PART 6: Essays
Chapter 6.01 Do-Gooding, Citizenship, Working, and Crusading
This part of the book offers essays to help normal people feel better about invoking God and Jesus in their lives. I am not a pastor and am not comfortable giving advice. I have broken every Commandment except “Do not murder”, and most of my life was misspent, so I have no license to advise. Worse yet, my sins and my life are boring. I am not a romantic heroic sinner bad boy. I did not have a dramatic conversion experience. So focus on any realistic content that I get across and then judge for yourself.
Four Arenas of Advice. Modern people need advice in four arenas.
(1) Personal feelings: accepting God, morality, Jesus, and other major religious teachers and moral teachers into your life.
(2) Personal action: what to do as an individual person on the basis of the feelings in number one. Except for people in prison, sick, or living in bad places, usually you can act. You can act toward other people, small groups of people, animals, and the environment. In acting, you feel personally involved. You interact with the people or animals that you help. You forge relations with people and animals that are part of your relation with God.
(3) How to act on Jesus’ moral teachings on a larger scale, usually through institutions, such as through a Church, charities, or being a good citizen in a democracy. You can do this privately or through the government (see Point Four below). This arena is relevant even if you live under a government that is not a democracy as long as you can act through some institutions such as the Church or Red Cross, or if you take part in popular causes such as to promote Gay rights or to oppose abortion. Sometimes the most efficient use of time, energy, and money is through institutions rather than through local personal action. The disadvantages are that we lose the feelings of personal involvement and responsibility, and we lose the sense of personal relations. When we lose the sense of personal human relations sometimes we can lose a sense of a relation with God.
(4) Using the state (government) to carry out our moral and religious ends. This is a dangerous method but people usually resort to it, as when they use the state to promote Gay rights or to oppose abortion. Sometimes we have to act through the state to promote common decency and order, or to oppose a large moral wrong that can only be righted through the state such as slavery. In a democracy, we naturally, yet wrongly, feel that any serious concern of a large group of people is the business of the state and that we should pursue major projects through the state. We have to draw the line between morally motivated action that is best done through the state or otherwise. We have to be careful not use the state as the instrument of any one morality or religion, and we have to be careful not to abuse the state.
Each arena requires several books. My main concern in this part of the book is arenas one and two although I comment on arenas three and four in later chapters. This chapter covers a couple of problems that get in the way of personal action, and then looks at various kinds of personal action.
Gaga and Manipulation.
This section describes the first problem. Some people see religion as an “Oh, Wow” experience. They see the beauty and interconnectedness of the world, and feel God behind it all. I feel this myself. Many people that have this feeling do not also move from this feeling to the moral duties that come with it and to their role as a citizen in a modern state. Some people cannot, and I have no urge to push them. But some have to think what their feelings mean to them as a member of the Kingdom of God instead of just reveling. Religion means more than just gazing even if it does not mean we have a personal obligation to right all wrongs and to save the world.
Sometimes it is better that people who go gaga over religion do little else in the name of their religion. Some of the most annoying conversations I have had were with people who gave me this basic spiel: “God is great. God made the world and everything in it. God made you. It is all good and beautiful. You can participate in the world. God loves you. All you have to do is believe in Jesus and you will be saved. Can’t you feel the love? You’re one of us now. Uh, and by the way, because you now feel this intense love and beauty, you have to do a few things. You have to vote the way I tell you, get mad at the people I tell you to get mad at, and support the people I tell you to support. You have to get angry or feel love the way I tell you to get angry and feel love.” Many people in many belief systems, including academic atheism, have their own versions. They seduce with beauty, awe, moral fervor, or the need to belong. This tactic is a version of using morality as a tool to control other people.
When we feel the beauty of the world and the joy of a relation with God, we have to be careful to evaluate the moral implications and we have to be dead sure before we think that our feelings give us license to manipulate other people.
The Bad Side of Salvation and Justification.
This section describes the second problem. The ideas of salvation and justification have plagued Christianity almost since the beginning. Rather than think about getting saved, or being justified in order to be saved, we should just be a good citizen of the Kingdom of God. Justification and salvation then take care of themselves. If we try to get saved directly, too often we stop being a good citizen in the Kingdom of God. Especially if we seek justification through grace or through certification from our church, we stop being a good citizen in the Kingdom. It is hard to let go and just be a good citizen in the Kingdom of God but that is what we have to do and it is all we have to do.
