Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Government of the People

Election season seems to be a time about which James Madison in 1788 commented in the Federalist Papers...a time of political jealousy and insufficient virtue.

"As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government (that of a Republic) presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. (of government). Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self
government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another."
(James Madison Federalist Paper #55)

Notice that he also stated that there are "other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence." Those qualities and the recognition of them are foundational for our republican form of government. However, acknowledgement of those qualities by our candidates seem to be laid aside during the election season. Anything goes! One may search in vain amongst the candidates for any presupposition that would evince esteem or confidence in any but their own party or themselves. All the opposition are rascals and charlatans..worthy of no high office in the land. None, according to the other, have sufficient virtue to rule in our behalf.

In 1997, you may remember, a retreat in Hersey, Pa. was organized for members of congress in the attempt to instill a spirit of brotherhood by getting to know each other more intimately. It’s purpose was "to seek a greater degree of civility, mutual respect and, when possible, bipartisanship among Members of the House of Representatives in order to foster an environment in which vigorous debate and mutual respect can coexist." During election season...a time-out from civility has evidently been called. Let the name calling, back-biting, slanderous statements, foul languge, derogatory remarks, lies, half-truths, falsehood games begin. It makes you want to welcome the fact that perhaps, "only the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another. "

So what is a fair-minded member of the electorate to do? How can we sort it all out? Especially given the fact that the "main stream media" cannot be trusted. That’s a given in this day and age. Bias is rampant! The most trusted name in news, the most fair and balanced, the one with a fuller spectrum of news cannot be trusted..whoever it is. The bottom line is that our system of government requires involvement, if only in the fact that after attempting to sort out the information we go to the polling place and vote our values and our conscience. That’s the minimum. When it’s all over and the electorate has spoken..then what? As Christians here’s what:

Ro 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Ac 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Job 12:23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.

God is still in control! Daniel 4:35b.... and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

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