My brother, Steve, and I recently had the following email conversation:
Steve: I thought you would like this article titled “What is a ‘Windfall’ Profit?” …are we still a free market economy in the U.S.? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121780636275808495.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks
Ryan: This article is really good, and makes me really mad. Bravo to Exxon for having an efficient business. If this actually goes through, I will be even more disillusioned with Congress and the government.
Steve: Are the politicians really this stupid or do they just have a different agenda all together? Here is another wsj article that highlights how flawed Obama’s “Energy Plan” really is, it is titled “the Green Hornet”. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121797838304214973.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks
Ryan: I don’t think politicians are that stupid. They choose policy based on what will get them (re-)elected. They bank on the uninformed, look what it’s done for Al Gore. Even if human-caused carbon is affecting global warming, he makes outrageous claims and continues to be excessive in his personal life. Bruce Hafen talks about this world of double-mindedness in his article in BYU magazine this month:
http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2232 – “We live in a society that seems to have no higher aim than its own indulgent satisfactions.”
His full quote was:
I saw a billboard in Utah recently: “Modesty has never been sexier.” Talk about double-mindedness. We live in a society that seems to have no higher aim than its own indulgent satisfactions.
Elder Hafen’s insight is helpful. He goes on to write:
Today’s flood of pornography usually results from overindulgence. But note this irony: Alma told his son, “Bridle all your passions.” Why? So “that ye may be filled with love” (Alma 38:12). Pornography addictions can destroy marriages, shattering the true romantic dream of eternal love. Fake love can destroy real love. What a cheap and dirty trick! And worse, yielding to porn is a classic example of touching the unclean thing, of refusing to deny oneself of ungodliness. This double-mindedness has consequences: we cannot then be perfected in Christ—not because He lacks the power but because we lack the discipline. Thank heaven, repentance can restore discipline.
What we see in today’s world of hubris is that people do whatever they want on a personal level, indulge desires, unbridle passions, and think they’re free. But in the long run they’ve sold their joy for nothing more than a “mess of pottage” (Gen. 25:29–34)—something pleasurable and satisfying in the short term for something joyful and liberating in the long term.