To Jesus, the most important thing was membership in the Kingdom of God, and Jesus did not think of the Kingdom of God in terms of salvation and justification. He just did not think like that. As far as I can tell, he did not use the terms “salvation” or “justification”, and certainly he did not use the term “justification” as Christianity does. He was not interested in the battle between faith and works; he assumed both. Being a member of the Kingdom is like realizing one day that you should be a good neighbor, being friendly, patching up feuds, doing small favors, accepting overtures, and protecting against bad guys. It is not like joining a club with a secret code, handshake, and initiation ritual. You do what you can as best you can. You can be Sam the Gardener or Aragorn the King, whatever suits you and whatever you have to do. There is no special way to know you are a neighbor (saved) or to know everybody accepts you as a neighbor in good standing (justified). You just are. The more you worry, the less you are able to just do. Just do it and don’t worry about it.
Seeking salvation directly instead of just becoming a member of the Kingdom of God is like trying to be an official member, with a certificate, of a pickup baseball team instead of just playing baseball; or like trying to be an official member, with a certificate, of a regular dinner party among friends instead of just eating dinner with everybody; or like trying to be declared an official ecological good guy instead of just picking up trash, recycling, cutting down on waste, and helping animals. Becoming a member of the Kingdom of God is even easier than baseball or the dinner party because you do not have to join or be invited, you just do it. If you seek salvation directly, you get confused and you waste time that you could have spent enjoying baseball, dinner, or nature. Membership in the Kingdom of God is best attained by not pursuing it directly, like Nirvana or being cool. Seeking membership directly in the Kingdom of God is like trying to grab water instead of just drinking it. Seeking membership directly through Justification and Salvation almost guarantees that you will not get it and that you will cause problems for yourself and others.
Just to get over improperly using the term “salvation”, for now, call membership in the Kingdom of God “salvation”. Whether you seek salvation (membership) directly or indirectly, you still have to work hard at doing the job well. You cannot seek salvation without doing the job well of being a member in the Kingdom of God. For example, if you want to make music, you have to practice, really understand the music, and have a musical “vision”. If you want to be a good boyfriend, you have to know what the girl is really like in herself, really care about the girl as she is, use your imagination, watch a few romantic comedies, and do things together. The same is true of a good girlfriend. If you want to be a good monk, you pray and meditate. If you want to be a good dinner guest, you bring a salad or a six-pack of good beer, whatever is in your best ability.
If you go after most big goals directly, including salvation, then usually you do not do all the hard work that lies behind real achievement but instead you look for signs of status. The signs are deceptions that prevent you from actually doing the job. If you seek to become a writer instead of trying to write well then you put on a tweed coat or you put on a leather jacket. Do not seek to be a “writer” directly. Instead, have something to write about, have a good story to tell, work to say it as best you can, and then write it. Whether or not you are a writer is less important than writing well. Don’t try to be a musician, instead just make the best music you can. All the same is true of salvation.
Justification is one sign of salvation. Justification is the spooky unreal certificate that you seek for joining a pickup baseball game. It does not make sense. It might feel great to get an award for being an actor but the best reward is satisfaction in your body of work, your intent, and your efforts over many years. Many good actors never got the statues they deserve but their work is no less great, and students of film will be studying them as long as actors who did get statues. There is no way to ratify that you are a good parent or a good child.
If we seek justification instead of membership in the Kingdom of God, then too often we carry out another kind of selfishness, often in disguise of public service. In seeking something for ourselves we might do good work along the way but that is always secondary to seeking justification for ourselves. We want the red badge of courage more than we want to be a good soldier. If instead we do not worry about the certificate then we are more likely to do the good work that would earn us a certificate.
Activism, “Do-Gooding”, and Justification.
Because I lived through the rise of PC on the Left and political-religious fundamentalism on the Right, I see the bad effects of the quest for justification mostly in misguided political zealotry focused on single causes such as abortion and “big government”. Briefly: people from the Western Christian heritage do not act spontaneously to help but instead crusade so as to feel justified and feel good about themselves. Sometimes they do good along the way but too often they do more harm than good. The fault does not usually lie with the causes. Many causes are good. Rather than abandon all causes to avoid the harms of self-serving justification, we need to calm down, examine our situations and our motives, and then act vigorously to help without regard to our justification.
