Doug, I have to tell you how much I love it when someone opens the door.
What I kept doing is seeking God. What I got was His Word, and salvation. Probably the best reward I can imagine for just asking.
So yes, I fully intend to keep doing what I did, so I can keep on being blessed as I have been.
While I was never thrown in jail, I sure could have been, and on several occasions.
I was a self-trusting Liberal, one who believed that it is our government, and not God, who endows us with our unalienable rights. Boy, was I wrong. But you are right in one respect, in that I kept on seeking knowledge in all areas. I found that most of what I believed as a liberal could not stand up to much scrutiny at all.
Here are some examples:
I did not know that it was Republicans who enabled the passage of America's Civil Rights Act. I did know that it was my family, in Phoenixville, Pa, who sponsored the first black cub scout, and that it is these individual acts of human understanding that is the basis of true equality, and that it is not a law that provides it.
I did not know that Lincoln jailed his critics under the suspension of Habeous Corpus. I did not know that the Johnson’s “war on poverty” would be totally fruitless, because a government cannot end poverty, only those who are poor can end their poverty. I didn't know that our founders knew that our representative republic could only flourish if we remained a "moral people," and to that end, "Mr. Separation of Church and State," Jefferson, had organized Sunday services right in the Capital Building!!!
I did not know that the Founders provided for our freedom OF religion, and never envisioned a freedom FROM religion.
I did not know how much many of my friends who were also "progressives" (we loved calling ourselves that, because it made us feel smarter than everyone else) actually disliked the freedoms we were given as Americans. We believed that we had "greater insights," gifts of political knowledge that meant that we should be the only ones who should be leaders and rulers in America. We didn't stop for a moment to realize that these values were 100% counter to the ideas of our Founders, and that the implementation of those ideas had been repeated in culture after culture, and that they resulting in the antithesis of freedom, and the dictatorship of the politically correct, and the oppression of millions.
We hated War, but it was the willingness of those who lived and died before us who gave us those freedoms we cherished by their war sacrifices of their lives and limbs. It was ironic indeed, how much time and effort we put into trying to end something that God Himself says will not end until He ends it for us, and that the reason we could protest war was due to wars that had been fought before we were even born.
We railed against corporations, forgetting it was all of us who are the owners of those corporations, and that the benefits we received from them far outweighed their mistakes.
We tried our best to make life “fair,” ignoring the simple human truth that this life here on earth, governed by our own desires, falls short of what God wants for us, and that we as uninspired humans cannot construct a life here that is “fair,” that we cannot guarantee every benefit we believe to be “right” because such a constructed world is beyond our ability, and that the further we turn away from God as a people, the further we would be turning from the land He inspired our forefathers to create.
You see, Doug, like most young people, I thought that my generation was the first one to approach these philosophical questions, and that only WE were “smart enough” to have the answers. In fact, it always comes back to that sense of arrogance, the idea that only the smart should rule, that by legislation we can make life “fair,” and that by law we can foster equality. None of that is true. It is a dream of the arrogant. It is a lie.
We are given a shot at a life when we are created in the womb. Some of us will not survive. Some of us will suffer, and some of us will be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. All of that is possible, and our nation was constructed with such inspiration and acknowledgement of the sovereign grace of God that it is up to each one of us to follow His leadership and our own reasonable laws as a people in order to learn, to lead, and to respond as humble beings to the gifts we are given as a nation and as individuals. We have a right, from God, to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but we can expect no guarantees of those things from our fellow citizens or our government. Neither is capable of providing for them, and their only responsibility is to stay out of the way as we strive to achieve and set an example.
Doug, our greatest error is this self worshipping arrogance that we can make a better life than God has made, and that we can make a better nation that the Founders laid out, and that it is all because of academic knowledge and political attitudes that this can be done. We believe that we can create and enforce equality, and that is not true. We believe that we can create and enforce identical outcomes, and that is not true. We believe that we can, by intelligence and craftiness, “redistribute the wealth” from those who created it to those who have done nothing to achieve it, and that cannot be sustained, as it has failed everywhere it has been tried, and it is still failing every day. Greece is a great example of this, and what is coming.
In short, if we kept on doing what we had been doing, producing our own energy, keeping wages and benefits competitive with other nations with whom we trade, managing our government financial affairs as we would those of our own families, not relying on insurance to make payments we could never afford, and governing our own lives by a sense of personal responsibility and not personal injury law, we would be far better of than we are today.
Instead, we will very likely remain a nation of unfunded debt, growing entitlements, and a sense of covetousness that will only lead us to the bleakest of futures, with many of us devoid of faith and love. We will price ourselves out of our standard of living by Cap And Tax, and a fear that God’s creation is not great enough to stand up to the rigors of the people He created, because our new focus of worship is the Creation instead of the Creator. This new environmentalism is built on Faith, so it is indeed a religion, but it is a false religion, one for socialists and anarchists.
We should have learned these truths from other experiments like this, but our arrogance, once again, prevents many of us from seeing those failures as a warning to our own future.
So Doug, in a way, you are correct. Ignorance is the problem, but not the ignorance you meant. It is ignorance of our own history, or our own limits and abilities as humans, and most of all, ignorance of the Sovereignty of God.