Government’s primary role,according to purists with whom I agree,is protecting society.
This protection is manifold:law enforcement,corrections,prosecutors,judges,etc.
I’ve noticed that those who govern themselves aren’t those government needs to protect society against.
In America,the basis of such lawful self-governance is the Judeo-Christian ethic,hereafter called the JC ethic.
This body of spiritual and philosophical content undergirds institutions,private (individuals,the family,places of worship,organizations,etc.) and public (the aforementioned government.)
Even deists and agnostics who nonetheless adhere to this ethic find themselves outside the grasp of government needing to protect society from them.
The JC ethic had to confront its own mob mentality in the mid-20th Century when Americans who routinely attended places of worship rioted at the mere thought of integrating public schools.
This internal confrontation,pitting one group of JC ethicists against another,resulted in an ethic far more consistent with its claims of universal brotherhood than beforehand.
The introduction of crack cocaine and the moral relativistic universe it unleashed against the JC ethic resulted in a murder boom that challenges the very grip this ethic has,not only on the violent inner city but also the supposedly virtuous inner sanctum of denominations from sea to shining sea!
If the Black Church has failed in its crime prevention role to mobilize pastors and parishioners against this plague,then their sisters and brothers in the JC ethic elsewhere must call them to task!
This would be the same as when a multi-ethnic coalition of mid-20th century JC ethicists called the White Church to task for its support of (or silence about) the brutality of Jim Crow!
Christian ministers,rabbis,and lay people made this demand back then and consecrated it with bruises,blood,and death;and America is all the better for it.
Can those who practice the JC ethic today do any less now,as more vulgarity and violence drowns out private serenity and public sermons in the inner city?
America will only become safer in direct proportion to the extent she places her Judeo-Christian ethic (which is her heritage) at the forefront of crime prevention in distressed areas,as opposed to pretending that taxpayer-funded bribery alone will solve this moral crisis!
As usual,the solution to pronounced public safety challenges is private,starting with the individual practice of Judeo-Christian ethics (America’s prevailing orientation).
The sooner we admit this,the safer our streets will become as people govern themselves infinitely better.
America’s Judeo-Christian ethic and its central role in crime prevention are the solution few in our secular,socialist co-opted society can dare admit.
Photo Credit:John H. Wright (Creative Commons)