As Americans celebrated the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this past weekend, I was brought to a state of thankfulness contemplating the significance this moment in history had in framing the philosophy of government in America.
You see, our Framers believed freedom was impossible without virtue and that mankind did not possess virtue by themselves. They also understood, in the words of John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
So how does a society provide the much-needed virtue to its citizens?
Knowing that there was no such role within the civil government to provide this necessary virtue, they relied on the other God-given jurisdictions of government like the individual, the family, and the Church. They whole-heartedly agreed with the words of George Washington, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.”
Our founding fathers recognized that the role of Christianity in government, with its revolutionary statement, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” was to help people become better citizens, thus resulting in more personal and civil liberty.
The result of this philosophy was known as the American View of Law and Government.
This American View rests firmly on Biblical foundations and requires a moral and religious culture for its success. That is to say, it requires a citizenry which is not only knowledgeable regarding the Revealed Word of God and His moral principles and precepts, but it also requires a citizenry which is committed to living liberty by following God’s laws.
The distinctives of this “American View” are eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence by 56 men who supported Christianity and the Bible. Twenty-six of the signers even carried a seminary degree! This American View can be summarized in the following three statements:
1. There is an Omniscient, Almighty, Creator God whose Son is Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Lord.
2. Our rights to life, liberty and property come from Him. They are a part of His Creation.
3. The sole purpose of civil government is to protect these God-given rights.
This is the belief system that forms the underpinning of American government. There can be no expectation of personal liberty, or freedom of speech, or freedom of association, or freedom of movement, or freedom of worship, and no hope of peaceful enjoyment of real or personal property, unless these foundational beliefs are understood by the people, embraced by the people and vigorously defended by the people.
These essential, foundational, structural beliefs can be found in all the official documents of our founding. Moreover, our Founder’s papers and their correspondence are replete with references to these beliefs. Today, our once strong country is being dismantled from within by domestic enemies that do not hide their contempt for these God-honoring beliefs on which our future happiness rests and our liberty depends.
Some of us have recommitted ourselves to learning and living liberty by studying and applying this original, American View of law and government.
We were thinking maybe you would like to join us.
Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.