More than Just Conservative (18)

Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands. They covet fields and then seize them and houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, a man and his inheritance (Mic.2:1-2).

Messianic government tries to be society’s Messiah. It thus has to know all things, be all-powerful and infallible, along with being totally just and wonderfully compassionate, just like the real Messiah. But these are very big challenges for us mortals. For Jesus Christ, these challenges were fine, but for us?

It’s way too hard.  History has shown that whenever governments (explicitly or implicitly) hold out the idea of their messianic abilities, things tend to come unstuck very quickly. Not only that, but the lives of people in the community are then very often at risk. Think of the US.

America has plenty of enemies but they can probably relax. Who among them could do to the US the amount of damage that it is doing to itself?

Terrorists brought down some buildings in New York and punched a hole in the Pentagon. But it was not a terrorist who brought down the US economy at a staggering cost of more than $US20 trillion (Australian $19.4 trillion) in losses in the value of family homes, shares and retirement funds.

It was, of course, poor US policy and weak governance. In other words, it was self-inflicted, man-made and entirely avoidable. The enemies of the US can only dream of inflicting this much damage on the superpower.[1]

One of the hardest things for Messianic governments to do, is to leave the free-market alone. The free-market has lots of lumps and bumps; it can certainly be a rough ride. But economic Messiahs want to “sort things out.” They want to “make it easier for people.” So, they interfere in the free-market.

Where? Anywhere. Take Health. Socialised health-care was ostensibly to help the poor have better access to health-care. But whenever governments involve themselves in almost any community service activity, the cost to the community goes up dramatically, and the efficiency goes through the floor.

Why? Decisions are not made by private individuals anymore. Governments have to employ vast numbers of bureaucrats to check on and oversee everything. Rather than individuals making their own private decisions about doctors, hospitals and their health, some decisions are made for them by bureaucrats.

But bureaucrats don’t have a vested interest in an outcome. They merely have a job to do, and if it goes wrong, so what? They rarely lose their job.

Hunters and homeless people in Louisiana are righteously outraged after state health officials forced a homeless shelter to throw out nearly a ton of perfectly good venison.

The meat that had been donated to the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission could have fed more than 3,000 people. Instead, it was tossed in trash bins by officials from the Department of Health and Hospitals who say that state law prohibits the serving of venison in homeless shelters.

Not only did the officials toss the meat, they doused it with Clorox to make sure it couldn’t be eaten by animals or, presumably, people.

“Deer meat is not permitted to be served in a shelter, restaurant or any other public eating establishment in Louisiana,” an official told Fox News in an email. “While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at the Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public.”

Richard Campbell, co-founder of Hunters for the Hungry, a charitable group that donates wild game to shelters, said hunters across the state and in Mississippi are outraged about the statement and the waste.[2]

That’s why there is almost nothing that ought to be left in the hands of government today, or at anytime. They have enough difficulty staying out of trouble when they are left with only law and infrastructure. It is the individuals and families of the community that ought to be making the big decisions. Decentralisation is Biblical; it’s always the way to travel for lovers of liberty. This is an ancient but fading mark of conservative political thought. Why?

Good government starts by recognising we are not the Messiah, and will never be. Joseph acknowledged to Pharoah that “…it is not in me…” (Gen.41:16). “The government shall rest upon His shoulders” (Isa.9:6), not ours. It also starts by recognising there are real limits on what governments can successfully accomplish, and interfering in the free-market through government policy always proves to be a form of community abuse.

Stay away from it.

[1] Peter Hartcher, ‘Sound of Silence as new Debt Woes Grow,’ “The Sydney Morning Herald,” 26/2/2013.

[2] “Let Them Eat Cake? Government Destroys 1,600 Pounds of Deer Meat for Homeless Just Because,” Tad Cronn, [], 27/2/2013.