On October 1, 2013, substantial parts of the US government were shut down due to the failure of the government to extend the debt ceiling. The Washington Post had an article on October 1 by Brad Plumer entitled “The nine most painful consequences of a government shutdown”. You can view the list and decide for yourself if these are the most painful consequences.
The nine painful consequences are focused on monetary and social issues. The spiritual benefits that the shutdown is uncovering are far more important in the longer term than some of the nine consequences.
- The major priorities of the government, the political parties, and the people are being revealed. 76% of the US population thinks that shutting down the government to try to stop or slow down the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unacceptable. As with the background check issue, which had over 90% supporting the more extensive checks, a minority of people have swayed the government through fear and false issues.
- The shutdown is awakening the US population to want to see democracy restored with regard to where our money is spent and how the health and safety of the citizens becomes a priority over the profits of businesses and the protection of the wealth of a few. We tend to sleep until something truly outrageous happens. The shutdown is our “Kent State moment” in 2013.
- The tactic of diverting attention towards a single issue while quietly destroying other services is not working. The removal of funding for Supplemental Nutrition and Fitness (SNAP), the reduction of Head Start funding, the reduction in federal inspectors for food processors, de-funding Planned Parenthood for women’s wellness care have all been in the works. A new awakening is occurring due to the shutdown.
- Our biggest problem is not that we don’t have enough money to provide services. The shutdown is because Congress chooses to service, in the Biblical sense, corporations and the interests of the wealthy over children, the unemployed, senior citizens and many other parts of the US population.
- Trust in government is continuing to erode as Congress threatens Social Security, Medicare, veterans and active military personnel to further ideological objectives of the conservative so-called Christian right. Democracy works because the people being governed trust that their interests are being served. Instead of promoting democracy to the world, it is time that the US practices democracy at home.
Spiritualists have a lot of faith that all things work for the universal good. In the short term, the universal good is not always apparent. All of the recent turmoil is bringing attention to the fact that the US needs to do some serious soul searching with regard to how our government operates and the basic values that we promote.
Instead of pretending that the US is a Christian nation, which is prohibited by our Constitution, we should act like a Christian nation in our domestic and foreign policies. A focus on the Golden Rule is always beneficial. The shutdown is a spiteful action that is a spiritual blessing in disguise. The sleeping public is awakening. This is the major spiritual benefit of shutting down the government.