Reality Therapy for Liberals

Much in this world is a mystery. We know about gravity, for instance, but we have no real idea what it is –- we all have moments of clumsiness that leave us cursing that force that yanks us to the ground, but we haven’t a clue how it works. No one has an inkling what goes on inside a chrysalis. We don’t know how the fly that was just annoying us is different from the fly lying dead at our feet; it still appears to be 100% fly.

But some things we do know and we need to stop pretending that we don’t.

Most importantly we need to acknowledge that God and the laws He created control almost every facet of existence, yet still allow for man to enjoy free will. The breathtakingly elegance of this universe, rich with mind-boggling, intricate detail underscores that fact. Everything operates on a pattern, a pretty tight pattern. If something gets even a little out of whack all hell breaks loose.

We all recognize natural law (with the possible exception of the Darwin Award winners). We know better than to jump off a cliff sans parachute, we know that when we pull a trigger that there will be a speeding bullet and an “equal and opposite reaction.” It even registers with some of us that the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies quite neatly to human organizations as well as to heavenly bodies – what begins as organized and energetic eventually runs down. We can count on entropy.

But other areas of life on this planet are also subject to laws that appear to be just as dependable as the laws of physics. Economic law is one such area. In reality there aren’t differing theories about economic activity; there is law and if we play against that law, we’ll get hurt –- evidently a tough concept to grasp.

For instance, the minimum wage flap –- most people have at least heard of the law of supply and demand: whatever is both rare and desired will bring a higher price. Those who boast the talent, education, temperament, and experience to run a giant enterprise are rare; those whose sole talent and training is in flipping hamburgers are not rare, are, in fact, a dime a dozen. Therefore, the CEO (whose talents are necessary in order for there to be burgers to flip) is going to be able to demand a huge compensation. He’s in demand and rare, hence a multi-million dollar contract. This is one of those indelible laws; no legislation forcing a price/wage/worth higher or lower than the actual value will fail, has always failed. No tightly controlled economy has ever been prosperous. That’s as sure as the fact that no building has ever floated away. Natural law.

This is not to say that human beings don’t have an intrinsic value; they do. But what each person can bring to the market varies. We can pass all the laws in the world raising the minimum wage, but one of two things will happen, must happen, has always happened: 1. Prices for everything produced using minimum wage workers will go up and fewer people will buy the product, so fewer people will have jobs frying those burgers. 2. Companies will automate; if your skills are so limited that a machine can manage them, the machines will be in demand, but you won’t.

Nor is this about fairness and equality; it’s about an absolute rule. Gold is expensive and valuable because it is beautiful, useful, and rare. I’ve always wondered how a medieval philosopher thought he was going to get rich turning lead into gold –- once that had been accomplished, then gold would lose its value and no one will care about it.

Another natural law, even more demonstrable than supply and demand, is the law of family. No society on earth exists without family structure.

Look at what has happened to our black urban communities since the father was made irrelevant by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society policies. Here we are now, nearly a half century later and the ghettos are worse than ever, over 70% of black mothers are single moms, in New York City 69% of black pregnancies end in abortion. High school graduation for blacks is only 69%. Unemployment especially amongst young black males peaked in 2009 at 49%, drug use and incarceration rates are off the charts. Obviously, a society cannot function without strong families headed by strong fathers; it takes no leap of faith to reach that conclusion.

Yet people still contend that family is merely a human construct and can be redefined willy-nilly. I often hear the mantra that “anyone you love is family.” No. I have friends who feel like family, but they aren’t. We graft on new stock when we marry, and new children with slightly different DNA arrive and shake things up, but the continuity, the responsibility, the basic governance of society happens at that molecular level –- not in some government office or court room. If human behavior is not kept under control at the personal, familial level, it cannot be controlled, no matter what the laws.

Which brings me to the final law I want to discuss: the law of freedom. Freedom is no more a human construct than family is. Freedom to “become what [we] can become” -– to quote Vonnegut’s famous line –- is the essential point of our existence. The free will to choose to love God (or not) is our greatest privilege, our most long-lasting decision and we must be free for it to function. It is our piece of the sovereignty of God.

We are here for a purpose; we come to this world equipped to contribute, to earn a living, to think and learn and choose. Anyone who gets in the way of our doing so, especially anyone in government, is standing in the way of the will of God. If political correctness stands in the way of children getting to at least hear God mentioned from time to time, then those children are being robbed of a chance to include Him in their thinking. If we do not allow mental health treatments for homosexuals, we leave them no choice but to remain in a dangerous, unhealthy lifestyle. If we are more concerned about the prosperity of a small fish than we are of the freedom of families to maintain the family farms, we are taking from them the freedom to choose to honor the work of their ancestors and robbing them of the option of earning a living in an honest and productive way.

Freedom is not a commodity that can be bartered for a mess of pottage. It is not a figment of man’s imagination; it is real and it is as necessary as air. The less free a people, the less prosperous are those people, and the more misery they must endure. People cannot live well outside of the divine mandate for freedom.

And it will out, even though it is most unpopular in far away, cosmic circles –-unpopular because God designed and instituted it. And it is unpopular with those who want more than their share of the power; if I have the power of my own freedom then that’s power the tyrant doesn’t have –- intolerable for him. So we’ll fight on because the need for liberty is paramount, the family is indispensable, and the economy is autonomous and will function according to its laws. These things we can count on, despite the clouded mysteries that murk up the rest of our existence.

Deana Chadwell blogs at She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking. 

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