Friday, September 16, 2005

Worshiping Uncle Sam's Golden Calf

One of the things we saw in New Orleans over the past weeks is the result of idolatry. The idol? The golden calf of big government, of course.

Joel Belz had some sobering words to say in his latest WORLD Magazine editorial, "Unquenchable Appetite":
    Happiness with the results of any big government effort, of course, is almost an oxymoron. The reason is simply that when people start putting their trust in big government, they've attached themselves to a false god. And false gods can't produce the goods.

    What we saw in New Orleans last week was the pathetic picture of people whose expectations in a false god had been so enhanced that when the false god stumbled for a day or two, some of his worshippers flew into a rage. They'd been betrayed, they said. Not only had their god failed to tend to their obvious physical needs in prompt style; he had made them look weak and foolish in the process.

    Note this well: A people who cannot, even while in dire distress, minister to the weakest and the dying among them; a people who do not, even while waiting hungrily for help they desperately need, respectfully and reverently take care of the bodies of those who do die; such a people will be known to history as frighteningly farther down the road to decadence than most of us want to admit.

    And then remember this: That such a people will in the days to come develop a bigger and bigger appetite for gods who promise them everything. And then they will show a lower and lower tolerance for gods who do not perform.
Ironically, the president last night promised to make that golden calf even bigger than before. If God's chosen people didn't learn from their mistakes after leaving Egypt, what does that say about our nation? I guess when people have been wandering aimlessly long enough in a spiritual wasteland, they'll fall for anything.

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