Government And Sheep

Sheep and shepherds were the subject of the readings in yesterday’s mass, in particular, Jesus saying this:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

That’s a fine image if applied to God’s relationship to people, or a parent’s relationship to his kids. But when the deacon prayed something like:

And may all government leaders remember to treat the people as a sheperd does his sheep,

I did not respond with “Lord, hear our prayer.”

I kept silent, because I think the shepherd-sheep image is a very bad way of looking at the relationship between government and citizens. In my view, government does not exist to meet all my needs, protect me from all harms, and raise me to be an obedient little sheep. No, it exists to do the bare minimum necessary to keep us all from killing each other. That’s it.

Unfortunately, my view is not the dominant view. Or even a popular view, as I am reminded by this story in the paper today:

State Rep. Pat Moore, R-Pleasant Grove, says some of her friends have been hurt as back-seat passengers of vehicles involved in accidents.

That’s one reason she’s sponsoring a bill that would require occupants of of a car, pickup truck, van or other motor vehicle, including people in a back seat, to wear a seat belt while the vehicle is moving.

“We need to be as secure as we can in the car, so that if it does suddenly stop, or there’s an accident, we’re protected more,” Moore said.

Right. This is the Shepherd-sheep mentality. The sheep – Moore’s friends and the rest of us – are too stupid to take care of themselves, hence the good shepherd – Moore – will protect us from ourselves.

Give me a break. I realize the costs of this legislation won’t be high, but still, doesn’t anyone care that Moore is telling us we are too stupid to act in our own best interests?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Alabama Legislature, God and government

5 Comments on “Government And Sheep”

  1. Dan Says:

    Wheeler… you are so right. I was going to write a post along the same lines as this but my first attempt was a senseless tirade of profanity and name-calling.

    I think I’ll just write a post linking people here.

  2. wheeler Says:

    “my first attempt was a senseless tirade of profanity and name-calling.”

    which probably would have been used by someone, somewhere as evidence that the government needs to protect us from the senseless profanity of the internet. 😉


  3. […] Like I said, I don’t like applying the Bible’s shepherd-sheep imagery to the relationship between […]


  4. […] Between the Links Tuesday, May 1, 2007 Don’t tread on me Dan on 2007-05-01 @ 12:33 am Wheeler has a great post about Rep. Pat Moore’s (R-Pleasant Grove) proposed legislation to require all passengers to wear a seat belt. I am 100% in agreement and highly recommend you read it, absorb it, and adopt it as your own personal philosophy. The Alablawg: Government and Sheep […]

  5. Sailer Says:

    Some people are sheep. Like children they believe the supernatural stories about a god who is all powerfull and has such an undying love for us that he will burn us forever in hell so that we will behave. Or they want the government to take care of all their needs.
    I believe that governments should keep their word ,be honest and competent. But a look at history shows that politians lie to get elected then go forward on their own agenda. My favorite is Ronald Reagan running on balancing the federal budget. Next is little George Bush saying that we needed tax cuts because the federal budget was running in the black ..forever.
    Yep we are all sheep following our leader to slaughter. Too bad, in a democracy we should be able to vote in a decent honest government.


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