05 June 2013

detriment

I sometimes wonder what our national discourse would appear if we assumed more of the best of our fellow citizens.  By this I mean to say that our debates over government and policy might look different if we didn't think of each other as maliciously working to undermine whatever version of freedom that we ourselves hold dear.  Perhaps if we thought of each other as trying to do good works of liberty, we might reconsider our own approach and (despite all of the political promise and rhetoric that comes every two-to-four years) potentially change the conversation.  Our nation still has a strong foundation of liberty, even though many are willing to support policies and programs which seek to undermine the ideals of our Republic.

If this is the case, then our talk needs to define consequences of our decisions.  Of course, all of this will be riddled with barriers of emotion that keep some folk from reason.  But the work needs to be done nonetheless, in the optimistic assertion that the truth does not need a majority to prevail.  Hence, the following comes as a thought-process emerging from this context.

We as a nation have listened to voices that appeal to our sense of moral goodness and uprightness, to the point where we fail to recognize the consequences of our modern politics.  Sometimes this is a failure of history - the inability to learn from the mistakes our nation has made in the past, for we generally have an ignorance of our own country's past.  Sometimes this is a failure of philosophy - the inability to use reason and logic as the proper balance to our emotion and feeling.  This is even more disturbing when it happens to people of Christian faith, who are never to allow their devotion to God to succumb to the methodology of worldly governments.

Nevertheless, because we are a nation that is filled with good-natured people who desire neither the rulership over others nor the daily interaction with government or politics, there have been many issues that - despite the fact that they are at odds with much of the citizenry - simply have not been opposed by the People.  For others, the belief that we have an opportunity to enact a government which brings about a greater measure of freedom - or perhaps the coming of God's kingdom - brings many to a point where the intent of our actions is greater than their outcome or political manipulation.

It is quite possible that someday in the not-too-distant-future we will look back on our story to discover some painful truths:

To our detriment we accepted the notion of global warming, for we were convinced of our responsibility to care for and ability to save our planet.  In our eagerness we failed to see that more people around the globe would suffer because of political mandates which effectively gained riches for those who wrote the policy, but which left the poor to suffer in underdeveloped regions.

To our detriment we embraced a national healthcare to be run by the government, for we considered such action to be our obedience to the command that we were to care for the poor and the sick.  We ignored the overwhelming cost that would crush our economy under the weight of such reckless spending.  We did not listen to the voices that said this was a move for political power, even when a corrupted federal IRS was handed the responsibility of oversight.

To our detriment we allowed our Second Amendment right to be eroded, for we were eager to accept the idea that we could effectively stop violence in our nation.  In our enthusiasm to be the generation which established peace on earth we allowed the politically progressive to control the discussion and perpetuate the notion that guns are the root cause of our violence.  We placed more value in the news media's indictment of firearms than in the biblical assertion of a fallen human nature - and the statistics of violence that support the notion that humanity alone decides when to commit murder.

To our detriment we allowed our federal government latitude to shroud itself with the cloak of darkness.  In the name of peace we did not press the visibly opaque politics that were overrunning our nation's highest offices of public service.  Our detriment was even further advanced when many of us were willing to forget about the secrecy and lies which allowed for our ambassador and SEALs to be abandoned to their deaths.

To our detriment we accepted the lie that our President was, in measures deep-and-wide, ignorant of anything that is connected to scandal, although he is otherwise fully involved in all aspects of governing this country.  As a snowball effect, too many of us willingly believed that a sitting president would never be responsible for the internal corruption of our nation.  The overwhelming majority of those who buy into this are the same people who were willing to accept that a president would indeed be responsible for our nation's demise and corruption - so long as his last name was Bush.

To our detriment, we became willing to believe that which was convenient.

To our detriment, we forgot what it meant to offer personal sacrifice for the building of a nation.

To our detriment, we lost touch with what it meant to carry the responsibilities of freedom.

To our detriment, we were unable to recognize our own demise before it was too late to turn around.

Or, we could one day say that we were willing to stand - like our forefathers - in defiance of tyranny, because of our Christian faith and heritage ... not in spite of it.

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