The impetus for the American Revolution was George III initiating a tea tax, the stamp act and the Townshend Act. Taxes as an impetus for revolution? This seems almost beyond belief to me as one who lives with modern Western sensibilities. Yet in the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called George III a tyrant for having “erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” All because of taxes that were erected to pay for the growing costs of British government. Today, those who object to rising taxes are excoriated as bigoted selfish tyrants. Is something wrong with this scenario? Is there something incongruous about the founding principles of this country and the sensibilities of recent decades?
As an almost first generation immigrant (I was 5 years old) and naturalized citizen, I know what it means for my parents to work very hard to provide for the basic needs of their children. I look at my wife’s parents and the amazing sacrifices they made for their family, which included two special needs children. They refused any offer of government assistance, which was often pushed on them. I look at myself and my family, and I see some of that disappearing. I do not want it to. I do not want to sear my conscience and my sensibilities. How about you? Who is your model? I now look to the model of my father-in-law (currently suffering at the end stages of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases). He models true faith in Jesus Christ and his inerrant Word. He modeled true commitment and sacrifice to his family. He even accepted a foolish and often weak son-in-law, marrying his oldest daughter (that would be me). And he modeled a reliance on God’s strength, not government.
Erma Bombeck once said that, “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge
That is curiosity.
There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others
That is vanity.
There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve
That is love.
Bernard of Clairvaux