In previous posts, I have discussed our primary rights (individual rights to life, liberty, and property) and their origins (from our Creator). I talked about the necessity of a belief that our rights were granted by our Creator in order to justify individual rights. Anything less than this results in an ideology that rejects individual rights to life, liberty, and property, or relies on inconsistent reason in assuming equality of rights.
When we talk about these rights and principles, we often focus on the actions taken by governments that limit our liberty and our rights. We respond by attempting to correct those violations of our rights. It is important to preserve and protect our rights. However, focusing on these violations alone will not return us to our previous state of liberty.
If God gave us our rights, then no individual or government can violate those rights with impunity. They will be held accountable for those violations. If equality comes through God, then equality can only be restored through Him.
But how do we restore the liberty that has been lost?
The simple answer is: Turn to God, Serve Others, and Share this Formula.
For those who find this answer simplistic, I hope to demonstrate that it is not and to show how this formula can return our liberties. I should also note that this formula is not original to me. It can be found in scripture and I feel bold enough to call it God’s plan for preserving liberty.
The only hope for freedom and prosperity for America and its people is to turn to God. Our government cannot take away our ability to gain salvation through Jesus Christ. That is an individual matter. But the preservation of our liberty–including our ability to worship, live, and teach about God–depends on how well we preserve (and restore) our freedoms. No politician can be our Savior or Messiah. At best, they can turn to God and be an instrument in His hands in preserving those freedoms.
Why turn to God? What does He have to do with politics?
God gave us our rights. They did not come from government. They did not materialize as the result of an evolutionary process. They have been a part of our natures since God created Adam and Eve. This is not an antiquated idea. The Founding Fathers had the option of accepting the idea of God-given rights, or of choosing a more secular idea about rights arising from the development of mankind. They chose God. Our Founders credited God with EVERY major development in the formation of the United States of America–from being guided to the New World, to declaring independence from Great Britain, to victory in the war, to drafting the Constitution, to ratifying the Constitution, to the continued preservation of the country.
The belief that our rights come from God is not incidental; it is THE core foundation of our country.
Liberty can only be preserved (or restored) at a price: We MUST be a MORAL people!
What does that mean? People have different morals, right?
When I say moral, I am referring to a people that believe they will be held accountable to God for the actions that He declared to be moral. If we, as a people, did nothing more than keep the Ten Commandments, we would be well on our way to being a moral people.
If we obeyed God’s commandments, we would be able to TRUST each other. Trust comes from a demonstration that we are trustworthy. Trustworthiness is an indispensible requirement for liberty that accompanies morality.
A personal inventory of our individual views will reveal that the liberties we would deny to others are most likely rooted in our lack of trust that others will act responsibly with that liberty. Simple examples would be trusting others to do the following without a license: drive a car; practice medicine; make a loan; fix your plumbing; sell you a house; carry a gun; own an automatic gun; or operate a restaurant.
Undoubtedly, you will identify reasons why most of these SHOULD require a license from the government. However, the reasoning will likely come back to trust: You do not trust that a person will be honest about their ability, or trust that the person will act safely, without some kind of government oversight.
The same feelings hold true in all other areas where laws have been created. Whether a majority of people agree or not, laws are there because someone felt like they could not trust someone else. People do not trust businesses, restaurants, insurance companies, banks, doctors, hospitals, and even churches. There is not a single organization or industry that can claim the trust of all people.
There are particular ideologies in play that suggest that people deserve entitlements, that they are victims of the successful, and that government intervention is both necessary and desirable to correct these problems.
We may dismiss these ideologies as attractive to the lazy and corrupt–and I’m certain this is true–but we are losing too many honest and hard-working people to these ideologies because they DO NOT TRUST people to be honest on their own.
They do not trust employers to pay a fair wage. They don’t trust others not to discriminate. They do not trust people to help them when they hit hard times. They do not trust elected officials to do what they say. They do not expect judges to provide equal treatment according to the law.
In essence, our liberties are breaking down because our trustworthiness has almost disappeared. We cannot trust an immoral people and, unfortunately, we have become an immoral people.
We lie, expect others to lie, and accept lying as a given in many situations. We dig a pit for our neighbors. We would rather get enjoyment from watching people self-destruct than to warn them about the danger ahead of them. We are unwilling to get involved to defend truth. We dismiss the validity of truth. We divorce on a whim. We promote promiscuous sexual relationships and (at best) encourage it in a “committed” relationship, yet we dismiss marriage–the relationship that signifies the greatest commitment. We tell our children they are old enough to have sex with each other, but not old enough to have children or get married. We demand that our children be given adult decisions, then try to protect them from the adult consequences of those “choices.”
If we want to restore our liberties, each of us will have to start individually. Here’s my recommendation:
1) Repent: If you know what God wants you to be doing, and you’re not doing it, correct your course. If you’ve wronged someone else, do your best to fix it. If someone else has wronged you, do your best to forgive.
2) Love God by Loving Your Neighbor: Pray every morning to recognize at least one opportunity to help someone else. Then, look for that opportunity throughout the day and ACT when you recognize it. Thank God every night for the opportunity He gave you.
3) Share these two steps with everyone you can.
That’s it. That is my big plan for Restoring the Liberties of America.
Why do I think this will work? Because our faith in God will begin to grow and, with it, our recognition that others are trusting in God. And when others trust in God, we can trust them. When we’re doing God’s work, He’ll make up the difference and help us move mountains. And the more we trust each other, the less we’ll feel a need to regulate each other.
“And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentence, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now. But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.” (Mosiah 29:19-20)