I finally found some time to listen to President Obama’s state of the Union Address which was presented last Wednesday. I was unable to watch at the time because I was teaching the junior high students at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church the seventh petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “But deliver us from evil.” What does this mean? “We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven” (Luther’s Small Catechism). After class is over, the students play basketball or games in the gym and then we close with evening prayer in the nave of the church.
From the get go the ego-centric nature of the address was incredibly obvious. I have never heard so much “I” language in any State of the Union speech. I have probably been watching state of the union speeches for the last 15 years, the imperative to watch was usually strongly set forth by my parents, who understood that an educated and engaged citizenry is necessary for a strong republic. In this speech however, the focus and reference point was hardly a sovereign country, with borders, and a people of its own. That reference point was Obama, “One year ago I took office…,” going on to announce all the problems he inherited.
The most peculiar part of the speech that kept recurring is the bizarre insistence that government creates jobs and grows the economy. President Obama spoke often about the jobs he is “creating,” even though there is a much more significant level of unemployment now than when he first took office. Where does this idea come from, that the government “creates jobs” or creates anything for that matter. The government takes, shifts (steals) wealth, intrudes, and constricts. Government is incapable of “creating” anything.
New programs, new bills, new green jobs are those catch words used in the speech for a little trickery, as if government creates and grows anything. The growth of government destroys wealth, it does not create it. The only thing that creates jobs is wealth and unfettered capitalism. It has already been noted by other critics that Obama’s ‘change’ campaign is a revivification of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s failed “New Deal” philosophy that by exponentially increasing the size of the federal government a country can reign down prosperity from above. It was a horrible idea and prolonged the depression for an unnecessary amount of time. It was a bad idea then and it still is a bad idea.
If we are to have a strong economy and prosperity for all, government is not the solution, government is always the problem. Government gets in the way. Government cannot nurture – it cannot love or comfort. Government is cold and sterile. It does not ‘create,’ ‘empower,’ or ‘motivate’ but does the very opposite. Go visit any DMV or Post Office and see how cozy you feel there. Government does not create - it either steals or shifts around wealth. For my socialist friends, I usually ask for one example world-wide where a country has taxed and stole their way into prosperity. I am still looking for a single example.
How can the idea that the government ‘creates jobs’ be taken seriously? I hope we can collectively come to the consensus soon that socialism in whatever form it takes is poor for the country. The only way that socialism can hold even the most miniscule tidbits of feasibility is if you have a citizenry with a a growing and multiplying population. If boys and girls just want to have fun, pollute wombs with birth control and play with rubber balloons on their sexual organs, putting off marriage and family, there will be nobody to pay for your socialist programs. Very simple math. If the birthrate is decreasing (true for U.S.) and population aging, why would you increase the size of federal government? Yes, we cannot. If I knew anything about law, had any power, or had lawyer friends, I would file a lawsuit against the federal government, on behalf of the unborn plaintiffs whom are being buried in the irresponsible spending of the government.
It is the governments proper work to curb evil, while promoting justice and mercy. When government becomes a force that threatens and destroys life (abortion/euthanasia/entitlements and assault upon nuclear family) then it has departed from its legitimate use of governance and power. This will be something to prayerfully consider in these latter days. I have already written on the correlation between Religious Culture and Market Laws HERE.
“O merciful Father in heaven, from You comes all rule and authority over the nations of the world for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do well. Graciously regard Your servants, those who make, administer, and judge the laws of this nation, and look in mercy upon all the rulers of the earth. Grant that all who receive the sword as Your servants may bear it according to Your command. Enlighten and defend them, and grant them wisdom and understanding that under their peaceable governance Your people may be guarded and directed in righteousness, quietness, and unity. Protect and prolong their lives and we with them may show forth the praise of Your name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Pastoral Care Companion, p. 638).