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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update. Via The Last Tradition: