Who’s Responsible?

morals, politics 1 Comment

     In America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, on pages 256-257, there is a quotation from James Abram Garfield (1831-1881-assassinated– who was the 20th President of the United States) that is worth considering today.  Here it is, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress.  If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.  If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…If the next centennial does not find  us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” 
     These words are appropriate for our times.  To a large extent, our elected officials reflect our values and beliefs (collectively speaking).  Take a good look at Congress and you will see the values and norms of our present society reflected in them.   The laws that they enact reflect their beliefs and the beliefs of those who helped elect them.  If we tolerate hypocrisy in Congress or the Presidency, do we tolerate it in ourselves?  If we accept disrepect for the human life of the unborn, do we disrepect human life itself?  If Congress acts irresponsibly with flagrant spending, do we act irresponsibly with our own personal finances?  If we are unhappy with what we see in Congress, perhaps we need to examine ourselves and ask who’s responsible?  In my judgment, Garfield was right.  The moral values we see displayed in our elected officials are often a reflection of the moral values of the people that they govern.  If we want to maintain our integrity, we must follow the high standards of righteousness that we want to see in them.  We must cast off our sin which is a reproach to any people.  Then, we need to elect officials that manifest righteous qualities.  Then and only then, will righteousness exalt the nation (Proverbs 14:34).