Saturday, August 27, 2011

9/28/2009 In Government We (Don't) Trust

I have a huge post in mind re: politics but I thought I'd start simple and make some comments on government in general.  Short and sweet, right?
I spent over an hour last night trying to get the link from an earlier post to show up nicely here, but I'm obviously not tech-smart enough to do it.  So I'll just mention that in an earlier post, I explained what I see as the "problem with people."  And because of that problem, I inherently do not trust governments or expect them to do much good.  I believe that the primary purpose of government is to protect its citizens. 

The tension is, of course, that the meaning of "protect", and the methods used to enforce that protection can be quite subjective.  For example, is it the government's responsibility to 'protect' the institution of marriage?  One could argue that the traditional family unit is the bedrock of a stable community and to disrupt the accepted definition of marriage between a man and a woman is to threaten our very foundation.  But if we are so concerned with the sanctity of marriage, why do we allow divorce?  Why don't we require couples to undergo rigorous pre-marital counseling and connect them with mentors in their marriage in order to ensure that their relationship is a success?  Isn't the astounding number of failed marriages also a threat to our security as a society?

How far should the government go to protect our wellness?  Why do we expect our government to protect our health insurance coverage but not our health?  In other words, why can the government require a company to insure me but can't require me to take care of my body by avoiding fried food and tobacco? 

At what point is an unborn baby considered a citizen whose life is worthy of protection?  If we really care about protecting children, why aren't we doing more to prevent unwanted pregnancies from happening rather than terminating the innocent life that's been created? 

Can the government protect our hearts?  I mean, I support freedom of expression but I personally believe we would feel a little better about ourselves if words like n*gger, f*got and the like were permanently banned from spoken language.

These questions are partly why I expect the government to fail.  Not only is it comprised of inherently selfish people who ultimately serve their own purposes (even if those purposes affect the greater community for good), but it also is completely useless in solving the primary problem of our humanity.  (I think that may be a circular argument)  I believe that unless a person's heart can be changed from a propensity towards evil to an effort for generous, sacrificial, selfless living, then the mess of our society can't really improve.  Not for all the legislation in the world.  And no federal law, no government program, can change hearts. 

So I don't put my trust in the government.  I respect it as a member of this society.  I voice my opinions as a responsible citizen.  But my hope doesn't rest in Washington, D.C.        

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