Wednesday, March 6, 2019 -
Today, I am convinced, if the Founding Fathers could catch a glimpse at the state of our nation, they would be greatly dismayed. Because 232 years after the Constitutional Congress met in Philadelphia to create a union of states with a federal government that had a “fixed” Constitution which could not be easily changed or modified, our system has been flipped on its head! The federal government was created with limited “few and defined” powers, in which the governing powers couldn’t change the rules at their own discretion, and were obliged to protect the personal freedom of its citizens, and which was beholden to a higher power. Their basis was rooted in their steadfast Christian faith and a tradition that went back more than a thousand years.
Today, if students are taught anything about the founding of our nation, they are falsely told there is a “wall of separation between church and state,” Thomas Jefferson was a deist (he disputed that but it did not really matter since he was not part of the Constitutional Congress nor the Congress that considered the Bill of Rights), that no prior tradition in nationhood was used as a model, and that the central government has absolute power over the individual states.
In fact, however, John Adams, the key player in the Constitutional Congress, said our Constitution was “made only for a moral and religious people wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In other words, those lacking the biblical ethos could not sustain the freedom they had given us. And, in contrast to the false belief that the Founders drew heavily on the ancient models of the Greeks and Romans, they instead looked at the example of Europe during the Reformation, upon such biblical basis they’d developed governments based on a contract between the local kingdoms and its citizens which guaranteed the freedom of the individual from the abuse of their rulers, all subject to a “higher law.” This allegiance to God Almighty by the king was in fact the basis of our Declaration of Independence, which was indeed penned by Thomas Jefferson, who, after acknowledging God’s supreme authority in the opening, went on to define those abuses of power. Our Founders also relied heavily on the Magna Carta of Great Britain, which subjected its rulers to obey God’s law and the contract with the people for just rule or to abdicate the throne. America was, up until a decade or so prior to the Declaration of Independence, very loyal to the British throne, until the abusive actions of James II.
The basis and history of our nation’s founding is essential in understanding not only the mindset of those who created our Constitutional government, but just how far off track we have gotten, and why! It was for this purpose M. Stanton Evans wrote The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition, which I finally finished reading the other day. The whole basis for the concepts of limited state and personal liberty, and the resulting form of government, stemmed from the Christian beliefs of the West rooted in Scripture.
Yet how different this system of government has evolved. More recently every effort is being made to remove the limits they established upon the central government. States have regularly throughout the years ignored the 10th Amendment, giving up their “numerous and indefinite” governing roles to central government, whose powers were intended to be “few and defined.” There is no need to go into the numerous roles the centralized government has wrongly taken upon itself, usurping responsibilities intended for the states. It includes education, healthcare, shelter, regulations of all types, meddling in a lower court system (nothing in the Constitution calls for any federal court but the Supreme Court), and the denying of our individual and state freedoms regarding our religious beliefs.
Gradually, the federal government and courts illegally have forced the teaching of Christian principles from our institutions, and so the overall morality and ethics of its citizenry have eroded to the point that there is no self-restraint, with many of the sins of its people not being declared “rights” by an out-of-control centralized all-powerful government. It just doesn’t work to remove the basis for laws and expect to maintain a civilized society. Our Founders knew this, but that is exactly what has happened! As Evans states, “The evidence plainly shows that our free institutions proceed from our religion, and are dependent on its teachings…Interior standards are needed for self-reliant conduct – standards that give purpose to our lives and supply the basis for our choices. Remove these benchmarks, and ordered freedom becomes impossible. ‘Men of competent minds,’ as Burke observed, ‘cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.’ America’s Founding Fathers said the same.” In other words, where government power grows unabated, and personal convictions diminish, freedom cannot survive!
As I have stated many time, much of the responsibility rests in the church, which more often than not has ceded its responsibility to the federal government without objection. And when courts side with the revisionists, as with Obergefell, or for that matter, my case, the church, with few exceptions, remains mostly silent almost to the point of being complicit. This complacency is condemned by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:32, stating that those who give such approval to the sins described in the prior verse are just as guilty as those who perform them! If, after the Obergefell ruling, Christians by the droves marched on their state governments demanding they uphold the 10th Amendment and defy such an unconstitutional ruling, the ruling could have been ignored and our state Constitutions forbidding the recognition of same-sex marriage would have remained the law of the land, which it still is (I believe).
It seems historically Republicans have been just as bad as Democrats, proposing slightly less abusive government, although the current President seems to be making a greater effort to reverse the tide than we have seen perhaps since our nation was created. Yet even there, he will fail, unless he brings attention to the real reason for our nation to have strayed so far from the Founder’s intentions – sin in the heart of man, from which we must repent. And we as a nation must commit ourselves once again to the allegiance of God Almighty as the basis for our existence and call for the redemption of individual’s hearts, and declare the fact that there is no higher law than God’s law! In closing, I quote Evans’ ending statements, although I must add that such a revival, or renewal, must start in our own hearts, in the hearts of the individuals who have put other things on the thrones of their hearts and neglected Christ’s command to make disciples wherever we go: “What is needed is a determined rollback of federal power across the board, when and wherever this can be accomplished.
“None of the foregoing, be it said would be sufficient in itself to restore our freedoms – even assuming that such a platform could be adopted. In every sense, the spiritual and intellectual vision must be foremost. Recovery of our religious faith and its teachings should be first and main concern. Without it, nothing much by way of practical improvement can be accomplished. With it, all the rest might readily be added.”