Be Aware…Be Very Aware

And a smidgen of concern certainly is not out of place here, either.  This editorial about a process whereby governmental entities can seize personal property without formal charges or convictions is eye-opening.  

One of the comments on the article points out that a large allegation of systematic abuse is being drawn from a single incident.  That’s certainly a worthwhile consideration.  I visited the Institute for Justice’s web site.  The appear to be engaged currently in over 40 different cases – not all related to property rights or economic issues – with two to three times that number of resolved cases.  I didn’t take the time to review all of these other cases, but it seems clear that there are at least an adequate number of perceived rights abuse cases to keep this one particular group fairly busy.  Is that adequate justification for characterizing a system of abusive practices?  Depends on who you ask, I suppose, and what their philosophy of human character and government happens to be.
I don’t like to draw politics into religion because there is far too much of that done anyways – and poorly at that.  It is to the benefit of all political parties to have Christians convinced that there is One Right Party, thereby focusing us on the red herring of which party is the right one, rather than focusing our intellectual efforts on continuing to insist on the best representation regardless of the current political party array.   
What I do know is that people are broken and sinful.  Gathered together in large numbers and given authority and power, historically these traits of brokenness and sinfulness are only amplified, not subdued.  Given our penchant for self-preservation as well, you have a dangerous cocktail for abuse.  This is true in a church body as well as in government.  In both places, blindly assuming that people will do the right thing and refusing to maintain both accountability as well as consequences is a recipe for disaster.  

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