Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation and former U.S. Senator from South Carolina, urged Americans to embrace what he says is the true source of national strength, the “little platoons” of families, churches, and entrepreneurs who solve the problems that government seems unable to answer.
“America was unique in all the world because we were built from the ground up by innovative and courageous individuals and the ‘little platoons’ that Edmund Burke talks about — the families, the church groups, the small businesses, the charities — that’s what makes America strong,” DeMint told The Christian Post in an interview at The Heritage Foundation on Thursday. DeMint’s new book Falling in Love with America Again, wants to reconnect Americans with their roots and away from what he describes as destructive government programs.
DeMint attacked “big government and bigonomics,” which promise to help the poor and middle class but end up doing the opposite. “Not all big is bad, but when government props up businesses and unions, and creates a monopoly of power, it tends to concentrate power and smother the activities of the little platoons,” the Heritage president explained.
“When big government, like the president is saying, promises to build the middle class and help the little guy, it’s completely the opposite,” DeMint declared. He argued that large businesses and interests that can afford lobbyists in D.C. end up collaborating with government to make the rules for their industries, while the small businesses which compete against them are cut out of the system. “When the doors close and the bills are written, the big guys are in there,” the author said. “The little guys aren’t.”
Church and State
A misunderstanding of the proper relationship between church and state has led government to oppose faith-based programs that help rescue people from poverty, DeMint claimed. “The federal government may have a program for job training, but it tends not to participate in the real action where a pastor in a black church organizes a neighborhood to help get people jobs,” he said.
“This idea of separation of church and state has been completely convoluted and perverted and I think it has caused a lot of churches and pastors to feel like their work is just inside a church one day a week,” DeMint lamented. The separation “was supposed to keep government out of religion — it was not supposed to keep faith and morality out of government action.”
The Heritage president nonetheless praised many faith-based groups which excel at charity work. He mentioned Step 13 in Denver and the late Chuck Colson’s prison ministry. “They can help alcoholics, drug-addicted folks to get clean, get some training, get a job, then get a better job,” DeMint explained. “It’s not necessarily pushing their religion, it’s just a genuine desire to honor God by serving others.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post