This is almost too crazy for me to believe is actually happening in America.
The disastrous “service” bill I described earlier today is being rushed through the Senate to get it over to the House as fast as possible. Cloture will be filed in the Senate tonight (I am told) which means there need not be a final cloture vote until Friday, and then there would be additional time for debate and vote on final passage… but instead, there likely will be a “unanimous consent” agreement to having a vote by tomorrow night under threat of “staying in over the weekend” (which includes Friday – a scheduled “no vote” day) by Harry Reid.
This is how it goes in the Senate. Rush a 300 page bill through the Senate that will fundamentally re-shape the relationship not just between government and charity – but between our national government and charities nationwide, small and large… all so that Senators don’t have to be bothered over the weekend. After all, they have fundraisers to attend – fishing trips to take – golf matches to make.
This bill should scare the hell out of every American Our national government in Washington – the same folks who are supposed to be managing our budget ($10 Trillion+ in debt and running), our borders (10 million illegal immigrants or more?), and who brought you social security and medicare (each of which are bankrupt) – are now going to tell us how to volunteer, and start telling our kids that they must volunteer and with whom they must do it.
This is a complete outrage – and reminiscent of the old Soviet Union. A friend living in Russia today – and who has a pretty good understanding of that nation’s history – received my earlier post and responded thusly:
One of the things that Alexis de Tocqueville noted about American society is our willingness to meet community needs – without government funding or without being compelled to do so. He wrote extensively on how community church groups, shelters, and hospitals were a uniquely American phenomenon. Of course, Americans don’t need government approval or encouragement to do this type of volunteer work.
The most insidious thing about the Serve America Act is how it will be used by liberals for indoctrination purposes, which is how the Soviet Union used its youth organizations. Sen. DeMint makes the point that the Boy Scouts, absent government interference, is an institution that is able to inspire the same civic responsibility and public service that the government wants to bring about through this act. The Soviets had their “Young Pioneers” clubs and the “Union of Communist Youth,” which both fulfilled the same purpose as the Serve America Act.
On the surface, they promoted the same “feel-good” civic responsibility Obama espouses. In reality, the clubs were indoctrination organizations where the Communists were able to ensure that the young generations were brought up being taught the virtues of Communism. In fact, members of the “Union of Communist Youth” (Komsomol) were often asked to carry out propagandistic exercises, which were usually anti-religious activities. (See Ralph T. Fisher, Jr. Pattern for Soviet Youth, New York, 1959.)
But more than that, the Serve America Act will also mean that the government has decided not just that Americans OUGHT to be involved in socially responsible activities, but the government will now be identifying WHAT constitutes civic activity. Surely volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or pro-life group would not fall under this act, even though those organizations help countless troubled women. This, too, is a Communist tactic – to make legitimate those activities that further your cause and to put red-tape around those activities (religion, family life, conservative arts and literature, etc) that contradict the Soviet master plan.
The Soviet government didn’t shut down all churches immediately. It was a somewhat gradual process. In July of 1917 the Soviets passed a law that placed all schools – including those that were run by churches – under the control of a Ministry of Education. Once the schools were under the Soviet government’s control, the State was then able to withdraw funding for the church-sponsored schools. These things don’t happen – in Obama’s America or Lenin’s Russia – overnight. And that’s the scary part of the Serve America Act.
When the Soviets took over the schools, they said it was to increase literacy (a truly laudable goal). In fact, the objective was to eliminate religious education for any child in the Soviet Union. It’s the same idea here: the government promotes a Serve America Act, which seems like such an innocent concept – encouraging more Americans to volunteer. Americans, as Tocqueville observed, are very generous with their time and money.
So what is the problem with having government encourage more of this activity? The problem, of course, arises when government red tape limits churches’ ability to recruit volunteers for its activities, or when the government compels high school students to volunteer only for “approved” organizations; the government is thus able to significantly increase its influence over America’s youth and to dictate which organizations are worthy of community service.
A lesser known objective of the Soviet Union’s Young Pioneers is that it was supposed to consume children’s time. One of the Soviet goals was to remove children from their homes with their parents because the government did not want the children to be learning religion at home from their parents. Trotsky and the Soviet Minister of Education were very concerned that the private life of children was undermining their Communist education from the schools. It was better for the children to do “civic activity” where they could learn the Communist values. How is that any different from Obama’s objective to keep America’s young people busy being indoctrinated about…global warming, birth control, or…? The more time young people spend doing “compulsory volunteer” work (whatever that means) is less time for them to volunteer with their churches, join the Boy Scouts, etc.
If you haven’t prayed for the well being of our nation in the face of this assault, please do so. If you haven’t called your Congressman or Senator to tell him you will not support him if he votes for this bill, please do so. If you haven’t informed your friends and family about this, please do so.