Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A New Society

Tom Paine wrote about society, " Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness: the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in it's best state is but a necessary evil;...

Last night in our community we were at the apex of our annual Django Fest. From all over the world bands and musicians in the style of Django Rheinhardt descend on us for a four day festival of great music. As is the custom, the meandering players and those between official sets, descend on the local bar, coffee shop, and bakery for extended jam sessions. Also last night the library had a repertory theatre group that acts out the books that appear on the banned book list, or those challenged in libraries across the country.

So it was that my thoughts on society, and these two events dovetailed together last night. On the back burner of my mind I have been mulling on the Pledge of Allegiance, and how it seems a good idea, but not for kids. And in that said bar, I was talking with an acqaintance who works with kids from troubled families. A woman teaching kids who are middle teens to read. Not inner city kids either. In a progressive blue state. And a growing percentage of these kids are sex offenders. Registered sex offenders. How sad is that?

Books like "To Kill a Mockingbird", and "Huckleberry Finn" have been challenged and banned for years because of the uneasy relations that still exist between whites and African Americans. To this day this unease exists. How can we make it end? How do we change our society so that mid teens don't end up as ignorant sex offenders in an underfunded mandate to leave no child behind? How do we promote a society that understands and would be willing to pledge allegiance to the Constitutional Republic we were designed to be? That is my question.

There has been much flap over Bill Bennetts words about abortion and crime. I've read the transcript, and they were completely useless words, in that he could have easily used a whole different way to prove his point. But they revealed a great deal about a prejudiced world view. The very world view that I want to see changed. Yes, speaking out against it is important. But as is the wont of politicians, it often ends up being just words to garner votes. Nothing is done to change our hearts.

On the Ed Schultz show, a liberal radio host program, he got onto Bennet for the comments, pointing out the difference between the belief that crime is an issue of environment as opposed to race. Schultz's point is also echoed in the argument that many of todays terrorsits are generated as much by the abject poverty they exist in as religious fervor. It's their environment. Their society. Our society.

I'm aware that the fix won't be a microwave solution. It may not even be a politically popular of promoted one. Changing hearts isn't easy. But aside from changing hearts, we will then need to change the institutions that exist that create the environment of our society. And perhaps both at the same time. So I would like to see ideas, and examples if any one has any. Not just the ideals. The steps to get there.


Blogger Bruce Larson*Moore said...

This world is a good and beautiful place, and its folks like you who will continue to make it so and who will lead the climb to peace, for peace is the way and love is the path.

What will actually happen to bring this about will be seen as very negative by most of the world, yet it is of their own making, and it is the outcome which is of higher importance.

For now is the time to know truth.

The ideals and ideas, abound, all that is lacking is the personal leadership of each individual to change their situation and this to is now coming to be more important to each one.


15/11/05 12:15  

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