Monday, April 18, 2016

Political Activism and the Reality of Evil

The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.
- Malcolm Muggeridge

“Dear Sir: Regarding your article 'What's Wrong with the World?' I am.
Yours truly,”
- GK Chesterton

Most everywhere we look, we are seeing the disintegration of American society. We then ask ourselves, what do we do, what can we do to turn things around? We then begin frenetically running around seeking to reform the Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Immigration Customs Enforcement, US Customs and Border Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government, and so on. Of course this means then that we, both Democrats and Republicans, believe the primary source of our societal conflicts is an “it.”  Get “it” right and all will be well.


What if the source of our societal maladies is not in our institutions but in our hearts? What if our institutions are corrupt because we are corrupt? What if the fundamental problem is the evil that lies in each of our hearts: evils such as greed and envy, hatred and malice, pride and egoism, lawlessness and decadence, lust for power and control.

Having largely discarded religious faith, we jettisoned belief in a transcendent moral order and, with it, any concept of evil (moral disorder). Well that is not entirely accurate: we replaced religious belief with political ideals and dogmas, which we (Democrats and Republicans) adhere to and defend with a fanaticism of a witch burning Puritan.

Do you, O thou spiritual believer in Christ, doubt me, here? Pray then answer me this: if I disagree with your social agenda or choose to not vote for your favored candidate, are you going to anathematize me? Your Facebook posts tell me that you will.

It seems to me that today even Christians, who should know better, are wrestling more with “its” rather than hearts, including their own, behaving as if societal reformation begins and ends with political and institutional reformation and the election of the Right Candidate.

Newsflash: Even if you get “it” reformed and the “right” person elected, if people’s hearts are not transformed, your activism is nothing more than an attempt to put a classier suit on a corpse.

I believe that all political and social problems are ultimately problems of individual virtue. Therefore, all endeavors to reform society must start with the human heart and the fact that evil exists in the world and within us all. If it is reformation we are after then this is a reality that needs to inform and govern our political activism.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016

Elections2016: WWJD

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

-  Thomas Jefferson