God and Country

“Without the restraints of religion and social worship, men become savages.”  
Benjamin Rush (March 1789)

I don’t blog about God and faith.  Or religion.  These are, to me, separate things, and personal, even private, things.  However, the quite marvelous Nickie over at Goomba News Network recently included me in a montage of conservative bloggers: my “topic” is God.  Not only am I extremely flattered, but I also feel that I should step up to the plate (not the collection plate, though, so no worries).

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams (October 11, 1798)

It’s not that I don’t think about God or believe in God.  I do both.  Every day.  What I do often have trouble with is organized religion, so identifying myself as a Christian is more honest to me than identifying as a Lutheran (as I was raised, did catechism, the whole nine teachings (okay, there are only seven, but I’m trying to mix a cliché here.)).  It is my understanding that the role of God in our country’s founding was (for lack of a better, less-repetitive word) foundational, and it is my fear that the chipping away of God from our society and culture is cracking the very foundations of our country.

“There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle in religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation.” James Madison

Our government, working in the name of “freedom” has systematically removed God from our lives.  We know that we cannot say “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, we know that saying “Merry Christmas” is frowned upon and that we “should” say “Happy Holidays” or “Happy Winter Lights” (or some such nonsense), we know that city governments can no longer display nativity scenes–indeed, even airports cannot display Christmas trees, teachers are arrested for saying grace or mentioning God on school property (but we can sing songs of praise and worship to BO?), that the ACLU and like-minded organizations have fought and won battles to remove crosses from public sight, that after-school Christian Bible study groups have been banned, that there is an ongoing push to remove “In God We Trust” from our nation’s currency.  We know these things because they’ve all happened.  We know, too, that anyone who confesses to belief in God is ridiculed as a “fundamentalist” or as “mindless,” “ignorant,” and worse.

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.James Madison (Original wording of the First Amendment; Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).)

The separation of church and state is misused by the left (indeed, as I’ve blogged before, that phrase is not mentioned in our Constitution); the point was that no government-sponsored, State-run religion be established as had been done in England.  It was not to say that religion or God was to be banned.  Indeed, that is exactly the opposite of our founding fathers’ intent.  The large-scale removal of God from this society is a travesty of the highest order.  Whether you believe in God or not.  And whether your God is Christian or not.  The results of this removal are seen all over the country and from sea to shining sea–in fear, in anger, in hatred, in violence.  People with no God are not just godless they are self-less (not to be confused with “selfless”), they have no sense of self, no ability to stand on their own, nothing to rely on or turn to, nothing to anchor or shelter in . . . except the nanny state.  We’ve gone to such lengths to disappear Christianity and God from our culture and society that we’ve almost succeeded, and with the disappearance of God goes our freedom.

“I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.Benjamin Rush 

One thing has become abundantly clear to me as our country moves with breakneck speed to replace God with the State:  I prefer God to make the rules that I live by.  His rules are about goodness, kindness, helping the poor and the less fortunate, about being honest and principled, about being loving and forgiving.  The government’s rules are about control, political gain, honoring and declaring servitude to a mere man; the government’s rules are about division and force and revenge and hatred (hating the rich, hating capitalism, hating God, hating people of faith).  Much of this hate is rooted, as is most hate, in fear.  The State fears faith because it is faith that gives people strength to speak out, faith that guides them to reject tyranny at the hands of man.  There is no room in my life for hate and fear or for an intrusive government determined to set itself as this, or any, country’s god and savior.

“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.” Samuel Adams (letter to James Warren, November 4, 1775)

Now, to some, God, or more specifically, religion is a means of controlling the people, a social construct intended to wield power over the people, forcing them “to behave.”  This, to me, is not an indictment, but the most lucid rationale for promoting God in society.  These people assert that belief in God is a chain that binds, a thing that weakens people but the opposite is always true.  Belief in God strengthens people, empowers them, gives them hope (real hope) for themselves and their future.  Without it, people don’t know what to do, where to turn, so they drift without a set of values or principles or morals, and they end up doing and saying and being the things that are anathema to this society, to all societies.  Self-restraint and suppression of the ego (in the Freudian sense) cannot be imposed from the outside, they must come from within.  The State does not understand this.  God does.

That religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience.” Patrick Henry (Virginia Bill of Rights, June 12, 1776.)

Ultimately, of course, the lack of God in our lives leaves us vulnerable to government control, to complete and total control as we are seeing this administration aim for.  The State will step in, the State will tell you how to act, what to do, how much you can make, whom you should worship (the head of State, of course), and what job you should have.  The State will decide what is best for you, not you, empowered by God.  The State, however, has no guiding principles, no morality, nothing to lift people up.  The State pushes everyone down, for only when they are down can they be fully controlled.

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.” Jedediah Morse

We know this because we see it everywhere that government has taken over the populace.  We see it now in Honduras, where the head of State there issued (and then retracted with promises of “big hugs” to everyone in sight) a 45-day “suspension” of civil liberties, including the suspension of rights and freedoms expressly provided for in the Honduran Constittuion.  Micheletti forcibly shut down radio and television stations that threaten the State by expressing views of dissent, views that fill people with hope that they will not be oppressed and silenced, that open and free elections cannot take place because the opposition will not be able to make their case, campaign, or provide information to voters.  The Honduran Constitution clearly stipulates that no one can run for or hold the office of president longer than one term, and while it looks like Zelaya may have been trying to change that, Micheletti is also in violation of that country’s Constitution.  This is being ignored, not only by only by the fraudulent regime in power now, but also by our own government.
 
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” Patrick Henry  

If Constitutions that establish democratic republics mean so little to BO and this administration, what do you think the Constitution of the United States of America means to them?  And do keep in mind that government coups are usually done “legally”; Hitler studiously followed the German Constitution in his subversion and eventual destruction of it, as did Chavez and Micheletti.  Finding loopholes and exploiting them to their own good, bypassing the spirit of the law in favor of the letter of the law to do so, is what these totalitarian dictators do.  It’s what BO, a former teacher (the lecturer vs. professor debate is just silly; the terms are interchangeable in most universities except in issues of tenure and salary) of Constitutional law at the University of Chicago, is more than capable of doing.  Particularly if and as the will of the people has been undermined by the slow removal of God from our daily lives, our government, and our society.

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” James Madison (1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia)

Our freedom, this country’s freedom, is based in belief in God and the resultant social order that comes from within each individual rather than imposed from the outside by the State, as the State sees fit.  We know this because our country’s founders all believed in God, not always a Christian God, but a God or Creator, nonetheless.  They warned about the removal of a Higher Power from society, they warned us that this removal would lead to the destruction of our country, not because we don’t have freedom of religion (and we don’t) but because of the debased human condition that results from the absence of God.  And make no mistake, our country is in great danger of destruction.  We are seeing it happen, incrementally, every day.

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Update.  Via The Last Tradition:

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15 thoughts on “God and Country

  1. You are correct about the Constitution and religion. The founders feared an official state religion, but they for the most part were very religious men and did not want government seperated from God. This is an easy one, but historical revisionist have muddyed the waters on this issue and the truth about the founders positions is often lost.

  2. Yes, Ron, it's a shame that so much of our and the world's history is lost through revision and distortion and denial. It's one of the major problems that I see now, and in our children's future. You can't learn from the past mistakes and triumphs if you pervert the truth or fail to examine it as accurately as is possible from a distance.

  3. America is losing her soul. The evidence of that is all around us. We see it in the vicious verbal attacks people launch against one another, e.g. Sarah Palin and her family. We see it in the videotaped murder of a teenager in Chicago this week. And we see it in a government that wants to strip a country of its greatness and the citizens of their freedom.

