Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Answers of Government

"Grandpa, from the way you sound lately one would think that you do not have any respect for the state of our country as it is governed now."

Grandpa just looked down at me and it seemed as he was sadly nodding his head as he said,

Yes, boy, one might get that impression from the things I say. Moreover, in truth, there are times when I wonder of that also. Then there are times while in church and the good reverend is speaking of forgiveness that I wonder if it shouldn’t be applied here also. Maybe there isn’t really anything to forgive either.

History has shown that many have risen to the top then taken a great fall. That could be our fate also. The ever seeking of greater power of those within government seems to bring this about without any help from the outside. I would like to think that our founding fathers were wise enough to institute a government meant to avoid this fate.

I have often wondered what the founding fathers would say if there was some way to bring them back and ask them of their thoughts of government as it be now. Would they approve or disapprove? I have even wondered what changes they would have made, if any, if they could have had the foresight to see what we have done with what they have given us.

There are those who declare we are still a country where the people have greater freedom than any other people do in the world. I really don’t know for I only know the freedom I possess now and have never experience any other type of freedom. I have often wondered what freedom as possessed by our forefathers would feel like.

Science has done wonders. It has made our lives easier. It has allowed us to explore where we have never been before. It has even given us the opportunity of better quality of life. The question that bothers me though is whether we have become better persons because of it. Life is filled with wonders, boy, but along with those wonders are the wonderings also. Can we say we are now living in a more perfect society?

There is religion. Have we, as a society, pushed religion to the back burner and replaced it with something else to guide our lives? I have often asked myself what kind of world would this be if no one believed in God. What is it about believing in God that people would prefer that He be not allowed to be an influence in the decisions of government?

We must remember that if we do not allow religious beliefs to be an influence on government then only atheist beliefs can influence governmental decisions. Is that the preferable belief system for government? It is impossible for government to deny one influence without silently acknowledging the other.

I don’t know the answer, boy. The answer to these questions would have to come from someone with far greater knowledge than I possess."

Then grandpa went silent and as I gazed upon his face it appeared that there was a sadness in it that if revealed to the world it would reveal a heart broken by what it saw and knew it could do nothing anymore. Yet it revealed a love that demanded that it continue to try.


BB-Idaho said...

"Can we say we are now living in a more perfect society?" Probably not: part of our nature is to look back on the 'good old days', which
often means 'back when we were kids'. A perfect society for a kid is different than that of an adult. Of society prior to our
time, we rely on the view of those
who came before. In addition, if we are healthy and live well, our
society is 'more perfect' than a
contemporary who is out of work and suffers disease. In the basic terms of what has been referred to earlier as 'secular', we currently
suffer 1/10,000 fatality in mothers giving birth, compared to
1/150 as recently as 1935. Yet,
who is to say that texting or i-pods is better than riding a pony to a one room school? As for religion in public life, recall that a man's religion used to be a personal thing, between him and his God. Conversely the agnostic and atheist kept their view to themselves. Is our society better that these now are bandied about, argued and paraded by all, including pandering politicians?
I gotta go with Granpa on this one, "I don't know the answer, boy" The question resembles the
glass: half full/half empty?

The Griper said...

"As for religion in public life, recall that a man's religion used to be a personal thing, between him and his God."

now this would be very debatable. myself, i'd say it was far more public. the reasons being
1. look at all the laws that were of a religious nature that have been struck down as unconstitutional.
2. look at how the religious holidays have been changed to reflect a non religious atmosphere like Christmas and Easter. it was called Easter break now it is called spring break.
3. religious symbols are no longer allowed on public grounds like the nativity scene.
4, prayer in a public school was the norm and accepted.
5. businesses closed on Sundays because it was the Sabbath and people were expected to observe it and businesses knew they'd lose money if they did stay open.
6. we even had an amendment based on religious values, prohibition. the fact it passed shows how public religion actually was in society.
7 the words "under God" was added to the pledge for the purpose of showing that we were not an atheist country like the USSR.
8. probably the most apparent is the fact that so many Constitutions recognize God and actually praise him.

to me, at one time, it was just accepted as the norm thus it just seemed to be more of a personal thing. now it is a very controversial issue thus appearing to be more of a public issue. religious beliefs have been very much a part of our public life for 175 years and there has never been any complaints about it or worries that we would end up with a church/state relationship like England had. and as far as i know there has never been a real case of state favoritism of one religion over the rest during that whole time.

tweetey30 said...

