Thursday, February 07, 2008

Enthusiasm and Government

(Continuing from the previous post in the Politics category...)

A worthwhile sermon does two things. It should teach a clear application about how to better relate to God and/or people. It should also use scripture in a way that imparts enthusiasm for scripture: making scripture seem more interesting, useful, and alive. Together these allow God to affect people powerfully (First Corinthians 4:20).

Similarly, worthwhile legislation should do two things. It should tells us how to better relate to each other. It should also impart enthusiasm for government. When this happens people are affected powerfully; when it does not people instead feel that needless laws are accumulating.

Keeping government proactive is one key element, for people have a harder time being enthusiastic for something reactionary. Sadly, many people in my generation see American government as reactionary instead of proactive. To a large extent this is true, for our state and federal governments respond to PACs, which are fueled by fund raising, which is most plentiful for reactionary issues. Thus many people of my generation see politics as a reactionary system of Democrats versus Republican, business versus environmentalism, and countless other opposites all backed by PACs with little room for a strong leader or an individual citizen.

Combining representation and transparency is a second key element, for people are inclined to be enthusiastic when they have ownership and can follow what is happening. Both Oregon state government and the federal government are currently doing terrible jobs in this area. Many people of my generation feel neither represented nor able to follow because so much seems to happen behind closed doors.

In both of these areas the reality is not as bleak as is often believed. Those in government need to do a better job communicating where proactivity and representation-with-transparency are working well.

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