Admittedly my generation’s prone to be lugubrious when examining our shifting cultural and moral landscape, understanding the consequences of it’s end, if dramatic measures aren’t forthcoming. Some think it’s a generational curse, as it may appear without investigation. Younger citizens, who’ve contemplated that the erosion of individual liberty, reach similar conclusions, realizing one can’t ignore the obvious any longer. Others remain in their hermetically sealed world of obdurate denial, refusing to enter the public domain, or risk upsetting their neatly arranged life untouched by the reality of the threat to our Republic.
“A free people cannot survive under a Republic constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong,” Benjamin Franklin warned. Anyone who’s astute of our current moral dilemma, and the precipitous slide toward decadence, must reject the hue and cry, “Don’t over react, history runs in cycles…it will return.” One would be forced to ignore the plight of the Roman Empire that discovered a human god, Augustus Caesar, “divinely appointed” was a poor foundation and Rome fell. Rotting from within. This grand experiment called a Republic is precarious and vulnerable to mischief as the Founders solemnly warned.
If one was to conduct a survey asking, “What’s the towering moral problem of the day?” One may anticipate a wide range of responses, depending on one’s target audience. A vast majority of liberty minded Christians, those who identify as belonging to Christ, an overwhelming number would likely place the slaughter of the unborn near the top of their list, for solid reasons. Serious students of our recent history would conclude that for decades we’ve battled symptoms, while failing to get to the root problem. For example, a few years ago, this question was posed to a political gathering, “What’s more dangerous than ten million radical secular Leftist?” After a brief pause, this writer replied, “Two million lukewarm Christians who’ve ignored their calling to be salt and light.”
Conservatives are quite adept and relentless at assailing secularist for their foul agendas, and relentless attacks upon First Principles. Too often, we behave like Cervantes idealistic, chivalrous Don Quixote, jousting at windmills, while the real battle rages just beyond the tip of his spear. Unlike the former Alfonso Quijano, whose battle was mostly mental, turned errant knight, we cannot sit this one out. Our cause is real and just. Stakes are too high to cower and retreat. First, we must understand the root problem, rather than chasing shadows, missing the substance.
One may legitimately criticize secularists for their surreptitious job of describing our glorious Founding history as “nominally Christian, primarily secular event, and, at best a majority Deistic movement.” That knee-jerk response, began as a faucet’s trickle, is now a torrential flood, washing away most vestiges of Biblical Christianity from our Founder’s heritage. Sadly, as more scholars with Christian credentials abandoned the academy, secularists filled the void, and, with rare exceptions, liberals and secular elites dominated education, news outlets, social media, politics and public agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Even mainline denominations and seminaries, liberalism jettisoned orthodox Christian doctrines years ago, denying the faith that was once the linchpin of our Republic. With 19th century unorthodox latitudinarianism gone awry, their influence continues to wane in America, as mainline denomination membership dwindles. Evangelical ranks swell, where bastions of liberalism once reigned. However, resting on our laurels is dangerous and fraught with mischief. Too many conglomerate Evangelical churches have chased social media influence, with trendy pastoral staffs, that resemble corporate CEO’s and six figure salaries.
Sir William Blackstone, English law scholar, argued that English common law had its roots in God’s Law. His influence was immense on our Founders, such as Thomas Jefferson’s appeal to the “law of nature and nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence, a reference to Blackstone’s thought. H.L. Mencken, deservedly labeled “The American Nietzsche,” a consistent critic of religion, in an essay in 1926, “Equality Before the Law,” declared, “The debt of Christianity has always been underestimated…Long centuries before Rousseau ever heard of, or Locke or Hobbs(sic), the fundamental principle of democracy were plainly stated in the New Testament, and elaborately expound by the early fathers including St. Augustine.” Mencken could see it. Blackstone could see it. Our Founding Fathers could see it. The early church fathers like Paul and Silas could see it. One who’ll honestly examine our history will see it too. Religious liberty is Biblical. Regrettably, many of our foot soldiers, who formerly extolled and defended absolutes in our moral realm are AWOL or dead. And many, who, like Saul of Tarsus, eyes open, couldn’t see. While we need more adherents, our sieve must strain for solids, not gelatin.
In the political process, we’ll need more liberty minded citizens engaged in our 2022 Wyoming Primary to elect virtuous, moral statesman. Elected officials must understand, like our Founders, that men corrupt institutions, not the reverse. And, they must acknowledge that Biblical Christianity and ancient Judeo-Christian edifices, are the remedies for these ills. A tall order. Hold them accountable unrelentingly, or vote them out.
In 2016, Evangelicals and liberty minded conservatives understood Trump wasn’t a traditional politician or Sunday school teacher. He was a raw, outspoken, no nonsense, candidate. His unswerving support from Evangelicals was reminiscent of the Moral Majority’s backlash against President Carter’s Pro-choice platform, embracing former Tinsel Town star, and former California governor Ronald Reagan, who some recall, declared 1983, the “Year of the Bible.” President Trump was the most ardent supporter for the defense of the unborn to occupy the White House since Roe v. Wade. Trump’s three SCOTUS appointments, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett, may tilt the ruling, ending the disastrous decision that gave women a “constitutional right” to kill their offsprings, for nearly fifty years. Women still insist it’s poverty driven. It’s largely poverty of the soul.
There are no angels running for office, as Madison observed, “If men were angels no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external or internal controls would be necessary.” (Federalist Papers No.51, page 322) Most of our hallowed halls of education no longer promote those principles and moral underpinnings once held dear by most Americans. They’ve become mausoleums without memories. Many federal and state legislatures use the language of by-gone days, but their actions say otherwise, lacking the moral courage vote as Patriots.
No longer can we expend our energy and resources on “shadows” chasing every social agenda we abhor such as ANTIFA, transgenderism, racism, feminism, NEA, endless foreign policy debates, and elusive entanglements that hamstring us for decades. That doesn’t mitigate against one’s legitimate sphere of expertise and influence to specific causes that uphold permanent things in the process. One must know God’s call is certain and unambiguous. We must go to the heart of the battle to stem the tide of the erosion of our individual God given Biblical Liberty, and the corollary unrelenting defense of the unborn as a bulwark against the ultimate violation of their individual liberty. To that end, we must enlist co-belligerents, not unlike the former Moral Majority coalition. Our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s an eternal vigil. This isn’t a call to a theocracy either, any more than de Tocqueville understood that the union of liberty and religion must co-mingle to perpetuate liberty.
Reinvigorating Biblical principles of Liberty must be our focus. To do so requires our acknowledgment that the Sovereignty of God is the basis for good government. To those who recoil at this statement, secularist admit whoever is sovereign in any realm, determine who governs. For decades it was palatable to their cause until we insisted it be so in our institutions and quotidian existence. Because it isn’t so, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be so, according to our Founding documents. Genuine liberty emanates from the acknowledgment of God’s right to reign over our Republic, and the affairs of men. He too, is the absolute source of trust and authority.
Our pursuit must be singularly focused if we’re to prevail. It’s hard to resist jabbing the stand-up comedy team of Biden & Harris. What about that otherwise feckless duo of Congress? We must exercise discipline. Samuel Adams insisted it’s wicked and unnatural to allow those great fruits of liberty to languish by apathy or neglect. We’ve been too easily beguiled by peripheral issues of less gravity too long. Our artifice must be wiser. Let’s humble ourselves-ditch the arrogance. Liberty isn’t self perpetuating. Who said it would be easy? What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org