Government, Culture and Freedom
We're Blaming the Wrong People
At the very dawn of our republic, John Adams uttered a prophetic phrase that rings through time to the present age. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Often we who love small government forget that culture, that is, “We the People” are the one’s who shape our government first, not the government who shapes us. We often hear the Libertarian battle cry, “Don’t legislate morality!” but we forget that it is the morality of society that ultimately shows itself in the bills that we TEA Party types tend to abhor. Julius Caesar could not have ended the Roman Republic if the people had loved their freedom. Hitler could not have come to power in a society that was strongly advocating against his kind of racial hatred. The Jim Crow laws, slavery were all condoned, first and foremost, by the people; the results in all of these were horrific. But these are news only because they were obvious. Most of the decay we see in all levels of our society is silent, like an infection, or a slow poison that must be ingested daily for the full effect to take place. Many of the readers on this site will think about the Progressive Era and the freedoms that were heaped up and slowly burned away. Again, the people, ignorant, misguided, or both, were ultimately behind it. Even more sinister and silent was the sexual revolution in the 60’s and 70’s. For in these years we slowly began whispering that old hedonism that says “it’s all about me, and I wanna feel good.” It seemed innocent at the time, but now we see the full effect. “Till death do us part” now means “until you get in my way”. Marriage is an emotional ride for anyone that wants too; and throw a kid there on the side, unless he isn’t wanted. How many are tortured by addiction to pornography, in a culture that simply winks its eye and says “I’ll put that on every magazine rack for ‘ya”? How many babies have been lost to convenience? How many lives are wasted in the pointless pursuit of money and prestige? The English journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge said it aptly when he said this,
“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”
How can a people like that blame their elected politicians for their woes of the day, as poll after poll shows they do, when the politicians are simply “men of the people”? Yes there are people who believe in objective truth and morality, who fight for it daily. But until the culture changes around us, to one that desires truth, thrift, morality, and above all, Christ, we who labor for freedom face an uphill battle, which cannot easily won, but which can be easily lost. Freedom and morality are not mutually exclusive, they must stand side by side for a people to be truly free. I would posit to you today that most who take the postmodernist stance, that all truth is relative, that all morality is a tribal colloquialism, are not trying to nobly show the way away from “fundamentalism”. I would say that they really wish to destroy the morality that has, however shakily, held our society together until today and then replace it with their own. Truth is real, truth is rational. Christianity is both of these, as our Founders knew well. So before any of us try to point our finger at Democrats, or Republicans, or (as is often the case) both let’s remember that there are three fingers pointed back at ourselves, at We the People. And let’s humbly get on our knees and beg Jesus Christ to change the hearts our of our people, ourselves included. Without a reawakening, there will quickly come a point where there is no freedom worth having because the people didn’t think it was worth wanting.