“If we don’t do it who will?” is often the appeal to get someone motivated, to get something done. But look around you and really answer the question. Who will? Sometimes I think there's nobody out there.
Take the “Chick-fil-a” incident last week. Maybe a strange place for me to make my point, after all didn't thousands take the time to make a statement in favor of the first amendment by dining there? Sure they did, and good for them and good for you if you did. But now what?
What precipitated this reaction was the statements of mayors and councilmen in major cities around the country that wanted to condemn and possibly deny Chick-fil-a restaurants in their municipalities. All because the president of the company expressed a belief in what he called biblical marriage.
So we all had our moment of solidarity and ate chicken. And maybe we'll eat more chicken, more often. But has the problem been addressed? This is a problem more grave than what a person chooses to believe and support or even the audacity of the politician's reactions. Where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation?
What's the problem?
The problem is that too many just don't see a problem. That is, politicians thinking it's their job to bully and threaten a business because they disagree with an executive's philosophy or religion. Other politicians not taking a stand by condemning such bullying as acting stupidly by being in opposition to the 1st amendment. And the worst crime, the apathy of the voters who put these bullies in office. Yet even worse, the one's that cheer them on. So, when they come up for reelection, will the Chick-fil-a incident be a plus or minus for them? That we can't even answer that question is an indictment of our times.
Is there anybody out there? Hello?
Mucking around in moral questions
We don't like mucking around in other people's business. The tea party tends to rally around the issues of freedom and the pocketbook, “Taxed Enough Already”, and not in what is generally called “social conservatism”. But it takes a moral people to respect and protect another person's freedom and wallet. The golden rule is where these things intersect.
This is not about the government's definition of marriage. This is about elected government officials grasping for power that does not belong to them. While Chick-fil-a appreciation day was going on the Health and Human Resources insurance mandate went into effect. All insurance plans must cover abortion inducing drugs, regardless of the religious or moral convictions of the employer who pays for it or the person being covered. The freedom of conscience of the people is now subject to the dictates of the state. Abortifacients may not be an issue with which you have a concern, but the freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment should be. Remember the golden rule...
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching
We want our politicians to do the right thing, that's why we put them in office. But if every vote they make is available for public record and yet they are unafraid to go against the constitution, the wishes of the electorate, or common sense... we have failed. They have shown a willingness to do the wrong thing, even when everyone could be watching. What can we do?
We can show up. Someone once said that most of life is showing up. We can shine light on the actions of these politicians. But what if they don't care, like the municipal bullies? Then it's our job to make them care by making sure the voters understand why the issues matter and how their representatives vote.
We want our officials to have integrity, but even the best can use a person looking over their shoulder and giving them encouragement. If we have people that have no apparent integrity then we have to cause them to at least act like they do. Our job is to educate both the politician and the voter on the issues.
Should a Tax Have the Power to Leave You Homeless?
Elsewhere on the page of this website you may see an effort to fill a bus for a trip to Harrisburg. One of our members looked around and realized, “If we don't do it, who will?”. So she is organizing this trip. The principle is simple – Should a tax have the power to leave you homeless? Change doesn't happen by itself and legislators in Harrisburg are no different than most people, resistant to change. They need our encouragement and they need to put this to a vote so the voters will know where they stand on the issue.