Saturday, November 12, 2011

America IS A Christian Nation, Part XI, One Nation Under God, Why That Is Important

In the last couple of installments in our series, American IS a Christian Nation, we have learned that the Declaration of Independence is, but in an ideal sense, what the Constitution is in a practical sense. The Declaration is the message, the Constitution is the means.  The Declaration is the source of authority.  The Constitution is the use of authority.  We also contrasted the American form of government, under the authority of Jesus Christ of the New Testament scriptures, with that of Great Britain, another nation which proclaims its submission to the Holy Trinity, and thereby Jesus Christ, Who according to those same scriptures owns all authority in Heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).  Any nation that effectively 'buys into that,' also buys into submitting to the authority of the New Testament scriptures.  So both nations profess to be 'nations under God.'

But just because a nation professes to be under the authority of God of the Bible and New Testament, that does not mean that its people lose all autonomy or free will in how they vote, or operate their chosen government, or their daily lives.  Absolutely not!  Even in a nation ostensibly founded under the Christian God's authority, there is a role for popular opinion.  So let's talk about the role of popular opinion in America's form of government.  We illustrate that role though by again looking back at Great Britain.

Remember, Great Britain has no comparable constitution as that of the United States of America.  America’s mother country has a system of laws that essentially passes to Parliament its sovereign source of law-making authority.    Some refer to that system of laws that dates back to the Magna Charta as the British Constitution.  That system however does not serve the same function as the United States Constitution.  British law is essentially what the Parliament says it is.   Unlike American law, British laws are enforced with no question as to their 'constitutionality.'  The British laws are part and parcel of that constitution.  Each new law is effectively a new amendment to the British Constitution.  The British Parliament has unlimited prerogative to make law within the British national purview of sovereign authority.  Because the Parliament is directly elected by popular vote, the only remedy for unpopular law is for the people to vote unpopular lawmakers out of office.  Their hope can be that new lawmakers will be more “popular.”  Therefore, as British popular opinion changes, so one might expect their laws and constitution to follow in order to reflect the new prevailing opinions.  In that manner, the British Constitution allows for the direct input of unbridled popular opinion.  Because it allows the direct input of prevailing opinions and preferences, there is no effective check on the law-making power of the majority of popular opinion in the British system.  That system can be said to be “highly democratic.”  A nation such as Great Britain can be thought of as a nation floating on a sea of popular opinion.

But by contrast, and in theory, the American system of government only allows laws to change if they can show logical derivation from the basic rules established under the Constitution.  As Lincoln professed, and as has been demonstrated logically to be the case, the basic rules of the Constitution carry primal American national authority only when understood to approximate in law the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence.  (This must be true because, as we have demonstrated, the authority by which the Constitution was first proposed can show derivation to a primal source of American national sovereign authority only if reasoned to be that same authority implied to pursue the ideal intentions of the “good People of the colonies.”  No other source of authority can demonstrate a logical derivation to what might be considered a primal root.)  Therefore, in order to adequately check the powers of government and to preserve the endowment of unalienable rights and equality for all men, the Constitution was conceived and authorized.  That document’s purpose was (and is) to list the specific limited purview of authority the people, and the states, wished (and wish) to delegate to their federal government.  For this reason , as opposed to a nation floating on a sea of popular opinion, America might be better understood as a nation floating on a sea of popular opinion, however staked to a somewhat stubbornly movable buoy.  Because new enactments of law must show practical derivation from the basic rules of the Constitution, and because those basic rules can only carry sovereign authority if they can demonstrate to logically derive from the source of all primal American authority, and because the source of all primal American authority can show derivation only when understood to pursue the ideal intentions of the “good People of the colonies” expressed within the Declaration of Independence, in a theoretical sense, one conclusion regarding the purpose of the Constitution logically follows:

The authoritative purpose of the United States Constitution is to provide that all enactments of law and functions of government are fundamentally consistent with the ideal steering principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

The steering principles of the Declaration are what I referred above as the 'stubbornly moveable buoy.'  

Although popular opinion certainly has a role to play in the decision-making process of the American system of government, unlike that of Great Britain, the American Constitution provides that the role of popular opinion, as a source of authority, is not unbridled under the auspices of the present revolutionary document.  In that same theoretical sense, popular opinions from which America's laws derive, may only carry primal American national sovereign authority, which authority comes from God, and thereby “authoritatively” affect the American system of laws and government, when those opinions can demonstrate consistency with the nation’s constitutional rules.   Providing the nation’s constitutional rules and system of laws are reasonable practical approximations of the steering ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, AKA, God's Natural Laws; and providing those interpretations of the Constitution and Declaration remain as they were first intended by the “good People,” which was to fulfill God's will on earth, the Theory of America predicts that America, by the divine Providence “relied” upon by the Founding Fathers, will continue to be protected from the effects of a fallen world.

Conversely, if America’s Constitution, its laws or their respective interpretations ever diverge from the original 'ideal intentions' expressed in the Declaration, the Theory of America predicts that America would travel down a perilous pathway.  The result of such a course would be an America, simply another nation among nations, in wait of the next despotic ruler to come along.  This is the same fate that Israel of the Old Testament faced each time it turned away from God.  Whenever any of the twelve tribes of Israel turned away from God, they were conquered by opposing world forces.  As of the time that Jesus Christ came into the world, only one of the original tribes of Israel remained, one remnant, the tribe of Judah.  According to the Theory of America, if America, of its own free will, turns from God, the very same fate awaits.  God gives America and its citizens the right of free will.  God of the Bible and New Testament will never force obedience on anyone.  But that God of the New Testament only protects those who respect His authority, who thereby profess faith in His Son, and by their works obey the Son's commands.  Men have free will to form their own personal opinions and preferences regarding how their governments and laws should operate.  Men are free to institute governments according to those opinions.  But God has free will too.  And God's covenant of protection for His people only extends to those who submit to Him.  The Theory of America predicts that any nation under God, which forgets its source of authority, and thereby forgets its very purpose, just like the eleven lost tribes of Israel, will become a people scattered to the wind, fallen as the prey to the world's despots.  We should all take note; what I describe is the history of the world.  In that world, only the strongest survive.  In that world Darwin was exactly right.  After all, it is a Darwinian world which does not respect the authority of God.  But the scriptures promise a greater power exists in the believer than that is in the world.  
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
According to the Theory of America, to combat the world's forces formed against them, Americans would be wise to draw upon that power.  That is because according to the scriptures,
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.  (Isaiah 54:17)

These scriptures are portions of God's covenant with mankind.  The Founders understood man's responsibility to live under God, and their own responsibility to design their new nation as One Nation Under God.  Perhaps at this juncture, the reader is beginning to more fully understand all that passed through the minds of the Founders as they stood in line to sign the Declaration of Independence.

In our next installment of America IS A Christian nation, We will gaze into the figurative 'test tube' in which the American Experiment is performed, and we will continue to learn about the relationship between life inside that test tube. 

Join me then.  I'll be back soon.


1 comment:

  1. I believe our nation, to a large degree, has fallen away from God and His precepts. Sure, there are plenty of Christians in the country, but I'm willing to bet there aren't many in government who wish to understand how important it is to understand the American Experiment from the Founders' point of view.
    Once again, brilliantly written, Hank! :)


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