1343. How Our Government Really Works

A lighthearted look at our dysfunctional government with an eternally serious conclusion

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

How Our Government Really Works

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.”

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.”

The official, baffled, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?” The Chicago contractor whispers back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.”

“Done!” replies the government official.

And THAT is how the government works!

AS I SEE IT

The sad thing is that this funny story is frighteningly accurate. It wasn’t always this way, but today, this is the way things are done. Considering how diligently our founding fathers worked to develop a system of government that would prevent such abuse, what happened? How did we get here? I believe that the three following quotes, especially the last one, provide the simple but profound answer:
  • We have staked the whole future of America’s civilization, all our political institutions, upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”—James Madison (the chief architect of the Constitution and the man most responsible for what it contains)
  • “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for its rulers.”—John Jay (The original Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)
  • “There is no government armed with power which is capable of continuing with human passion if those passions aren’t bridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate of the government of any other.” —John Adams (Our second President)
Clearly, we have ceased being a religious and moral people, and immoral and unreligious people elect immoral and unreligious leaders who pervert our system to further their own immoral desires. Under the current reality, our system of government will no longer work, so we should stop pretending that things will change for the better. They won’t. But yet, all is not lost because our hope was never to be placed in our government or its leaders. Our hope is in Christ alone, and in Him, we are eternally secure.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

What do you call a boomerang that won’t come back?
A stick

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