‘Indifference to Public Affairs Is to Be Ruled by Evil Men’ - The Missourian: Opinion

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‘Indifference to Public Affairs Is to Be Ruled by Evil Men’

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Posted: Saturday, September 29, 2012 5:00 pm | Updated: 8:14 am, Mon Oct 1, 2012.

To The Editor:

“When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak.” On the wall of the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., this quote is displayed to remind us of a tyrannical era for the citizens of Germany.

We ask ourselves, as Americans, how could the Holocaust have happened? As we look back upon this historical event we can now understand at least partially that among the citizens of that country there were the people who were actively aware and involved with resisting what was happening. However, there were many more who reacted as the person in the above quote who were bystanders. They did not want to jeopardize themselves and their own safety by reacting even mildly to what they saw happening.

A wise old philosopher, Plato by name, said a long time ago, “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” We know from history that this is exactly what happened in Germany and has happened and is happening throughout the world in many countries.

Today we take a break away from our busy lives, from family decisions, job and other duties to take a look at some of the things that are happening in our own country and we begin to feel a little queasy in the stomach. We look at the national debt and the numerous countries that we are indebted to. While we weren’t paying attention this debt has grown to an embarrassing figure. Another wise man quoted in a book filled with wisdom has told us that the borrower is servant to the lender. If that is true, and I believe it is, what is our situation in regard to these nations that we are indebted? It is obvious to me, what about you?

There are other issues such as who will be chosen to live. We have abortion by choice now, but can you not see a future where the aged, ill and disabled may be considered as expendable. If a pre-born child’s life can be taken by choice, then why not others who are making someone’s life inconvenient just like the pre-born.

Discussion has been heard about removal of a doctor’s “Freedom of Conscience” in making decisions in regard to the best medical procedure for a patient. When a doctor receives his/her authority to practice medicine he/she pledges an oath. That oath guarantees a patient that their doctor will propose a plan that, according to the doctor’s learned knowledge, is best for the patient, not what is most pragmatic for the government or the insurance company.

Thomas Jefferson said, “It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the cases of others, or their case may, by the change of circumstance, become his own.”

/opinion

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