Johnny Townsend: Securing the well-being of residents just isn’t tyranny

A former missionary colleague of mine defined that he believes each these on the precise and the left need principally the identical factor — to assist individuals — however his beef is that these on the left wish to obtain it by tyranny.

If “the federal government” assists the poor, the remainder of us are pressured to pay increased taxes. Serving to is barely acceptable if the conduct is carried out with out coercion. It was “Devil’s plan” to make individuals be good. God as an alternative selected to provide us free will. However everybody, each on the precise and the left, ought to need the state to enhance the lives of all its residents.

Throughout the present pandemic, many insist that requiring people to wear masks is heavy-handed authorities interference. And but some Republican enterprise house owners deny their staff a alternative by firing them in the event that they put on a masks to work. It’s financial tyranny if “huge authorities” orders companies to shut briefly to keep away from spreading the virus, but it surely’s not an issue if Republicans get them organized to reopen and instantly rescind unemployment help to staff who should now select between homelessness and severe sickness.

A “keep at residence” order to guard the general public throughout a disaster is a violation of the First Modification, however routinely monitoring emails and telephone calls with out a warrant underneath regular circumstances is “for the larger good” and so doesn’t violate the Fourth Modification.

Republicans declare that utilizing tax {dollars} to supply everybody a university training is tyranny. However requiring each pacifist to financially help the army is not more than “duty.” Demanding we share the burden of offering well being care to all is a prescription for dropping our souls. However compelling everybody to reward fossil gas firms with billions in subsidies is a divine remedy for the economic system. It’s a sin to make use of a single penny of taxpayer cash on abortion but it surely’s “free will” to pressure ladies to bear the youngsters of rapists.

My missionary colleague and I spent two years of our lives volunteering to show others about Mormonism. However even amongst Mormons, free will isn’t solely free. Nobody is pressured to pay 10% of their revenue to the church, but when they don’t, they will’t marry within the temple. They’ll’t attend their kids’s weddings. They’ll’t enter the Celestial Kingdom after they die. Our tradition determines the “pure” penalties to each free alternative, so as to elicit the conduct we wish.

To cite Dana Carvey’s Church Woman, “Isn’t that conveeeenient?”

As residents of a civilized nation, we make a social contract. If it’s not tyranny to make use of taxpayer cash to rent law enforcement officials and firefighters to guard the group, it’s not tyranny to make use of taxes to rent medical doctors and nurses to guard sufferers. If it’s not tyranny to make use of tax {dollars} to show a toddler to learn, it’s not tyranny to supply an grownup sufficient job coaching.

Many on the precise firmly consider in imposing the insurance policies that complement their spiritual or political agenda. They solely protest — carrying assault weapons into state capitols as a present of “pressure” — if these insurance policies make obligatory serving to individuals they really feel no compulsion to assist.

Grandma may die? She’s so outdated she’d be lifeless in a few weeks, anyway. And it’s not like we’re condemning her to hell. She’ll go straight to Paradise.

Determined asylum-seekers may die in detention camps? Properly, we are able to’t assist everybody. The really empathetic would perceive that these people are higher off in Spirit Jail, the place they’ll lastly be open to accepting the gospel.

Working collectively to enhance the lives of all members of our society just isn’t tyranny. It’s our civic responsibility. It could be the aim of faith to assist good our souls, however the job of the state is to safe the bodily well-being of its residents. If these on the precise really feel that obligating them to deal with others humanely is a sin, the remainder of us are free to not settle for their conclusion.

However these of you on the precise needn’t fear. Relaxation assured that for those who’re pressured towards your will to guard staff, or give the unemployed an training that enables them to help their households, or cease firms from polluting the atmosphere, God can all the time punish us later for serving to you.

Johnny Townsend

Johnny Townsend, Seattle, is the writer of books that embrace “Breaking the Promise of the Promised Land,” “Human Compassion for Inexperienced persons,” and “Am I My Planet’s Keeper?”

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