If you started reading this post thinking you were going to read about immigration, you'd be wrong. This post is about actual aliens, and what the government should or shouldn't do about it. You see, some people say the government doesn't do enough. To those people, I give you this initiated ordinance on the ballot in the City and County of Denver this November:
An initiated Ordinance in the City and County of Denver requiring the creation of an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission to help ensure the health, safety, and cultural awareness of Denver residents and visitors in relation to potential encounters or interaction with extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles and fund such commission from grants, gifts and donations.
You didn't read that incorrectly. I'm actually voting for the approval/rejection of an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver that might possibly be supported from certain "grants" (read: potential taxpayer money). (Also, if you want to go to the proponents website, have a laugh here.) I'd love to go on a long diatribe on the idiocy of this ballot initiative but I'm hoping it's apparent to the reading audience.
This ballot initiative calls to mind the essential questions that people should still ask themselves regarding the role of government. With respect to anything that government should do, we ought to ask: "Should the government do this at all?" and "If so, what level of government should do it?"
For those wanting the government involved in health decisions, ask yourself, "can the government actually be an instrument of compassion?" For those wanting government involved in the affairs of retirement, ask yourself, "Is the government, by its nature, good at handling money?" And for those wanting government involvement in extraterrestrial life, ask yourself, "what on earth does it matter?"
A classic liberal position (read: conservative economically) understands that the government can only be an instrument of coercion. This isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's a necessary thing in it's sphere. The government wages war (global) and assures justice (police) and collects taxes to do so. But it probably shouldn't do much else.
The careful biblical reader will also note that the Bible acknowledges the role of the government in its necessary roles of coercion (taxes and war). The Bible does not acknowledge much else, and is actually skeptical of any government intervention in economics (big government is the Beast of Revelation in chapters 13, 17-18). The government cannot be an instrument of compassion or banking or savings. And it should not be an instrument to propagate weird fringe groups.