Utah People's Party

…proclain liberty through out all the land….(Leviticus 25:10)

Reply to Serving, not Ruling part 2

on September 15, 2012

A reply to Cole Ryan, author of the following post
entitled “Serving, not Ruling”

In part 1, the previous post, we explain why we refer to the author of the post on which we comment here as Brother Ryan. We saved a few of Brother Ryan’s words for a separate pose of ours so that we could elaborate on some key points about the duties of citizens and of political leaders. “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) On which Brother Ryan comments “It is written that we are called to be a servant to all.”(Ryan) He closes his post as follows.

Above all else we are meant to be servants. So rather than using political force to see God’s word come to pass may we serve others, and be an example of God’s love, that is what truly brings people to salvation. Christians are called to be servants, even Christian politicians.(Ryan)

As our Lord said, we should be servants to all. The duty of a citizen is to participate in the self government of his community in order to promote the best interest of all the members of the community. Political participation should be altruistic rather than selfish. A citizen who gets involved in politics to promote a personal interest without regard to the welfare of all the other citizens is not doing his civic duty. President Gordon B. Hinckley put it this way. “In those causes which enhance the environment of the community, and which are designed for the blessing of all of its citizens, let us step forward and be helpful.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 131).  and Elder Dallan H. Oaks put it this way.

Citizens … should be practitioners of civic virtue in their conduct toward government. They should be ever willing to fulfill the duties of citizenship. This includes … numerous voluntary actions they must take if they are to preserve the principle of limited government through citizen self-reliance (“The Divinely Inspired Constitution,” Ensign, Feb. 1992, 74).

The term “civic virtue” meant something specific to political philosophers in classical antiquity. Doctor Thomas Pangle of the University of Texas at Austin in The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution shows quit conclusively that the classical tradition of the Greco-Roman republics had great influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States. The Great Debate is a series of twelve lectures available on DVD from The Teaching Company.  Doctor Pangle explains that in the classical republican view, a community should have-

… an elite genuinely dedicated to wise and sometimes heroic civic virtue, generously preoccupied with a politics of caring for the welfare of the whole community, a welfare defined more in spiritual than material terms….

The life of virtue lead by civic leaders was understood not only, or even mainly, as a life of service to the community, to the people. The supreme goal of politics was understood to be neither the promotion of the interests of the rich, with their property and wealth, nor the ordinary person’s desires for security and liberty and prosperity. Instead, the exercise of public and private virtues was itself the highest end or purpose of the community. The life of virtue, civic and intellectual, was held to be itself the peak of human flourishing and the purpose of the best republican community.

We mention on our introductory or “Home” page that in order for the People’s Party to out perform the existing political parties consistently, it must not use any of them as a model. Remember that by out perform we mean nominating to the citizenry candidates that more consistently stand for that which is right. Instead of being a copy of an existing party, the People’s Party in being built on ideas from a variety of sources other than existing parties. Classical Greco-Roman political thinkers, so far as we know, had no knowledge of the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but they did have some ideals pleasing to the common father of all men. One of these commendable ideals was that the political elite should serve all the members of the community. It is the duty of citizens to practice civic virtue themselves and to elevate to the leadership positions their follow citizens with the greatest civic virtue. We agree with Brother Ryan when he says that each of us is “called to be a servant to all.”


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