The unbelievable escalation of government spending, debt and ultimately control over our lives through ungodly and unconstitutional actions such as takeover of health care by federal bureaucrats is a symptom of a national narcotic addiction. We have become a nation of O.P.M. Eaters just as surely as those snared in the trap as described in “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,” written in 1821 by Thomas de Quincey. (I would like to credit a friend, Ron Kuest of Olympia, Wash., for introducing me to this comparison some years ago.)
De Quincey became the visible symbol of a raging problem of opium and laudanum use/abuse that was undermining social, economic and political stability in Great Britain and far beyond even to this day (e.g. poppy fields in Afghanistan). What is fascinating is his descriptions of the stages of opium dependency:
- The Pleasures of Opium
- Introduction to the Pains of Opium
- The Pains of Opium
The progression from pleasure to pain caused by imbibing something harmful that produces addiction sounds very much like the gnawing hunger and dependency on Other People’s Money that has driven our nation to the edge of moral and economic bankruptcy.
The real reason we have a government gone wild is the generational clamoring for local, state and federal governments to provide for us what God and the Constitution intended for us to provide for ourselves. The short-term pleasures felt by opium, alcohol, crack cocaine and taxpayer-funded “pleasure” are the traps by which we are enslaved, because they destroy rather than empower.
We are well familiar with the statement by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that the problem with socialism is that sooner or later we run out of other people’s money (O.P.M.). A century before she stated that principle, another well-known figure was confronted bluntly that it is “not yours to give.”
While the story’s accuracy has been challenged by some, this widely distributed and printed speech by Rep. Davy Crockett is based on his being confronted by a farmer in his district for voting for a FEMA-type action. By today’s standards that would be a no-brainer – unfortunately.
Crockett quotes the farmer:
… you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution … you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. … It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. … If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.
Tragically, the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt that birthed massive government “emergency” programs designed to be temporary, the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson that launched the Welfare State and the governmental institutionalization of “benevolence” have made the Opium Eaters crisis look like a tempest in the teapot. The Beast of Big Government is now so ravishingly hungry it is nearly unstoppable.
In some states well over one-half of the workforce are on the government payroll, and Sen. Jim DeMint reminds us that government dependency is not without great cost: “More people expect government to pay the price and establish the values. This expectation has created a competing vision of America that replaces the principles of freedom with a reliance on government.”
The bottom line from a Judeo-Christian perspective – which is the basis for our culture, our laws and our economic system – is that by embracing government as our provider, we are rejecting God as our provider as well as the duty to work and to care for others:
Abraham called the name of that place The [YHWH-jireh] LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:14)
The battle over Obama/Reid/Pelosi Care and even whether it includes abortion funding is only the visible aspect of a much larger crisis.
Who is our God? Who is your God? Who is my God? Who is our, your and my provider? We need to be less concerned (NOT unconcerned!) about the 10th Amendment and more concerned about the 10th Commandment.
The political wars will not change until the church in this country once again begins en masse teaching our people the whole Gospel, executing the complete Great Commission and producing godly, biblically grounded disciples who reject both opium and O.P.M.
Obamacare 3.0 should be euthanized and its life support terminated – but so must our dependency on government.