breaking news

Pressure rises to pull parkland as options for MLS stadium in Austin

Opinion: George Washington’s solution for sexual harassment


The avalanche of sexual harassment claims, with new ones pouring forth daily, leads me to the wisdom of George Washington’s observation in his farewell address in 1796:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be managed without religion.”

You may say, “There you go again, Star. Waving your Bible.”

But is there a better answer for dealing with this problem?

Society, all human life, is guided by rules. The only question before us is: What are the rules that we choose to live by?

Washington’s point is crucial. In a free society, one in which we want to minimize government and political control, we must maximize self-governance. Religion, and the morality that emerges from it, provides the rules by which free men and women govern their own behavior.

I will say further that the rules that we learn from scripture provide the framework for a society based on love, respect and creativity, as opposed to power and control.

And indeed, as we read accounts of the behavior of these men of wealth and influence, who have achieved what many Americans see as the pinnacle of American success, we read descriptions of the behavior of beasts, not men.

Sexuality, outside the framework of mutual love, commitment and respect between husband and wife, is transformed from a physical expression of intimacy and beauty to the gross and crass behavior of brutes.

That this appears to be so widespread in our society should trouble us all.

So what do we do?

I am a Christian, but I do not believe that our government was designed to mend men’s souls. It was designed to allow citizens to live free.

We cannot force citizens to do what Washington advises — learn and be guided by scripture.

What’s the alternative?

One is to forget it and let people do what they want. Let women fend for themselves when beastly predators with money and power threaten them.

Few will accept this option.

Alternatively, we can have politicians design our rules. But can this work? Without guidelines of scripture, how do we discern right and wrong, acceptable and forbidden?

This is the trend that has been going on for years. The less we self-govern through eternal Biblical truths, learned at home and at school, the more we grow government to control our lives.

In response to sexual harassment violations perpetrated by some members of congress, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock has introduced a congressional resolution requiring “all House Members, Officers, employees, including interns, detailees, and fellows, of the House of Representatives shall complete an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training program during each session of Congress.”

Surely, similar programs will be popping up across industry. So instead of our workforce developing new and better products, more of their time will be spent sitting in anti-harassment training sessions, learning rules designed by bureaucrats.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University published a report last year on the costs to our economy of the vast growth in the regulatory state from 1977 to 2012. The study concludes that accumulated regulatory growth reduced the size of the American economy in 2012 by 25 percent — $4 trillion of what it might have been.

Aside from economic costs, what are the human costs of our lives increasingly being controlled by bureaucrats?

According to research from Stanford University, 10 percent of married couples meet at work. So much for this, as men will fear giving a woman a second glance at work, let alone saying or doing anything that might hint he’s attracted to her.

I see only one viable path to a healthy, free nation. Choose to heed the wisdom of our first president.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Trump right to push school choice over Left’s failed policies

Amidst the ongoing political noise and distractions in Washington, D.C., President Trump continues to focus on and address the nation’s most deep-seated problems. Trump proclaimed the week of Jan. 22 as National School Choice Week. It began in 2011. Trump’s proclamation notes a commitment to “a future of unprecedented educational...
Partnership rethinks how we treat mental health issues in Travis
Partnership rethinks how we treat mental health issues in Travis

The new mother struggles with postpartum depression. Her regular doctor, having tried to treat it, suggests it’s time to see a specialist. The new mother looks for a psychiatrist, but she finds that almost no one takes her insurance, and those who do are booked for weeks. So she is left alone with her illness. This story occurs commonly across...
Abbott shouldn’t mess with Austin’s success
Abbott shouldn’t mess with Austin’s success

Gov. Greg Abbott wants to have it both ways: Proclaiming Austin’s success as one of two Texas cities that made it to the elite 20 — the cities Amazon named last week as finalists for the tech giant’s second headquarters, called Amazon HQ2. Meanwhile, doing all he can — along with his self-described wingman, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick...
Herman: The “What Is That” team checks out an old cemetery
Herman: The “What Is That” team checks out an old cemetery

Today the “What Is That?” team heads to another dead end. It seems that cemeteries — especially old ones — are a frequent and understandable source of queries. This cemetery question comes from a local health care executive. I guess there’s something of a link between health care folks and cemeteries, but that’s...
Make your life easier, and pay your Travis property taxes online

It’s that time of year when you may be cursing my name under your breath after opening your property tax bill. I have nothing to do with the amount you owe, but it is my job as the tax assessor-collector to send out your bill and collect the taxes. There is one part of the property tax collection process where I can make your life easier, but...
More Stories