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The Kentucky General Assembly begins today (Jan. 4), and we’ll see a bunch of bills trying to fix things. But another law isn’t always the answer. French philosopher Jacques Ellul warned about making everything political. He called this the “political illusion”—the belief that most of our problems are political and, therefore, require political solutions. Many issues do not have a political solution. The problems of addiction and poverty have dimensions outside the political realm, and therefore, lasting solutions remain outside of politics. It takes wisdom and restraint for political leaders to understand this. Family, church, and nonprofit charities play a role in solving societal problems. So the next time you’re tempted to ask your legislator to sponsor a bill or pass a law, ask what might be done by other sectors first.

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