Sometimes we are so close to the forest we cannot see the trees in life and that is true in politics as well. In the fledgling state of the nation, I believe that the vast majority of people recognized what they had been given and understood how morality, spirituality, and integrity related to stability in government. As I consider the conditions and attitudes in the new nation I often turn to what those ‘outside’ saw and said. It is one thing to read the writings of the founding fathers and those living in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s and while that is tremendously revealing it is even more revealing when I read what those ‘standing outside the fire’ saw.
One example, and possibly one of the best examples, is the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville in his work “Democracy in America” published in 1831. He spent approximately 8 months traveling this fledgling nation and interviewing people in power, pulpits, pews, and the man on the streets. He was so moved by what he saw, he wrote this work describing what he witnessed and what he believed would be required for this new nation to not only survive but thrive. His evaluation is powerful and should be required reading for everyone aspiring to elective office in this nation and for everyone participating at the ballot box. I want to give you a long quote from de Tocqueville in hopes it will alert, inform, and inspire you as we continue in the 2016 Electoral Process which will largely determine America’s future and fate.
“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention: and the longer I stayed there the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France, I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other, but in America, I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
…they brought with them into the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it in a democratic and republican religion. This sect contributed powerfully to the establishment of a democracy and a republic, and from the earliest settlement of the emigrant’s politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been resolved.
…there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions…I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation, and to every rank of society.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”
That is an incredibly powerful observation from someone with no skin in the game, no ax to grind, and no agenda to advance. Today, the idea is pervasive that religion and government are like oil and water and should never be remotely connected. That is totally foreign to the views of our founders and the views de Tocqueville and others observed in our infancy. I had a liberal attempt to quote the Bible as a justification for his rejection of the influence of religion on government saying, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11). I was stunned at the amazing ignorance and arrogance of that assertion as a justification for banning religion and the Bible from all matters political or in government. What a declaration and example of an “attitude of superiority” that this man would suggest, intentionally or unintentionally, that our founding fathers were “intellectual and/or emotional children” and that he and the liberal, progressive, and socialist were the mature persons and that America had now grown up and should put away the foolishness of the very principles of our founding.
We have a history that, unmistakably entwines faith and government. The moral moorings learned through the Bible’s tenets and our relationship with our Creator are essential to our survival as a republic. When a nation drifts into lasciviousness and every man becomes a law unto himself, morally, socially, economically, and politically ANARCHY is the result and from ANARCHY comes TYRANNY. That, I fear, is the clear path this nation is taking and if we do America will cease to exist as a Free Constitutional Republic. We must not fail to protect this nation against those who would ‘fundamentally transform’ her into something other than that which she was founded to be and has been for over 200 years.
God bless you and God bless America!