I've been feeling a little guilty about my harsh words about Ted Kennedy. I guess his sordid personal life was more in his past. Maybe lauding him at the end of his life was not such a bad thing. It's expected. He did seem to be quite a devoted family man and very good to his staff in his very powerful senate seat. Okay, mea culpa, mea culpa.
However (you knew that was coming), I'm still not impressed by his "impressive" record. Some commentator mentioned that the Kennedy family and Ted Kennedy have been so much a part of our political system that our government looks the way it does today because of them (whoa...I paraphrased that but you get the point). I guess that was supposed to be a good thing. Not the way I see it. Our government, and Kennedy's vision of government, has gotten way too big, way too powerful and way too intrusive. (I feel the same way about big corporations who are lining up to be a part of this big government).
I remember an environmental bumper sticker that I used to see frequently. It said, "Think Globally, Act Locally." That is the attitude that I embrace. The best way to take care of our environment, our poor, our uninsured, our elderly, our dying, widowed, orphaned, you name it, is to think locally. Bigger is not better when it comes to lives of individuals. If I am my brother's keeper, I need to be taking care of MY brother. MY family, MY neighbors, and MY friends. If we are all looking out for one another, much of our nations problems will be reduced. On the other hand, all these government programs taking the place of family, communities, and even state governments, can only lead to two classes: the government class and those who rely on the government for everything.
I am not against taking care of people who need it. In fact, I believe it is our duty given to us by God. I just don't think that the Federal Government is the answer. In fact, I think that our leaders are building up a system that dehumanizes individuals. It removes the care takers from those who need care. Jesus himself did not set up a system of taking care of people. In fact, he often would physically touch people to heal them. There is no perfect system. We will never have a perfect society, Jesus even told us that the poor will always be with you. We, as a nation, need to stop looking for a big solution and start paying attention to those around us.
On that note, I will say my prayers tonight for Ted Kennedy and his family (I might just throw one in there for Sarah Palin as well).