  4. Hi Chick, that's an excellent way to put it. I was infuriated this morning when I saw on Fox that a group of cheerleaders and students were banned from writing posters of quotes from the Bible and holding them up for the school athletes to read as they ran past. The complaint came from a person in the community who didn't even have a child in that school. The school superintendent was apologetic but stated the obvious, he can't afford his school district to be sued, so the ban holds. I find this absolutely ridiculous! What the hell difference does it make to an atheist to see a sign with Bible verses on it? What difference does it make to any person not of Christian faith? Would the same outrage occur if the sign were spouting crap about how God is a lie or “go Allah”? I think not. Those are covered under freedom of speech. I'm thoroughly sick of the crap that makes Christians have to hide in their homes or at church to worship while other religions are not only tolerated but celebrated.

  5. Great Post!
    The left has been, and continues to distort the constitution to fit their own agenda. The constitution did not say freedom from religion but it stated freedom of religion. The founders did not want this country to run into the same problem that they did in Britain, with regards to tyranny being brought on the people all in the name of religion. But,yes the founders did want God to be a part of the United States, and God is included in the founding principles of this country. Belief in God keeps people moral and promotes a sense of conscience and self-restraint as you mentioned, and without God there is no sense of a moral obligation to follow certain rules or principles, and in effect to be moral.

  6. Oh Fuzzed One: I'm not religious (agnostic), but its obvious to me that any morality derived from the state is empty. Because the state will change this moral basis however, whenever, and whyever they want. Our constitution says we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights”. The state would like us to think that 'Creator' is a metaphor for The State.

    By the way: wow, great work getting noticed by Goomba News. They tried to get me to participate/contribute/whatever but I was busy with some important stuff, and they were all like “we'll pay you!” and I was like, “I do this for The Proletariat…not for profit”.

  7. I don't think that everyone needs to be religious or believe in God, just have it there, as a sort of bedrock. We've always welcomed people of all religions and people of no religion at all. My point, as you take it is that morality (& etc.) comes from within and cannot be imposed from without, and the best place for people to find that morality (& etc.) is in their God. Again, this isn't true of everyone, I know that, but it is true of most people. If any further evidence is needed, look what the removal of God is doing to our society. It's not an accident that the incidences of crimes, lack of any moral checks at all (look at everyone clamoring to defend Polanski, a pedophile and coward who would ran away rather than face the legal consequences of his crime) . . . .

    Anyway, I'm not a fundy, and I certainly don't think that religion should be crammed down anyone's throat, but God is not religion. Faith is not dependence, it's freedom. And that's what tells me that everyone should worship and believe as they wish. My objection is to the active work being done to strip all evidence of God and Christianity from our society. It's not good for anyone, even agnostics and atheists must surely see that (as you do! I'm getting off my soap box now).

    And congrats on being offered compensation by Goomba News; it's a great page, definitely one of my favorites in the conservative blogosphere.

  8. Heh I hope you know I was kidding about Goomba wanting me 🙂 Nobody wants poor miserable Candle to do anything…

    Religion: btw, I'm 'agnostic' and not an atheist because nobody has been able to tell me why the big bang happened. What did the the universe big bang in the first place? Why not just stay un-bung? So I have the tendancy to believe in God – and agreed, belief in a God is not “religion”.

  9. LOL, no you totally got me on the Goomba thing; heck, your blog is unique and very clever, I'd not be surprised if someone offered you the big bucks to write.

    Heh, don't look to me for discussions of religion or debate thereon. I'm not the God girl (shhhh, just don't tell Nickie); I'm totally fine with whatever you want to believe or not believe. I just want the same freedom.

  10. Hee! No worries, Waxy One, was wondering what that was all about. We don't have time for people who don't “get” us, so to hell with her. (Can I say that on a God blog post? Arg!)

    Oh, and if you want to just leave chatso messages for me, feel free to use my guest book gadget thingy, you can sign in with your google, so don't have to join anything new 🙂

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