In practical terms, the best way to meet individual needs isn't to outsource the problem to a distant, impersonal government. A welfare check sent to a single mother isn't nearly as effective as personal relationships helping her overcome daily challenges. Much less can that anonymous check provide a substitute to her children for an absent father. Civil society provides more holistic answers than centralized government to immediate needs and is better able to prevent future ones.
That's why one of the biggest questions this election cycle is: Will we restore the rightful authority of civil society in ordering our lives together, or will we continue to centralize more and more decisions in Washington? Let's not pretend politics has no place at the dinner table. It's already there. Please, pull up a chair.
Jennifer A. Marshall is director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation and author of the book "Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century."
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