Friday, April 02, 2010

The Purpose of Government and the U.S. Constitution

Government and religion. Church and State. The law and faith. Many people talk this way when they try to express the relationship between belief systems and sanctioned force. I know some people don't like the idea of government being associated with force, but that's what government really is. The applied use of force. This force, properly applied, accomplishes an ordered society by punishing those who do wrong, fear for those who consider to do wrong, and acquitting the innocent.

The problem is when societies become prosperous. The natural distrust of government can become a complacent trust. I don't mean the kind of trust you may have when someone is telling you the truth. I am talking about the kind of trust that convinces you that government has your best interest at heart and will take care of your needs. That sort of trust is misplaced. Government doesn't naturally do this.

The founders of the U.S. government understood that men will do wrong when given the power to do so. They smartly created laws that provided checks and balances within, to make it difficult for the government to do what it would naturally do — which is to naturally grow and control all areas of life.

When people see the government as the means to prosperity they are more willing to give government an expanded role. But the problem with giving the government an expanded role, for this reason, is that prosperity never comes from government. Government doesn't create prosperity. It only can create a stable environment where prosperity is possible — but not guaranteed. And government, when given more power to control the lives of innocent people, becomes oppressive. And government is never satisfied with limited power.

Although government is God's idea — for he gave it to create stability — government is built on belief systems, not in lieu of them. How a government is set up is based upon what people believe, not in spite of what people believe. This is good and bad. Of course when God's laws are upheld — like just punishment for murder, rape, and thievery — societies operate cohesively. However, when government acquits the guilty and punishes the innocent, injustice prevails. And when government moves from governing to controlling, the government becomes oppressive.

So, when people began to misunderstand the role of government, the nature of man, and the supremacy of God, government will naturally grow to invade every area of our lives, and oppress the innocent. You cannot divorce the consequences of our beliefs from how we are governed.

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