One of the comments to "Biking Upwind" is a question of how I can say that nothing this country or any other has done has made the world a better place. Were not ending the Nazi regime and freeing African-American slaves acts that made the world a better place?
Well, yes, if we want to think of it that way. I certainly wouldn't say that we were wrong to do those things (although, if I were to be extra controversial, I would go ahead and say that using force to stop the Nazis was wrong... but stopping them was not). Nor would I say that those things were negative or harmful to the world. Those acts are certainly examples of the type of love that I encourage us all to embody. And I'd definitely lift those things up as models for our children to follow and learn from.
At the same time, though, history is very clear about one thing: "It's all been done before," as the Barenaked Ladies would say. Something is inherently wrong with human nature. Now, I believe that humans are created divine (heresy, I know) and so we are inherently good. But history teaches us something very different. Something is wrong, and thus I make a distinction between the human creation and human nature. The human creation is good; but when humans come together, for whatever reason, human nature is inherently negative. It requires some serious inward reflection, transformation, and conversion to remove us from our human nature back to our created purpose. Outward actions, no matter how good, cannot change the soul of the individual.
I don't know if I'm making any sense, but what I mean is that each individual must make the tough choice to love others. It's probably the most difficult, and most necessary, life choice that any individual can make, but only the individual can make it. No matter what governments do, millions and billions of people could still choose to be selfish and harmful. And if governments do start restricting us to live certain ways, then it won't be much of a government any more, would it? There's a reason why 1984 and other similar books are so terrifying to us. George Orwell wrote a distopia, not a utopia.
Governments do nothing to change the evil within us. If governments do restrict us and make it impossible to do certain "wrong" things, we'd still have evil within us unless we individually make the choice to be loving. As long as we don't make that choice the world will continue making the same mistakes and will be no better than before. People might do good things that have temporary effect, and we might be progressing in certain ways, but still inside every hero is a thief, a robber, a criminal (as Project 86 would say) if we don't make different individual choices. In the end, that is the truth, and with it no government can ever make the world a better place, in my view. Only individuals, only real conversions, can make the world a better place.
In the end, you either agree or disagree with me. I hold many controversial views about government, community, faith, and the like that are considered heretical in church circles. I don't intend for any of those to become a running argument, but I figured I'd give in for one last response. But please, let us all realize that ideological differences are not necessary to focus on when it comes to loving the 27 million slaves in the world that desperately need that love.