It is foolish to believe mankind is getting better and better! It requires a blind denial of truth and data to make the case we are evolving into some future utopian society… to believe we are learning to treat each other better and better… to believe our youth are getting smarter, wiser, and more virtuous… to believe justice and laws are approaching perfection… to believe poverty and hunger is being eliminated! Our hope springs eternal, but history mocks each cycle! Government corruption is a constant, a given in the loops of history. Why should we be surprised when we realize America and Alaska are not exceptions? Honest people who look to science, technology, economic development, and government engineered social structure to “improve the human condition”, are looking disappointment in the face.
Reality demonstrates throughout human history that government (social structures) seem to follow Newton’s laws from noble to ignoble… from the rule of law to tyranny or anarchy. “Good” kings, monarchs, ruling classes, and politicians demonstrate the tendency toward increased corruption as their time in power progresses. It turns out the only thing that actually preserves personal freedoms against tyranny is naively and disingenuously abhorred by government! Our founders called it “religion” and guaranteed the freedom of religion for all. With respect for each person’s God-given right to work out their choices in their relationship with God, they banned government from “establishing” religion. But, make no mistake, they were in no way anti-God. They did not impose (establish) an official belief in Jesus Christ, or the Bible, but again it is easy to document their faith by looking at what they wrote. If our electorate does not retain its faith in God and His standards — referred to as “Natures laws and Nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence— a bad ending is predictable and “natural”.
It is indeed a “religious” endeavor to analyze the universal “flaw” in human nature that ultimately dooms the noble intentions of our social structures. Analysis of this flaw is inanely avoided and even denied in modern education. Our founders were far more realistic when they were establishing the most complex, inefficient, decentralized government on the face of this planet. They were directly mitigating this human weakness. The massive system of “checks and balances” was intended to hinder man’s perverted drive to selfishly control. The founders transparent distrust of human nature resulted in a government intended to secure personal freedom, justice, security, and prosperity as never seen before in history. The natural flaw inevitably impacts government because it is the very thing that makes government fundamentally necessary— every human is born selfish and self-centered! This flaw is understood by every thoughtful parent and is accepted and dealt with by all of us as part of our religious world view. Interestingly, it is an avoided topic in secular government and schools! Every human has to learn to cope with others, with the same flaw, in whatever social structure, in whatever era they are born. Learning to cope gracefully is called “being mature”. In this process of maturing we learn to detest conceit, arrogance, and selfishness when we see it in others; but, ironically, we tend to have some difficulty seeing it in ourselves. Dealing with pride and self-centeredness is difficult if you don’t start by acknowledging there is a flaw. Thinking of someone else’s needs as more important than our own is truly a religious achievement in any culture!
George Washington (and many others) warned us that America will only prosper if it is in the hands of “religious” * people, “Of all the dispositions and habits which leads to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports… reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” (farewell address, Sept 19, 1796) Keep in mind, George was not contending for a religious government, but people with “religion” doing government. (*The term may elicit a negative context in our culture that wasn’t necessarily part of their intended meaning.)
Take a few minutes to contemplate and make some fundamental religious decisions for yourself! Perhaps ironically, America’s “religious” foundation preserved the right and dignity for each person to decide what decisions are important to them. We have the protected right both to pick our decisions and then to make them. The founders bet on the fact that belief in “Nature’s Law and Natures God” is rationally superior and would ultimately prevail. If they were wrong, then we are “at sea” in terms of having no common standard of justice! In my opinion, without a standard, the “rule of law” is meaningless and America will be yet another historic example of man’s inability to govern himself! A lot depends on the religious choices of “We the People”!
This was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.