I have a friend, Kaleigh, who enjoys debate as much as (or maybe more than) I, and we email back and forth on different issues. Here are a few discussions we’ve had lately on government.

Jama,
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/05/28/venezuela.protest.ap/index.html

How long until our country is like this? We already have a cowboy president that is ignoring the wishes of his people….and our country is already on the decline. (Every govenment has a beginning….a flourishing….a rise in power….and then….like a book…there is a peak….and there is a decline to the end. The Roman Empire is the perfect example to uphold.) It is my belief that we’ve reached our peak….and are either maintaining our rise to power, or starting down the downslide.

A good quote I like….”It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” ~attributed to David Hume
-Kaleigh

Kaleigh,
Because our country was founded on Christian principles, by Christian men, I believe that God has blessed our country and given us a fair amount of leeway in our screw-ups. I don’t know, however, how long He will be patient with us as we continue to foul things up.
However, we are still in much better shape than Europe, Canada, and the rest of the civilized world. Who knows? What I do know is that more government is not the answer. By giving more power to a centralized group of people in Washington, we are merely ensuring our doom.
-Jama

Jama,
I concur. More government is not the answer.

(Not to poke you with a stick….but Rome became Christian in the end….and continued to fall.)
-Kaleigh

Kaleigh,
Yay! Poo on government…
What would you consider yourself politically? Not liberal, certainly, with an answer like, “more government is not the answer.” Libertarian, perhaps? Anarchist?

Rome was, however, notorious for persecuting Christians. (e.g., crucifictions, feeding Christians to lions for entertainment, etc.). If any civilization deserved God’s wrath, it was Rome. Rome also, in post-millenial interpretations of scripture, is believed to be the “beast” mentioned in Revelation.
-Jama

Jama,
I am inclined to think at this point that what we call “God” may not be an actual whole entity, as the Christian, Muslim, and other faiths believe – by whole, I mean personage….but rather, if it exists, is something that we may not be able to comprehend. Slightly off topic, but: suppose god is an entity. You believe your god is all-powerful….which indicates to me that there cannot be any other gods in existence (because your definition includes all-powerful)….if god has existed all this time, alone, and all-powerful….it probably by now is most certainly, what would be deemed by human definitions….as insane.

Politically….ha,ha…I’m schitzophrenic. Although, I’ve taken this several times:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/

….I’m usually somewhere between -3,-3 to -6,-6, depending on my mood. Social Libertarian (not the U.S. definition of libertarian, but rather the world definition, or British definition.) is probably the closest label you could place on me. (I just took it….I scored – 5.38,-5.38) How about you?

The way to determine (for your purposes) if I am for or against a government policy is to ask yourself….what is it for? For instance, I think I may be for free health coverage for everyone. I would be most agreeable to something (that would work!) that would plan that. It would be helpful to folk.

I am for government regulations that also help people. (e.g. arresting people that commit assault and battery) I am against regulations that restrict or are wasteful. I think taxation is necessary in order to provide funding for the structure we need to keep order….but I think high taxation is reaming us. (There is a lot of waste in government….how many times do you pass a road crew on the road with 10 men standing around watching one do something?) I think we are taxed on too many things as well. (It is for those reasons I have mixed feelings about gun control. It is restrictive, but it also might very well help people – if you compare our country to others.)

I’m not an Anarchist, because Chaos only brings more Chaos. Structure is good for people….and people will automatically form a structure in small groups. It may not be explicit, but still something that can be viewed if one looks for it. Anarchy is not a feasible form of government for any society (society = 2 people or more). Anarchy doesn’t even work in nature (with animals that have a social structure). I’ve argued with our mutual friend before about his anarchist stance.
If God supported Christians, and Rome became a Christian nation (I’m thinking of Constantine)…..wouldn’t it have started to become a better government again rather than continuing to decline?
-Kaleigh

Kaleigh,
I would agree that God is not something that we can comprehend, per se, but that we tend to project personhood on Him (see, I call Him, “Him,” because that’s the easiest way to refer to Him.) Yes, the Christian God is all-powerful, and, yes, there can be no other “gods.” Although there is the whole trinity thing ( i.e., God is three persons in one – the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit), which would keep Him from being alone, per se. But, yes, by human definitions, this could be considered by some as insane. (paranoid schizophrenic, perhaps?) The Bible, however, says that “His ways are not our [humans] ways.” So, although humans may consider this to be insane behavior, it is not, you know?

I’m a 6.75, 1.69. However, I wouldn’t agree with the assessment. So many of the questions are ambiguous. A lot of things that I find immoral or inappropriate, I don’t believe that the government should have any part in. I disagree with the free health coverage and such. I find it interesting that people don’t want to the government involved in “silly” things, like entertainment and such, but find it appropriate for the government to regulate the important things like health care and education. We need to be responsible for ourselves, not reliant on others to provide for us. I see it as the equivalent of an adult still living with and reliant upon mom and dad at the age of 40, but “don’t tell me what I can watch on TV!!!” I understand that some will argue that we can be left to take care of the little things, but we need to leave the important things up to the “professionals.” But is government really the “professional” here? Do we really want the boobs in Washington controlling our health care? YIKES! We can talk more specifically about universal health care, if you like. I am wholeheartedly opposed.

I believe it is very important for people to learn how to provide for themselves, for it is the ultimate form of suppression (oppression?) to cause someone to eternally rely upon you (or government, or whatever). It’s like the old saying, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” A government that provides too much for its people is merely giving a man a fish, when what we should be doing is teaching him to fish (by encouraging self-reliance.) This is the problem in Europe with their dwindling population. They don’t have the work force they need to support the aging, government-reliant population, yet the aging population is so reliant on the government that they can’t “kick the habit.” How much better for them if they were self-reliant?!?

As for Rome…not necessarily. Christians suffer for evil all the time.

As for gun control, although there may be fewer murders in countries with gun control, there are more burglaries, assaults, and rapes, for people are unable to protect themselves, and the criminals know it. At least in the US, criminals know that there is the possibility that they will be up against someone who could shoot the crap out of them.

I don’t agree with anarchism either. For the same reasons as you.
-Jama

I’ll update this coversation as it continues…

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