Wednesday, 18 November 2015 14:12

Our Forty-first Year -- Editorial

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Our Forty-first Year -- Editorial

Angus MacDonald

Looking at the first issue of this journal, published February 1968, I noted the cost of a year's subscription was $5!

Our name was Religion and Society until February 1980. Religion and Society remains the name of the educational foundation that publishes our work, but the word "religion" can lead to misunderstanding. The founder of this journal defines religion in terms of behavior. Dogma leaves him cold because it has been an excuse for wickedness. Some clerics in the Middle East are wicked. The justification of wicked behavior in the name of religion is an abuse of language. Civilization demands that the validity of religion must be proper conduct.

The courts and the laws define the kinds of behavior that are not allowed. Hit a man on the head or steal his wallet and you go to jail. The function of religion is to love the good and pursue it, responding to the call of a loving Heavenly Father. If you are beastly, let it be known you are without religion.

Religion is the pursuit and practice of simple decency. Some years ago a friend told me what he believed and then told me what I should believe. I told him he didn't need to tell me what he believed because I could observe his behavior and tell him what he believed.

The world is in trouble, and always has been, by the lust for power and glory. We see this in elections when people run for office, again and again, if they fail in the first effort. They run for office from a love of glory. The bigger the field, the greater the glory, so office-seekers climb the ladder from local office, to county, to state, to federal. Once they get to federal office they solve the country's problems on the national level rather than on the local or state level, where there is a more efficiency and less cost.

I have long held the impossible notion that the man who offers himself for election should be dismissed for arrogance. The man of good manners waits until he is asked rather than be pushy, but the pushy, conceited fellow is always in front and shoves aside those who stand in his way and are probably superior. I suppose this is why elected officials are not always admired in spite of their glory.

I have long held another impossible notion that those elected to office should campaign at their own expense, with a proviso that the person and his office have no commercial relationship. Only such men would have the wisdom to govern with common sense. Would men of independence neglect the "poor and the needy"? I think not. Men of means know that society profits only as the people profit. Henry Ford wanted his employees to be able to buy the cars they made. Benjamin Franklin thought officeholders should not be paid.

Milton Friedman, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, lamented the growth of The Leviathan, the state. He would not be surprised at the continued growth of national government and would question if the country could survive. Democracies never have because they are mob-ruled, voting themselves favors their children cannot sustain. Aristotle thought democracies so unstable a dictator would have to succeed to enforce financial unselfishness! He may be wrong. Democracies may not die but descend to sloth. That maybe what we are seeing in Europe.

The United States is a large country and cannot be efficient because of that size. Not long ago I listened on television to a parliamentary debate in Great Britain about social problems in their schools. That can be done with success in a small country. We would do well to meet our needs on the local and state level and limit national legislation to the few jobs it can do well -- defend the country and repair bridges on national highways. That was the basis on which the country was founded, but the vanity of politicians will not allow it to continue. *

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble." --Helen Keller

The quotes following each article have been gathered by The Federalist Patriot at: http://FederalistPatriot.US/services.asp.

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The St. Croix Review

The St. Croix Review speaks for middle America, and brings you essays from patriotic Americans.

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