10 June 2013

2009 Writings on Government

I found this rebuttal to an op-ed from 2009 when I was cleaning out some folders and files. I think it is good enough to share and the perspective of the subsequent four years makes it quite relevant.

Mr. Eric Samuelsen’s My View made my blood boil with indignation.  I can not keep silent.  I suggest there are several things he needs to read immediately.  First is Marvin Olasky’s book The Tragedy of American Compassion, wherein he reports in great detail how the government take over of compassionate and charitable services has decimated the family and personal responsibility for the outcomes of our lives.  Second, are Ezra Taft Benson’s addresses Our Priceless Heritage (Ensign, November 1976), and  The Proper Role of Government (The Improvement Era, Dec. 1968), which outline what government, particularly the United States government, should be doing and what they should stay out of.  Third is Samuel L. Blumenfeld’s book Is Public Education Necessary, which chronicles education in this country and makes a case against public education.  Finally, King Benjamin’s sermon from Mosiah in The Book of Mormon, which you mention.  What you neglected to mention is that King Benjamin did not confiscate his people’s wealth to redistribute to others, but invoked individual guilt as a motivator for his people to give freely to others.  He also proclaimed that he had worked for his own living so his people would not have ‘taxes, grievous to be borne.’   

 Our current president, as well as leaders in Congress, are leading us deeper into captivity and servitude, with taxes grievous to be borne, laws that restrict our freedoms of choice (something much blood has been spilt over through the ages) and strangling opportunities for improvement of individual lives, while bringing us all down collectively.  Quite an accomplishment.  Our current president and congressional leaders are some of the most frightening leaders we have ever had. 

I do not know what history you have studied, but that which I have studied leads me to opposite conclusions.  That individual enterprise is much more effective at charity and compassionate service than unwieldy governmental programs run by bureaucrats.

A balanced budget at the expense of defense is a backward proposition.  You, sir, have your governmental priorities backwards.  The national government is supposed to provide for our defense which is something we can not do individually.  Social programs, from giving generously to our neighbors in need, to setting up local school curriculum are best left to individuals and local governments, where needs are readily perceived and accountability is visible.  Confiscating my hard earned money to pay a bureaucrat to give a pittance to another is theft, pure and simple.  I would like the freedom to choose to whom and to what I give of my time, money and other resources.

I resent my money being taken and given to persons who are immoral, unrepentant, and unwilling to work (I hate working too and would much rather be a homemaker for my family), and/or persons who use the money to support addictions rather than purchasing healthful foods.  Working at a convenience store has shown me how wasteful people are with the government’s redistribution of my money.  Persons come in everyday wanting to use their food stamp card to buy sodas, donuts, chips and candy.  They get money out of the ATM on their food stamp card to buy tobacco products and alcohol.  My tax dollars are supporting their addictions.  And you wonder why I’m not for government compassion.  There is no accountability, no plan for the improvement of lives, just a constant enabling of unhealthy and immoral practices.

 Now you ask for more of my money to pay for their medical care!  Providing healthcare for all Americans is not the highest moral imperative.  The highest MORAL imperative we have is to get people to repent of their sins and obey God’s laws.  You are right about needing more done to reduce teen pregnancy, encourage adoptions and reducing abortions.  Teaching obedience to the law of chastity will do more to accomplish that than alleviating poverty by wealth distribution ever will.  Teenagers have had more sex education in recent decades than all centuries previously; but without teaching the law of chastity to them all we have done is to fan the flames of teenage hormones, then provide (at public expense) fire extinguishers and mops to clean up the mess.  We need to teach them to keep the powers of creation sacred and under control until they are willing to accept and provide for the consequences, which are real live babies.

We do not have a healthcare problem in this country.  We have a self-discipline and personal responsibility problem.  People smoking, drinking, drugging and eating themselves into disease and crisis. Not to mention all the immoral practices that bring on disease and unwanted or inconvenient pregnancies.  Everyone wants to “have their cake and eat it too.”  In other words, people want to continue their unhealthy and immoral ways and have someone else pay for fixing it.  No personal responsibility, no bad consequences for actions.  There is enough medical care for everyone.  But nobody (individually) wants to pay for it, let alone live, eat and exercise in ways to keep themselves healthy and personally responsible for their choices.  They want the government to pay.  I am the government, and so are you.  Remember, government of the people, by the people and for the people.  The government is not a money making enterprise like Wal-Mart.  At this point in time it is a confiscatory and a deficit spending enterprise; taking money from productive citizens and giving it to unproductive ones. How is that right?  How is that consistent with the ideals upon which this country was founded?

The Second Amendment is an embarrassing anachronism?  No contemporary relevance? As long as terrorists (foreign and homegrown) bent on our destruction, stalk us with illegal weapons we need the freedom and ability to protect ourselves. (No, I don’t own a gun, we have five children. But that’s another subject.)

Just what do you believe is the ‘promise of America?’  I thought it was life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  No guarantees, just pursuit.  But liberty, whatever became of that concept?  Public education doesn’t answer for or provide that promise.  This country was founded without public education.  In fact, all education (schools) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was of a religious or religion based nature.  Publicly financed education came into being around 1830 (interesting year).  Somebody got the bright idea that education should be divorced from religion and should teach children how to act and think without any reference to God.  We can see where that has gotten us.

There is actually very little that is public about schools, except the money.  I can not, as a member of the “public” go to a class that interests me in any school.  I can’t even walk into a school without first checking in with the Gestapo in the office.  Students are not permitted to come and go freely, cannot choose courses that interest them at the time they are interested.  Public schools have become factories for turning out government programmed workers, unable to think for themselves, curiosity stifled, brainwashed with the approved governmental ideas.  What is so good about that?  And why shouldn’t students have the right to pray publicly at school, in the free exercise of their religion?  And teaching science versus religion?  Science these days takes as much faith in the unseen and unknown as religion.  I’ll take revealed religion over man made science any day.  When will we learn and acknowledge that God operates on natural laws and allows us to discover them one by one in our pursuit of “science.”  True revealed religion and science are one and the same.

I do not want to stay the current course because the course we are on is toward certain destruction.  We need drastic course corrections to bring this nation into line with safety and protection from the God of this, choice and precious above all others, nation.

The governments of the nation, states, counties and cities should look at the way the government of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints runs things.  No deficit spending, no confiscatory practices, no raising of tithing rates (which is a constant rate for everyone, rather than a progressive rate punishing those who are more productive), prudent spending, saving for future needs, pay as you go, and on and on.  Look at the great good that is accomplished by that church!  It is a model for the rest of the world.

Mr. Samuelsen calls himself liberal.  I don’t know what to call myself because I believe the labels liberal and conservative are offensive and divisive.  Very few persons are completely either one.  There are too many areas to cover: finances, social services, morality, national defense, education, commerce, and so forth.  Obedience to God’s laws covers all areas and aspects of our lives.  It is a return to obedience to His laws and following the living prophet that will bring this country back to the right course. 

Our ills cannot be cured by more government regulation and taxation.  In fact, that will add greatly to our sorrows. All the ills of the world can be cured by living the teachings of Jesus Christ, and following the prophet.  The Book of Mormon is a vivid testament to the truthfulness of that statement.