Fiscally nuts. Socially insane.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Compulsory Service

Dr. Helen writes her thoughts on Obama's compulsory community service program.

I would say that forcing kids to act like do-gooders will be just as fake as instilling self-esteem and result in resentment and irritation later in life.

Being of the age that this program would most directly effect, I figure I'll put my two cents in. I go to a Jesuit school that requires its students to participate in community service. Going into this education curriculum, I knew this would be part of the experience. My service projects, forced in part by my school, have expanded me as a person, introduced new thoughts and ideas into my life, and most likely helped tone down my conservatism. I have gone on mission trips to Ecuador, served the urban poor in nearby Bridgeport, and worked at homeless shelters. It has been, I would say, a wonderful experience. But it is not the role of the federal government to force this upon its people. I know people who are resentful of the service requirement, and for them, a governmental obligation is not fair and simply unconstitutional.

UPDATE: It appears Obama is getting a little shaky on this one.


Matthew said...

I agree that the Federal government has no place in mandating community service. I can imagine that what the Obama administration regards as community service and what I regard as community service are two entirely different things.

For example, while the Obama administration might find protesting banks to force them to issue high-risk loans a form of community service, I would regard such activity as harmful.

Furthermore, I can see a real church-state problem arising where the government would disapprove of someone fulfilling their community service requirements through a charitable church group that also discusses the Gospel.

old geezer said...

I wonder what else The One will decide to be compulsory?