enough to have bought a piece of land that the government decides has an endangered species on it, you lose whatever property rights you had.

What is the commonality of all these things? These decisions all hinged on miscarriage of government power. In all of these cases, the government granted special permissions to a few at the expense of others. In one case to gain more tax revenue (increasing the size of the government). In another case, it was to have access to a very wealthy industry (allowing encumbants to remain in power). And in the last case, it was pandering to a group of socialists to override private property rights (helping to fulfill the socialist dream of the government running absolutely everything). IMHO, we have a government run amok.

And not a single one of the options left to us for president has any hope of making it better. Two of them want to socialize medicine, and the other one is proud of having severely restricted freedom of speech, and now vows to further restrict freedom of association. In fact, they all seem to be racing to "do more", and in doing so reducing the basic individual liberties that this country was founded on. Those individual liberties are the source of the wealth of this country. If you're serious about battling poverty, you can't be sanguine about the restriction of liberty.

Frankly, I can scarcely see any significant differences in the two major parties any more. For decades the democrats have been saying one thing then doing another. The biggest example that I think of is the unintended consequences that have come out of FDRs new deal and LBJs great society. But more recently, Bush proved that republicans are not immune to this disease. Whatever happened to permanent tax reform? What about spending control? How about social security reform as promised? Instead we got an government entitlement program - from the "small government" party.

My pastor made the point that it's possible for government to go beyond the authority that has been delegated to it. I tend to think that our government has done that and it's only going to get worse. So while I respect the authority of our government, and like David (the old testament dude), comply with it's authority, I still think that there is huge change required, and most of it in the reduction of government. In other words, getting back to a government that is aligned with the power that God has delegated. Which means forcing the government to give up a huge amount of what it's usurped.

As to point #2, at this point I can't see myself actually voting in the presidential election. I am so disappointed with the candidates that we have available that my non-vote has got to speak at least as loudly as my vote. Now, I will certainly remain engaged in what I think is rational policy. And I'm much more prone to vote in local elections. But the choice of remaining presidential candidates stinks so badly that I can't muster the nerve to associate my vote with any of them. People died so I could have the right to vote. I really don't think that any of the lot remaining are worthy of that sacrifice.

1 comment:

Jimazing said...

Well stated. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

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