‘Politics and the Madness in Men’s Hearts’

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(This essay by Martin Selbrede first appeared in this month’s Chalcedon newsletter, Arise & Build.)

We never seem to get anywhere with our politics, do we? Could it be that that’s because “Our problems aren’t political, they’re moral”?


And trying to apply immoral solutions to moral problems is like trying to treat opioid addiction by giving the patient more opioids. Oops. That’s what we’re doing, isn’t it? How’s that working out for us?

What could be simpler than God’s law? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. But this is the law we disobey.

As citizens of a constitutional republic, we enjoy great privileges that are not known to people living under, say, a socialist dictatorship. We do have a calling to preserve our heritage. But please note how we’ve let the most important part of that heritage slip away!

John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” By allowing ourselves to slip into a state of moral imbecility, we render our government inadequate! And we keep on playing whack-a-mole with the ensuing political problems–which are really moral problems, but we don’t want to hear that.

11 comments on “‘Politics and the Madness in Men’s Hearts’

  1. Truer words were never spoken. You can have all the laws you want, even the best of them. If nobody has the inward urge to follow them, forget it.

  2. “The people can not be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure”-Thomas Jefferson

  3. “We who serve the Lord are weak in terms of money and political muscle, we are widely considered foolish, and we are widely despised. I don’t know how God plans to use us to throw down the proud tower of humanist tyranny–but it’ll be really something to see!”-Lee Duigon

  4. You hit it perfectly, Lee. (There’s a Crespucularism in there, somewhere.) The problem isn’t one of morality. For example: businesses spend a lot of time and money on security, especially for their data. There are requirements and regulations, but none of that would be needed if we lived in a truly morally upright world. In the earliest days of computers, the default passwords were routinely left in place because no one wold even think of doing any harm to a system. These days, computer systems are a battleground.

    But it’s much more broad than that. Before the “sexual revolution”, sexual abuse of children was fairly rare. Nowadays it’s become a massive problem and it seems to be growing. Immorality has created the phenomenon of sexual addiction. Simply put, unrestrained lust triggers addictive behavior in some people and they find that they can’t settle down, instead going from partner to partner, many times throughout their life.

    Law enforcement now spends a lot of time and effort fighting child pornography. In spite of strong laws with severe punishments, there are still a steady stream of violations and speaking to law enforcement officials, it seems to be a growing problem.

    Crooked business practices, mistreatment of employees, theft from employers and numerous other dishonest acts seem to be more common than ever. We have more laws in place than ever before, but that doesn’t address the problem. The only thing that can possibly improve matters is for people to recognize God’s authority, love their Heavenly Father first of all and love their neighbor.

    1. Don’t feel bad about me pulling your leg. The other day someone on my chess page called me a liberal. That really hurt. He took it back, though–couldn’t quite make it stand up.

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