In the “from the editor” section of April’s newspaper, I wrote a little bit about the voluntary nature of charity compared to authoritarian tendencies from some leaders. There is a lady in our neighborhood collecting diapers and formula for mothers out of work. People are socializing with their neighbors more and checking to make sure they have needed household goods and supplies. This was all happening even before Congress was fighting over your money with the multi-trillion dollar “stimulus.” Stories of people sacrificing and offering up their skills and money are common across North Carolina and this country. It’s what continues to make this country so great. America is not America because of the government, it’s because of the kind of people we have here. That’s what makes a shutdown especially painful.
Really, Good Friday should be another reminder that the government can’t save us. It’s frustrating for those that study history, human nature, and America’s Founding to observe and interact with those that actually believe it can. While social distancing and many of the orders put in place by governmental leaders are having a positive impact on curtailing coronavirus, the desire to get back to work is palpable because we know, as President Donald Trump correctly said, “America is not meant to be shut down.” That it is now, remains a continual reminder of a world and political system in disorder.
Seeing so much of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was a powerful reminder of government inefficiency compared to the rapid response and ingenuity of charities. Many of them being church disaster charities who helped rebuild the communities of people they didn’t even know existed before the hurricane. Parachurch organizations cut through the rubble south of I-10 the very next day so they could have hot food trucks up and running. Those that are full of charity themselves are good at seeing the image of God in their fellow citizens.
So why the government can do some good things, it can never meet our deeper needs or restore goodness to society. It doesn’t produce anything that we yearn for in life.
There are all these great contrasts right now of people giving, while the government takes away. Some states and localities are even deeming what is an essential product for purchase.
Hopefully, our system of federalism will allow America to get back to work sooner. Obviously, less impacted areas should be allowed to open quicker, reminding all Americans again as Tocqueville once said, “The people reign over the American political world as God rules over the universe.”
That’s the way it should be and it’s a worthwhile anthem for moving forward.