Thursday, December 18, 2008

Faith in the One Who Deserves It

In today’s society, the government is in place to serve us, the people. In a democracy, the people choose to give these offices to the men and women they believe will work the hardest to fulfill their promises to them. This means that the people must have faith in the candidates—the men and women desiring these offices. However, what have these people done to deserve our faith? Can we really trust that the candidates have our best interests at heart? It is for this reason that some people, including me, feel apathy when it comes to voting. The rest of the reason why I choose not to vote is this: why put my faith in imperfect human beings who make mistakes just like I do when I could put my faith in the creator of life itself? I am not the only one who believes this. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we are united in belief worldwide. History shows that humans have not been able to govern themselves effectively, so I put my faith where it belongs, with God.

Here's an illustration of my point: In a rather upscale neighborhood, there is a large apartment building. On the outside, it looks beautiful, but the inside tells a different story. The paint is chipped, the plumbing is terrible, and the insulation is terrible. The numerous tenants see the bunch of problems the building has, but they have faith that the landlord will fix these problems. Over the 30 years that the building has been open, there have been 15 landlords, and the building is no better than it was when he first started. Some problems are fixed, but those fixes are quick and, therefore, very temporary. In addition, most of the other problems still exist in the building. Hence, some tenants move out, but the vast majority of them continue to put faith in the same kind of people that make the same promises and cannot follow through with them every time. This situation is much like what world citizens experience with the government they live under. No matter what country, politicians always make the same promises, and when the time comes for them to deliver, something of greater importance gets in the way. This situation is much like how the government is to its people. As much as we want to believe that it will solve all of our problems, we always hear that little voice in the back of our head that says, “Does it really matter who I vote for? We will only be in the same predicament four years from now.” Unfortunately, history does not plead a good case for world leaders.

Ever since the very first government created by humans, leaders have tried to act in the best interests of its citizens. However, these efforts always produce unfavorable results. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal gave new life to society during the Great Depression and helped them work its way out of it. However, there is one group the New Deal affected negatively, and not a lot of people know about this. According to Jim Powell, as cited by Damon W. Root, “states with a higher percentage of black residents…received fewer New Deal dollars than the richer, whiter states.” Powell also explains how “to meet the inflated payrolls required by New Deal minimum wage codes, employers eliminated…the sort of jobs filled by African Americans and other disadvantaged groups.” While this was definitely wrong in his moral eyes, especially to his wife Eleanor, Roosevelt “was not about to risk losing either his New Deal or World War II by alienating Southern supporters or moving too far ahead of public opinion” (“Bad Deal: How FDR made live worse for African Americans”). Even the best of efforts could not completely remedy a troubled society.

The Bible says at Jeremiah 10:23, “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” One cannot look at historical events and not see the truth in this statement. Every human government has failed to solve all of mankind’s problems. As a result, people accept the fact that not all of our problems will be solved but that we must try as hard as we can to solve most of them. Most people remember this quote from Jerry Garcia: “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” I do not want to choose evil every time I vote in an election. Instead, I choose to follow the advice at Proverbs 3:5-7: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight. Do not become wise in your own eyes. Fear Jehovah and turn away from bad” (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures).

I know that human government will never be able to remedy all of the world’s problems, so I do not put my faith in something that does not deserve it. Does that not make sense? Would a son believe his father’s promises only to be disappointed by him every time? I know that I would not. Therefore, I do not believe in any human government in this world, and will not vote in support of anyone who wishes to become a part of it. I believe in the government that God will set up for the benefit of all mankind. Yes, God’s kingdom will remedy all of the world’s problems, and as long as I live on this earth, I will continue to out my faith in God. He is the one who has truly deserved it.