Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lessons from the 2010 Census

So my university just gave every student a Census form. These are my thoughts about what I read on the form. Believe me, the form says a lot more than "check here, dash there, gimme yo' address."

(There are two articles dealing with this topic that I linked to this blog that I really would like for you to read. If you are short on time, find the last two sets of words in blue.)

Yes, I just scanned parts of my form. No, you can not have my social security. (Hint: It doesn't ask for it.)

I absolutely agree with the first two sentences. But what about the third and fourth? I mean, what kind of citizen wouldn't want to give all their personal information in order to appropriate money to "the elderly, children, roads, and other local needs."

First thought: Hey wait, did they say local?

Don't you think local private organizations know their neighborhoods enough already to provide for its services, and don't need some government bureaucrat to dole out other people's money to them. How slavish--no, how servile!-- are we that we have to ask our government for money to help the elderly in our communities? Our children? Our roads even? Look at the psychological dependence to government provisions that is being cultivated here.

And what low view do we have of the rich in our communities that we simply just don't ask and write them letters to help us out? I would rather wear out the rich with my numerous letters, than ask some state representative to take from everyone else to give to a few. (On a side note, this also sets precedent for the government to control even more of our money. "If they ask us for this," they reason, "we can do such and such with their money." Am I on to something here? Maybe I am wrong.)

Remember the parable of the Unjust Judge. Although the immediate context is dealing with prayer, I think the concept of perseverance is very helpful in this instance. The idea that if we keep on praying, and we keep on asking for our needs, and then acting on them seems to be a solid one to me. Remember what the unjust judge said: 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"

Second Thought: What can't a private business (or Church) do that the government can't do slower and less efficiently? In fact, James, the brother of our Lord, has the antidote to this dilemma: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Notice the context, James, a Jewish-Christian, is talking to a community of Christians, an illegal group/religion up until the third century (so there is no Christians asking the government for squat), which implies that he or she is engaging in private charity. There was no providing for the needs for the Christians or Christian activity.

"So what" you say? "We have evolved since then?" Maybe, but just because Christianity is no longer illegal doesn't give Christians the right to ask the government for money.

"But I wasn't thinking about asking on behalf of my church, I was thinking on asking on behalf of all people?" Unfortunately, "all people" don't need "government money." Only specific people would need money. That would mean that the general welfare clause that you trying to appeal to wouldn't work. Speaking of "government money", like I've mentioned in previous blogs, the government can't create wealth, it can only transfer wealth already in the economy (think about it, they can only get money through taxation or inflation; if I am missing something let me know, but last time I checked, they don't sell products and therefore don't generate wealth). Why put a bureaucrat between you and those elderly and children you so care about? Why not cut out the middle man and keep it between you, the donor, and the people you want to help?

Third thought: Faith and no works often equals justification for socialism. Take James again: What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

So when people, or other Christians, see that Christians are living by the creed and not by the deed, doesn't it make the justification for socialism swing more in their favor? "But what you Christians doing to help the poor?" they may ask. You and your church better have deeds to answer with. The temptation to ask the state for your money, if you won't give charitably, seems to be at an all time high at this point.

Fourth thought: It just isn't the government's job to take care of roads, children, elderly, and local needs. Small limited government and private charity works. When people are in need, we have telethons now, hope for Haiti donation campaigns, and private charity rushes to local needs. Whereas the government (think Katrina) can do so little when the going gets tough. Do you think that's a bad comparison?

What is this United States Code, Title 13 (Sections 9, 141, 193, 214, and 221) and Title 44 (Section 2108)?

What is the true purpose of the Census, ya know, according to the original intent? Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Presidential Candidate of the Constitution Party, wrote an article on May 19, 2010 discussing this very topic. Check it out here: The Census is for Counting, not Prying.

But if you don't read the article here are some key excerpts.
In the original Census of 1790, the information requested was simply the number of persons in each household and the name of the head of each family. That’s it. Accordingly, when I filled out my Census form earlier this week, the only information I provided was my name (as the head of my household) and the number of people living in my home. The rest of it I left blank.

I'm thinking about doing the same.

The constitutional requirement for the Census is found in Article. I. Section. 2. Paragraph. 3...The purpose of the Census is that of counting the US population in order to apportion among the states the number of representatives in the US House of Representatives. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It may be worth you time to read this article on what Constitutionalism is all about: You might be a Constitutionalist if...

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