Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Less Perfect Union

Our founders, in the name of the people of the United States of America, endeavored to form a more perfect union. Technically, the phrase was not meant to establish a continuing mission going forward so much as it was commenting on what existed under the Articles of Confederation. Nonetheless, the phrase has been adopted by populists ever since as the validation for efforts that have expanded the size and scope of government far beyond anything the founders could have imagined. As much as the growth of population and the urbanization and industrialization of America has made the worldview of those founders irrelevant to the situation needing governing today, the fact that they were not actually seeking perfection in governance is something we should not lose sight of.

People are not perfect. They never have and never will be. If they have power, they will abuse it. If they see wealth they will want it. If they have the opportunity to get ahead of the other guy in the contest for resources and rewards, they will take it. Capitalists are that way, progressives are that way, politicians are that way, voters are that way. The founding fathers made government sufficiently weak in relation to the individual in order that the force of human imperfection would be blunted in the exercise of government, even that done collaboratively.

This election tells me there is no gas left in the tank of the founders vision. America has turned a corner from which I do not believe there is any turning back. We are no longer the land of pioneering opportunity, but have crossed a threshold and have become the land where everyone's hand is in every other one's pocket. The individual is no longer strong relative to government, but now is saddled with the wants, wishes and demands of everyone else with a vote. Every place the individual goes and everything the individual does, he has unnamed masses standing on his shoulder looking to get a slice of his pie for themselves or to keep him from having a piece they don't want him to.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."   from Ronald Reagan attributed (probably in error) to Alexander Tytler

5 comments:

  1. America has turned a corner from which I do not believe there is any turning back.

    That is an excellent, true, eschatological statement right there! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know me, I love eschatology! ;-) There was a quiver in my patriotic heart upon recognizing that, but it was quickly followed by a renewed sense of gospel mission. Christians aren't here to save America, but to save sinners.

      Delete
  2. Although I know that this place (Earth, America) is not my home I still feel a certain way about it. I believe you are correct in that this election was a tipping point in the heart of this nation. Despite overwhelming debt, moral decay and loss of personal liberty the majority of this country opted for more of same. Like donkeys following the just out of reach dangling carrot, those looking for handouts, bailouts and freebies ran right back to the government trough. I understand that my opinion (and thats exactly what this is) may not be shared by all. But I now feel as if I have a remote connection to saints who lived long before me. The Old Testament reveals a revolving door of good and bad kings who lead the chosen people to God and away from Him at times. I feel like I can identify with the sorrow that those of faith must have felt as they watched a bad king turn their nations heart away from it's loving Father. I feel that for America now. America isn't my home, Heaven is. And America will be forgotten as I live on for eternity with my Lord and Savior. However, in the here and now I mourn the loss of America's heart for God. Not that there aren't the faithful who still live here but the scales, I fear, have now tipped in favor of godlessness. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heanous,
      It has been said that the best revenge is living well. Not that we should petulantly seek revenge, but that nothing has changed this week that prevents us from knowing Christ, walking with him, being filled with the Spirit, and being glorious light in reprehensible darkness. The debt crisis, Obamacare, the fiscal cliff all threaten life here in America as we have known it, but none of it threatens life here in Christ as we have been promised it. If Christians can survive and thrive in China and Iran, they can do the same in the Socialist Republic of America.

      Delete
  3. Socialist Republic of America. That got a smile out of me. Experience tells me there was an impish grin on your face as you typed it! I agree with you though. Jesus still sits on the throne and we still serve him and will do so until death or rapture (preferrably the latter).

    ReplyDelete

Any comment in ill taste or not germane to the post may be deleted without warning. I am under no obligation to give anyone an opportunity to call me names or impugn my motives or integrity. If you can't play nice, go somewhere else and play.