- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 1, 2009

Presidential image and flowery rhetoric is no substitute for the hard truth (“GOP rebuttal: Spending spike is ‘irresponsible’ ,” Nation, Wednesday).

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s rebuttal to President Obama’s address to Congress, though largely ridiculed and ignored, rightly emphasized that the strength of a nation is not found in the Democratic view, which is to “increase dependence on government,” but in the view which champions “limited government, fiscal discipline and personal responsibility.”

The task of the state is not to consolidate and exercise power but merely to regulate human life in society, creating a balance of freedom and good things that allows each individual to lead a life worthy of man. Its role is to safeguard the rights of each individual and the welfare of all. Failing to limit itself thusly, it posits itself as something absolute.

We already see this happening in various nations whose governments are forcing taxpayers to subsidize everything from contraception to the moral evils of abortion and embryonic stem cell research. In Britain, new government laws on homosexual rights are forcing Catholics to sever their ties with adoption agencies. In the U.S., Mr. Obama has promised to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which will ultimately strike down present laws protecting the conscience rights of doctors, nurses and hospitals. Dependence on government ultimately means marginalizing both religion and those with religious beliefs.

James Madison recognized religious freedom as a fundamental right that cannot be severely curtailed or denied. Put more broadly, and as Pope John Paul II put it, religious freedom is the “first freedom.” It is “the premise and guarantee of all freedoms that ensure the common good.”

We hear a lot of talk coming from the Obama administration about “hope.” “Hope” is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Real hope is not found in the cheesy optimism that demands blind servility to the government but rather, as Mr. Jindal points out, “in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens.”


Hamilton, Ontario

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide