Letter to the editor
Sept. 24, 2012
To the editor:
I see that Bill Waugaman wrote to support the religious foundation of America, including a quote from our second president on religion and morality. I would like to help him flesh out his argument.
Let’s not look at morality in the narrow confines of sex, drugs or what kind of movies we watch. Instead, let’s consider one particular virtue that is mentioned in the Bible: self-control. John Adams and others argued that the American experiment wasn’t about democracy but about self-government, and democracy was the logical outgrowth of governing one’s self. Government could and should govern only when a person couldn’t govern himself.
So what is the state of self-control and self-government today? We have people taking home loans when they can’t afford it. We have banks offering those loans to indulge their own greed. We have CEOs and corporate boards who rack up debt then declare bankruptcy to cheat their employees and stockholders while voting themselves golden parachutes. We have government creating laws which they don’t intend to follow while spending money which our grandchildren will be paying off to the rich American and foreign investors who wanted to park their money in U.S. Treasury bills.
On the local level, we have the threat of draconian government solutions because people do not want to control what comes out of their own smoke stacks.
Self-control seems to have gone out the window. Maybe we could use a little more of that old-time morality Bill was talking about.