We live in a society far from being perfect but I can see where your grandfather is coming from totally by reading this. I have to say I think our original founders are more than likely turning in there graves saying what are these people doing to the things we set up.

BB-Idaho said...

All good points you listed, Griper.
I will not disagree, but just observe some historical oddities wherein our Christian ways turned internecine..the 'Blue Laws', the Sunday day of rest, early on resulted in the jailing of 7th Day Adventists. Their Sabbath was and still is Saturday, so they plowed on Sunday, which was illegal. Then came industry which required shifts running on Sundays, etc.
[ I had a 7th Day Adventist working for me when we had to go to
substantial overtime: he refused to work Saturdays: I was told to get him in or fire him; I could not in good concience do that, so
he worked on Sundays when everyone else was gone..due to the hazardous nature of the work, I had to be there all day Sunday as well as the other six days, but it was worth it to keep an old experienced hand] Then, there were the Mormons: rightly or wrongly, they were harrassed and beaten by
fellow Christians; to the extent they left what was then civilization. As a requirement to become a state, they were forced to recant their polygamous beliefs and to this day many Christians think Mormons are not. These are minor instances, but reveal that
sometimes secularism is not involved. Lastly, regarding Church-state affairs in England, I was
confounded recently when I happened on a soccer match in Wales. Prior to the game, 'Abide With Me' was sung. :)

The Griper said...


i will need to recant part of my defense when i said that there was no case of governmental favoritism. i have used the Mormon situation myself along with a couple of others.

though i do have questions in regards to the use of the term force in the case of Utah. marriage laws have always been regulated by state law not federal law. thus i'd have to ask if it wasn't the fact that entry into the union was more important than the marriage laws of the religion at the time.

utah was not being forced to join the union and if their religious beliefs were important they could have remained outside of the union as they were.

as for the case of your friend we must also remember that labor laws were pretty lax at that time. a company could fire an employee for just about any excuse. that probably occured prior to the Constitutional challenge of the practice, didn't it?

not only were the Mormons harassed so have been the Quakers and their pacifist viewpoint.

freedom, it seems is a double-edged sword in a matter of speaking. is freedom worth the risks and dangers that it involves? for freedom requires that we take responsibility for our own safety and defend ourselves.

or are we willing to give up some freedom and depend upon others to keep us safe? seems we are risking life and limb either way.

the strong ones of a society would clamor for one while the weak ones of society would cry for the other.

then there is the psychological factor. by forcing the strong to depend upon others are we making them as weak as the weak ones? does forcing the weak to depend upon themselves make them stronger?

dcat said...

I'm way too angry to post!

Right now I think the whole world is nuts and I, am the one that is just fine!

Lista said...

"Who is to say that texting of i-pods is better than riding a pony to a one room school?"

I'll take the pony to the school option. As technology advances and life appears to be improving with all the wonderful things that we have, depression becomes more and more common. Man has this crazy idea that he actually knows how to improve on his own life, yet the real truth is that things were probably better when we left things well enough alone.

This post has actually made me feel a little sad and your first comment to it did as well. The atheists have insisted that we remove God from all public places and it is a shame.

I don't live in Southern California anymore, but when I did, there was a whole group of displays in the middle of this one public street in Upland every year at Christmas time (Euclid Avenue). It was way more than than just the Nativity Scene, though that was included, along with a whole series of other displays that illustrated the entire Christmas story. They battled over that for the longest time and I'm guessing that the atheists probably did finally get their way, but in my opinion, that was a significant loss to the community.

Amen! Our founding fathers would not approve. They are turning in their graves, big time.

That was really noble of you to work 7 days in order to help a 7th Day Adventist out. It's too bad you didn't have an assistant manager that could have worked for you, giving you either Saturday or some other week day off.

"The strong ones of a society would clamor for one, while the weak ones of society would cry for the other." and also "By forcing the strong to depend upon others, are we making them as weak as the weak ones? Does forcing the weak to depend upon themselves make them stronger?"

That's quite a mouthful and the answer to both of those questions is yes, but the strong do have to be willing to help the weak. My complaint is that too often the government just likes to hand out fish, and does not teach people how to fish.

Now, your comment made me laugh, mostly because I can relate. lololol.


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