Ryan Chartrand

Patrick Molnar’s “Thinking Cap” column on Wednesday takes issue with the statement on Ron Paul’s Web site (www.ronpaul2008.com) that “Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry” and notes several federal acts that have “lessen(ed) the amount of discrimination that minority groups face today.”

To quote Ron Paul again, “Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart.” Discrimination is an act based often on bigotry, but bigotry is a belief, an attitude, and therefore cannot be regulated.

Can the passage of law and the intervention of government affect discrimination? It can – for good or ill, as any examination of history will discover. But is it therefore the government’s responsibility? I must say “no,” it is not. The responsibility is ours; ours as individuals and as societies.

Sometimes the government must step in to protect peace and to preserve justice, but this is a condemnation of us: a sign that we have failed. Such intervention may at times be good, but it is never proper. The government may be the most expedient means to an end, but more is at stake than expedience.

We cannot afford to dismiss our private responsibilities by relying upon government in this manner.

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