Sunday, January 11, 2009

Must Government Do Everything for Us? A Foreigner's Opinion

These days in the news there is a lot of talk about what the Federal Government is going to do to help us. Even before the Presidential campaign of 2008, this was a popular topic. How will the Gederal Government take care of our health care? How will they fix education? How will they take care of widows, children, the poor, the retired, the...?

Our Founding Fathers did not look to the Government for answers to these problems. In fact, their intent was to limit the power of the Government over our lives. If we want the Big G to do everything for us, we give them a lot of power over us.

In the early 1800's, French observer and writer Achille Murat wrote "A Moral and Political Sketch of the United States," where he said, "There is no country in which the people are so religious as in the United States; to the eyes of a foreigner they even appear to be too much so..." But that very quality drove many of the things he admired about America.

Consider this quote from Murat's book:
The great number of religious societies existing in the United States is truly surprising: there are some of them for every thing; for instance, societies to distribute the Bible; to distribute tracts; to encourage religious journals; to convert, civilize, educate the savages; to marry the preachers; to take care of their widows and orphans; to preach, extend, purify, preserve, reform the faith; to build chapels, endow congregations, support seminaries; catechize and convert sailors, Negroes, and loose women; to secure the observance of Sunday and prevent blasphemy by prosecuting the violators; to establish Sunday schools where young ladies teach reading and the catechism to little rogues, male and female; to prevent drunkenness.... it is curious to observe the tranquillity which prevails in the United States."

See the quote in context on Google Books

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