Christianity and Islam are activist religions. Christians and Muslims tend to want other people to believe as they do, and tend to intervene to make other people live as Christians and Muslims want. Jesus wants us to build a better world. That task implies actively doing good and sometimes getting into people’s lives. Misunderstood, the task excuses abuse. Christianity and Islam are easily prone to the problems of salvation, justification, success, signs, and heroic crusading. Sometimes active “do-gooding” can be the right thing but it can also cause a lot of harm. We need to be clear about doing good and the pitfall of imposing on other people. We need to do good without also doing harm. Nearly all political activists, academic atheists, a-religious community activists, supposed small-government conservatives, advocates of family values, and advocates of get-rid-of-religion-but-keep-morality also interfere in the lives of other people in the name of doing good. They have inherited the culture and the mindset even if they have lost the overt theology.
Even misguided crusading might not be so bad if people really did good along the way. We could put up with zealotry if it did more good than harm, especially if it did little harm. But people act without considering the full results of their actions. They act without considering if their acts bring more good than harm, without thinking if their energy might be better used elsewhere, and without realizing they really seek their own feelings of justification and salvation more than the goals of their crusade. They use apparent good to secretly control other people. The need for justification is more important to them than actually doing good, and too often the need for justification leads them to do great harm in the name of small good.
The problem is not confined to the West and to Christianity but shows up among other people in other religions and other political systems. Anytime a strict ideology demands action to achieve unreasonable goals, you get this kind of craziness, as you do with Muslim extremist terrorism.
Jesus came to get us out of traps like this but history turned his message upside down so that now his message serves to reinforce the traps.
Terrible traps happen on a lesser scale than grand social crusading. Many people who are depressed, TV addicts, shopaholics, substance abusers, or caught into keeping up with the Joneses, are plagued by the duty to succeed for justification. They feel they can never succeed enough. Their lives can never be justified. Those of them who finally realize they cannot justify themselves have to face failure. Too often, failure crushes them. I have seen many people give up doing a lot of good on a small scale because they could not do good on a big scale. I do not excuse them and I do not blame society either. I merely point out the sadness of this trap. If we did not frame success in terms of justification, and justification in terms of success, if we allowed that it was enough to merely do good without saving the world, appreciate God’s handiwork in nature, or God’s handiwork in the human arts, then people might be able to contribute in small but real ways and might be able to feel worthwhile.
“The first casualty of war is truth”. The worst casualty of self-serving zealotry is good causes. We need social justice, need political action to achieve it, and need personal action to achieve it. When people use a grand sounding zealotry to make themselves feel justified, they pervert good causes, discredit good causes, and keep decent people out of good causes. They channel good people into bad causes and keep them out of good causes. Bad motives turn good causes bad. Saving the environment, finding good health care, alleviating poverty, making sure that people have decent families with appropriate role models, promoting honest business, finding a way to make capitalism work, seeking sustainable development all over the world, and even giving modestly to a decent charity, all become bad jokes. We are all the worse for it.
These causes often serve self-centered justifying zealotry: People on the Left save the environment while people on the Right save unborn babies. People on the Left work to win unrealistic health care while people on the Right work to stop realistic health care by raising the fear of made-up socialism. Academic feminists work to give women what they say women need without bothering to find out what real working women want. Conservatives tell women what they want without bothering to find out what real working women need. Black leaders mislead their people by catching White people in small crimes of political incorrectness while the Black leaders commit greater crimes of not working hard to make needed basic changes in Black culture and in the society as a whole. Instead of working to make sure every Black child earns a genuine and respected school certificate, Black leaders catch Whites misusing Black slang. White people move their children out of public schools into Christian academies instead of forcing all schools to give Black, White, Yellow, Red, and Brown kids the education that they all need and that would truly serve God and country. Whites and Blacks in general go along with it all because, in the short run, it feels better, and in the long run you don’t have to do anything real – drinking wine to forget you drink whisky. Conservatives want government out of business but want to use government to regulate our sex lives, marital lives, drug, and gambling. Liberals want government out of our private lives but want government to regulate business. This all is a misuse of our talents. This is what the New Testament tells us not to do.
In attacking self-centered zealotry, I do not undermine all determined action. I do not want people only to bake cookies and smile. Vigorous action can be great as long as it does more good than harm and we do it for the right reasons. I want people to think about what they do and why. Then, if you still feel like going crazy, do it. Do not always add pluses and minuses. Sometimes just do. Sometimes we only get anything done if we go crazy. There would have been no American Revolution without a lot of semi-crazies. But back off if the project feels wrong. Then assess and try again. Do not give up on social justice just because one cause goes wrong or gets hijacked by self-serving zealots. Do not allow good causes to be the greatest casualty of self-serving zealotry. On a more personal level, if you want to write, if you want to be a writer without being a “writer”, even if you have no particular story in mind right now but know you will, then go ahead. If you want to be a photographer even if you don’t have any particular shot in mind right now, and you can’t imagine doing anything else, then go ahead. If you want to be a physicist without worrying about the practical value of a grand theory of everything, then go ahead. If you want to figure out the business cycle, then go ahead. If you want to win the Super Bowl five times, then go ahead. If you want to bake some brownies for neighbor kids, then go ahead and don’t worry about your motivation, if it is enough doing good, or what other people think. The point is not to stop being human or stop being possessed but to stop being possessed by the demons of salvation and justification, and to stop causing harm as a result.
Jesus’ World and Our World.
Part of doing harm while trying to do good comes because our world is not like Jesus’ world. Jesus’ world had a lot of poor people that needed help just to get by. In Jesus’ world, compared to our world, people of various statuses saw each other more often and more clearly. Poor people saw rich people and vice versa. When they interacted, their status always played a part. People knew status differences and paid attention to them. These days, we might see people but not recognize that they are poor and we have no idea of their needs. We might see wealthy people but not know they are wealthy and so not know they are able to give. In America, we pretend that the janitor has the same status as the executive. In Jesus’ world, both the poor and the rich were more obvious. Jesus’ world was more like the modern Third World than like a typical American town. In Jesus’ world, the government did not arrange as much order as today. The state hardly regulated commercial life except when the rulers did it for their own benefit. The streets, water, and air in towns were all filthy, and people got seriously sick often. Thieves hit regularly. Bullies ruled street corners. Bandits ruled the roads. People did not need computer aided graphics to visualize a wounded man in the road. In those situations, Jesus’ advice made sense.
Jesus’ advice was originally about person-to-person situations. Jesus clearly wanted people to see other people as people and to interact with other people. Jesus rarely taught about institutional life and rarely gave institutional rules. After the Church became a regular institution, it had to make rules about institutional life and it had to manage meetings between members of different status so that they did not bother each other. After Christians took over whole governments, Christians had to make rules about whole states and whole classes of people. People who are Christians now have to run whole governments even if they do not administer as Christians but as citizens. Followers of Jesus had to frame rules so that people could do good through institutions as well as through direct personal conduct. Rather than give directly to a poor person, widow, orphan, or sick person, rather than go visit somebody in jail, Christians could give to the Church, which would arrange something on their behalf. Today, we have the same choice to act directly with people or to act indirectly through institutions such as Red Cross, Volunteers of America, WWF, Goodwill, or St. Vincent de Paul. We can try to do good on a personal level or we can try to do good by forging good institutions such as state health care or a free market. Most modern people would rather work through institutions. I see nothing wrong with that as long as modern people really do more good than harm and as long as they know they are missing out on personal relations.
In modern developed nations, institutions such as economic development, the market, science, and the political process have done the work of Christianity. People in general are now at a level of wealth, security, and independence that people of Jesus’ time only dreamed about. Except for the minority of the chronically under employed and unemployed, these institutions have freed the large majority of people so they do not need help of the kind Jesus had in mind. Even people that seem as if they have trouble such as an overextended mortgage really do not have trouble by the standards of human life over the last few thousand years, especially if they have a steady job with benefits. Many people in modern life make their own trouble by over reaching their means.
It makes no sense to help most people in modern developed nations in ways that Jesus had in mind. People do not need that kind of help as often and they usually resent that kind of help even when they do need it. It makes no sense to look out for people waylaid by bandits in a modern American working class neighborhood where most residents have steady jobs with benefits and have clean safe houses. Trying to help people in those neighborhoods that way is more likely to cause trouble even when some few people could use help. Recall comparative competition from Darwinism. People that are not in bad trouble, but might be in a little trouble, want to appear as if they are no in trouble at all. People that aspire to middle class life have to appear as if they have already made it and as if they do not have any trouble even if they do have a little trouble. They do not want anybody to know they cannot make the house payment or the heating bill this month, and they resent it if a do-gooder finds out and tries to help. They do not want somebody else buying their kids school clothes. They will not go to thrift stores. The same attitudes prevail even in rural areas where some Americans are obviously poor even by world standards and yet cannot gracefully accept help.
Modern day do-gooders know this. They know that they cannot do good mostly in the personal ways Jesus had in mind. So they look for other ways to do good. There is nothing wrong with accepting the truth and doing good on the basis of a changed reality if we accept that reality fully.
Of course, some people always need help, and there are always ways to do good. We have to make sure we really do more good than harm. We have to not offend people and we have to do them real good. We have to make being useful our first priority, not doing good. We do more good when we try to be useful than when we try to do good. That sounds paradoxical but it is not, as we will see later in this part of the book.
Doing Good, Receiving Good, and Normal Life.
For everybody who does good, somebody has to receive good. We cannot all be do-gooders all the time. Jesus expected most people to receive good most of the time rather than to give good. Receiving good is a valid thing to do. You should not be ashamed to receive good. You should not think that only do-gooders have a role to play. To be ashamed to receive good is to be ashamed of God’s normal action through people. Sometimes it is better to receive than to give.
What happens in most of Jesus’ stories after somebody helps somebody else? The people who got the helps “pay it forward” when they can but mostly they carry on with a better normal life. The restoration of normal life, on a better level, is what doing good aims for. Normal life does not mean being always on the lookout for doing good in advance. It does not mean hunting down the bandits even before the traveler is assaulted and needs help from the Good Samaritan. It means being willing to do good when the need arises. Normal life has a lot of cares already. People leading normal lives have their hands full already. If you lead a normal life and the need to do good arises only seldom, do not worry about it too much.
Working for Jesus.
In Jesus’ world, there were few doctors, no hospitals, most of the lawyers worked for rich people, the policemen were soldiers, all the soldiers worked for the rulers rather than for the people, and teachers taught only students who could pay. These days, people can do a lot of good through their work. Not only obvious professional people such as doctors do good through their work but so do honest civil servants, people who work on the roads, people who install and maintain cable, and a lot of others. When everything depends on everything else, and when most jobs contribute to the general welfare as in modern capitalism, then just working a normal job truly helps everybody. I think most people who do honest work in their normal lives can be happy with how they contribute to society and help others. This is a basic teaching from John the Baptist again. Of course, many good working people are not satisfied with only contributing through their jobs this way and they look for doing more such as through volunteer work or church work. I commend them. This is good as long as they really do more good than harm.
I don’t know if doing good through your work is enough. If you cannot see other ways to do good, and you really put yourself into your work, then maybe it is enough. If you can see other ways but you use your job as an excuse, then it is not enough no matter how well you do your job. In the end, you have to work that out with God.
The more difficult case for me is people who start their lives thinking they can use their profession to do good but who wind up serving themselves and doing little good. This is what caused me to live on the edges of academia. I saw too many people who called themselves Leftist radicals in the 1970s go on to be professors and to teach unrealistic ideas from the safety of tenure. I saw too many religious Conservatives with hearts of stone, who believed far more in some imaginary version of capitalism than in Jesus or in the real existence of poor people, and who use imaginary capitalism as a tool to oppress the poor and to increase the rich. Too many professors think they will do good through research but go on to worry more about how to keep the big grants coming than about the content of their work. Too many lawyers start off thinking they can help women find freedom but end up fleecing husbands in divorce cases. Too many doctors and dentists end up living in mansions wondering how to protect their investments and scheming to stop public health care. Too many business people tell themselves that capitalism is good as a system, so they really follow Jesus by working to be rich. Pumping the political process is part of that game and part of “serving” Jesus that deluded way. They massage their feelings by giving the right amount to charity. I think these people are largely lost.
Following Jesus, serving God, and serving your fellow creatures through your particular service work is good. I hope people keep doing it. A lot of people do a lot of good through their everyday work – not just obvious service people such as police officers and teachers or obvious creative people such as musicians but many people who do their work honestly such as bakers, clerks, and librarians: standard Christians, non-standard followers of Jesus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and all people of all religions. This idea again comes from John the Baptist and from Jesus because of John. These people do not think of themselves as citizens in the Kingdom of God but they are; it is likely better if they don’t realize that they are but just keep on doing what good they can through their work and personally. This does not necessarily make their ordinary everyday mundane lives holy but it helps.
You have to stick to it. If you find yourself worrying more about your investment portfolio than about how to help a sick person then you have failed. You are using your profession not to follow Jesus but to fool him. God knows it too.
A lot of good-hearted Joes and Janes start out by trying to be a good police person, social worker, or teacher; aiming to do good and to make a modest living at the same time. They willingly take a low salary so they can work in a service profession. But then they get lost in the system and end up just maintaining. This is a common theme on TV, and I have seen enough of it in academia. They stop doing much real good through their jobs. By the time they get home from work every day, Jane and Joe do not have the extra energy it takes to volunteer or to serve their church (mosque, temple, etc.). I have more sympathy for these people than for deluded highly paid professional people such as doctors and lawyers and for politicians. These people are not lost in the same sense as the professors who fool themselves but these people are not found and they are not happy either. If they were ordinary people who did not think of their jobs as a public service, like plumbers or computer techs, then we could expect more of them on top of their jobs such as volunteer work. When their calling does lapse into just a job, then they should expect more of themselves. It seems a “double whammy” that a (1) dedicated person’s underpaying job becomes just a job rather than a calling, and then (2) we expect the dedicated person to do something more such as volunteer work. But such is life for people who want to good along the lines of Jesus’ teachings. Maybe their experience in public service can make them better judges of how to do good outside the job. Maybe they can reform the system. I do not know what to make of their situation but I do not want to make the lives of these people any harder and I do not think God would want that either.
Governing for Jesus.
I am not concerned here with civil servants; as long as they are honest, they are like the police people and social workers of the section above. I am concerned here with politicians and with people who use the political process, and in particular the people who use the political process ostensibly to do good. I am concerned here with political activists, and with people who “vote a cause”. I used to give politicians the benefit of the doubt until the rise of Leftist and ethnic politics in the 1970s followed by Conservatives in the 1980s. Many politicians did, and still do, sacrifice for the public good. Many did, and still do, try to find out what really is in the public interest. Many really do think they serve God when they also have a public office. Many sacrifice income and privacy by serving. But many politicians, especially Conservatives, are hypocrites who serve special interests, and who use ideology and God only as a cover. They really do not think out the best public interest. Political action committees make sure that modern politicians live as well in office as in business. Politicians have to search themselves. In the end, God will let them know but I doubt he will be pleased with most of them. I cannot be explicit about particular people and causes or I would get sued.
In a modern state, a citizen is one of the governors of the state. A good citizen does good for his-her community and nation by knowing the issues and by voting with care. A good citizen does good by selective activism and by selectively not being active. If you do not know the issues and are not prepared, then don’t vote, and don’t speak, email, or twitter. I do not know how to separate doing good as a good citizen from doing good in the ways that Jesus wanted of us. I do not know if doing good as a good citizen is enough. I do not know if doing good as a citizen mixed with the readiness to do extra good on a personal or community level is enough - but I hope so. Working a job that serves the public, being a good citizen, and doing good on a personal level seems a lot.
Certainly doing good only as a citizen can be a way to avoid the extra effort that Jesus calls for. It can be a way not to meet people face to face and a way to feel comfortable by merely voting. Most people merely vote their self-interest, vote out of ignorance, and follow some bizarre political fantasy that they heard on talk radio or saw on cable TV. That is not enough and God will not forgive them.
The proof is in the pudding, and we know a tree by its fruits. It is easy to give platitudes or easy to encourage personal warm do-gooding. In contrast, some people have to take on hard issues such as poverty. We need to see specific links between faith, morals, the state, and particular issues such as welfare and immigration. We need to see what to do given that we take Jesus’ seriously. This is what it means to be both a member of the Kingdom of God and a good citizen in a modern democracy. After making up your mind about Jesus, then you also have to know enough economics and politics to make up your mind about issues, or you have to accept your ignorance and be willing to let some issues alone. These political-cultural issues divide believers in God more than issues of theology. I touch on particular topics later in the book. I have written about the topics in other places. You can find out by searching my name on the Internet where I give my particular policy suggestions. Hopefully that will be enough to show that I have thought through the practical results. I do not expect all readers to agree with me. Where they disagree, I expect them to be able to give good reasons.