That which is Caesar’s

Barack Hussein Obama was surprisingly dull of speech tonight.  I anticipated a rhetorical treat of epic proportions, but here I sit unfulfilled.  It was standard fare for the acceptance speech – promise the world, pander to the masses.  And hey – he wants to fight injustice?  He should do something about the $80.00 charges for parking.  Yes, $80.00, Mr. Obama, let’s see you move your feet (as you say) and take care of that!

My actual concern is not the parking or those foolish enough to pay for it.  The unintended consequence of this speech is the argument made for the separation of church and state.  Any argument over supposed moral standards in government brings this to mind.  Our politicians will argue to the death, admonishing us for not caring about mothers separated from their children because of our immigration laws.  They will belittle us for sending our (volunteer) troops into battle to die.  They will belittle us for not sending our troops to the right battle.  They will question why not everyone deserves the same standard of living, why we aren’t better at sharing. 

This speaks to time-tested Biblical wisdom.  Matthew 22:21 says, “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s; give to God what is God’s.”  Of course, Christians use this passage to enourage each other to pay their taxes and to tithe without conflict.  The passage is about taxes.  But could we apply this beyond taxation?  When our candidates win elections by tugging at heartstrings, it indicates that our government is much bigger than it should be.  We have lost sight of our government’s role.  Our government was established to impartially protect us according to the letter of the law, to build roads that ensure interstate commerce and mobility, and to standardize currency.  If our government acted as just that, an impartial entity, enforcing our laws and encouraging interstate commerce, the rest of us would be free to care for those less fortunate in any way we see fit.  Frankly, I want the government to deport illegal immigrants.  They have broken a law set forth for the protection of our country.  However, on a personal level, if an immigrant comes to me hungry – legal or not – I want to offer help.  I want to offer compassion.  I do not want to be labeled.  I do not want to be concerned that my act of compassion will be misinterpreted for a disregard or worse, distaste, of the law.

A national argument over morality will never be won; it will, however, divide our great nation and weaken our people who face adversity.  I don’t want to engage in dialogue over who’s right on stem cell research.  Companies who can afford to do the research should do so.  I can make a choice when it comes to participating in that research and in the finished product.  In the meantime, I don’t want tax dollars funding something wrought from moral division. It forces a person into supporting that which he never would on his own.  That is not the role of government.  My ideals are between God and me.  It is counterproductive to use these ideals to garner votes.

The most clear cut issue here is that of gay marriage.  Should the government be involved in determining family values?  Could marriage be a sacred union performed in front of the Lord by a representative of the church while the government tends to the mess of who gets on whose health insurance and who’s visiting whom in the hospital?  It seems that if an issue is morally devisive, the government has no place in it.  Let God have marriage.  Let God’s people feed the starving.  Let God’s people act as a moral barometer.  Let the government protect us corporately as we act personally.


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