Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Beauty of Small Government

Thomas Jefferson envisioned an America in which the citizens would pay virtually no federal taxes and would never see the federal government except perhaps in the form of the mail carrier.  He continually preached non pretension, simplicity, and the like.  Granted, there were many issues in human society he could not have foreseen, including the abolition of slavery.  Many people may argue that a large federal government is the only way to really get things done.

Get what things done?  What is more important than spending time with a child?  What is more important than helping a neighbor in need?   What is more important than uplifting and beautifying the world around us, person by person?  We do not need the government for the most important things in life.  A more extensive government means more beaurocracy, more positions for the power hungry, more corruption, and certainly greater expense.  But, one may say, we have good systems within the government such as welfare and food stamps.  I have heard people argue that Jesus Himself was a socialist. 

My friends, the beauty of a small government is that it gives us the freedom, of our own will and volition, to give to others.  It does not demand an equal society; it invites it.  I know several fairly wealthy people who would like to give more to the poor but cannnot afford to give the time and money of their own good desires toward God and man because crippling taxes do not give them enough breathing room to maintain their small businesses.  They live in so much frustration, unsure of what will be taken from them next, that the worry inhibits their reaching out more to the hungry and homeless.  They feel under attack and constantly pressured.  Jesus did not demand, coerce, throw in prison or fine.  He instructed and invited.  God requires a tithe, generally described as 10%, given to Him.  Can a man made governement rightly demand more financial homage than God?  And I truly believe that if more of the so called "wealthy" were left alone they would engage more in giving to the needy.  I know many wealthy people who in continually give to humanitarian causes in money, time, and expertise.  The beauty of small government is the beauty of simplicity itself.  Restore the freedom to more fully look to our smaller communities, our churches, our friendships, and recall that the neighborly human touch is a priceless gem that government can never substitute.

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