Friday, April 24, 2009

Dubai: A Microcosm of America?

As the founder of a non-profit educational organization called "Vine & Fig Tree," I'm working to bring about the fulfillment of the Biblical ideal of everyone dwelling safely under his own vine and fig tree.

The Bible also describes this vision as "The New Jerusalem" (Revelation 3:12; 21; 22:1-5;) or a New Heavens and New Earth (Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:18-23; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

The question I ask most frequently is whether this "Vine & Fig Tree" society comes about as a result of "public servants" in Congress, directing the wheels of industry, or does it come to mankind more passively, as a blessing/gift from God, rewarding a culture that practices the "pure religion" of looking out for the weak and defenseless, seeking first the righteousness of God, and finding all material needs being added, as if an afterthought .

Man was graciously placed in the Garden of Eden by God. Man did not create paradise by an act of Congress and millions of national service "volunteers."

On the other hand, God did not intend Eden to remain a wilderness. It was to be domesticated as man exercises dominion over the land.

I don't think it's either/or. I'm not convinced we have to choose between The New Jerusalem or the New Eden.

Nor do we have to tolerate a mutant form of "capitalism" in order to move to the next stage of "Marx's Revenge:" the socialist "worker's paradise."

But while we must take personal responsibility for exercising "dominion" and building the City of God, we cannot do so using means which violate God's commandments. An obvious and simple concept, but we overlook glaringly obvious examples.

The current economic "crisis," for example, is rooted in a system of currency debasement which is unconstitutional and unBiblical. The cause of the crisis was initially touted as the ticket to prosperity.

Another example, perhaps obvious, but in our self-deception we have come to ignore it. When we want fresh produce from New Zealand, or somewhere else halfway around the world, we also want people to bring it to our door. We want people to sail boats over the oceans, and drive trucks across the continent. How does this affect the lives of people who are away from their families for weeks or months at a time? What kind of people are we if we don't care about the answer to that kind of question?

Dubai was once touted as man's triumph over a hostile desert environment. A gleaming city that seems to have fallen out of the sky onto the harsh desert floor. But it took a lot of architects and a lot of construction workers. It looks pretty impressive.

But what are the real costs?

This article opens the box for viewing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Human Being Day

I would rather celebrate "Human Being Day" than "Earth Day." The tendency in "Earth Day" celebrations is to long for the extinction of human beings so that Earth can live in unmolested peace. Lew Rockwell recalls "a sweatshirt a group of George Mason Univerity students gave me more than 20 years ago. It read: 'Earth Day? A Holiday for a Rotating Dirt Ball?'" The other theory: human beings are created in the Image of God to have dominion over the earth.

As human beings become richer, they become cleaner (less polluting).
Richer and Greener - Reason Magazine

Cafe Hayek: What Earth Day Means to Me

"Earth Day, 2009: The More You Know, the Less You Care" by Patrick J. Michaels (Cato Institute: Commentary)

April Frauds: Three manufactured holidays make fools of us all. - Reason Magazine

Yielding to Ideology Over Science : Why don't environmentalists celebrate modern farming on Earth Day? - Reason Magazine

Economics and Earth Day - Mises Economics Blog

Re-Legalize DDT

Why Environmentalism is Evil

Friday, April 17, 2009

Secularism is Un-Democratic

In his latest column, "Rendering Unto Caesar," Pat Buchanan notes:

In every referendum in 16 states, where homosexual marriage has been on the ballot, majorities ranging from 52 to 86 percent have voted to outlaw it as an absurdity and an abomination.

Yet, in Massachusetts, California and Iowa, unelected judges have imposed it, as they will in other states, regardless of what the people want or how the people vote. For secularism has become the established religion of the American state and judges are the high priests of the new order.

[A major] reason for the triumph of secularism is that it long ago captured the Supreme Court. Since the
Everson decision of 1947, justices have expunged Christianity and all its books and symbols from the public square and public schools.

Voluntary prayer, the Ten Commandments, Bible reading, Christmas plays and carols, Nativity scenes, Easter vacation, before-game prayers, benedictions at graduations -- all have been ordered terminated by unelected judges -- against the will of the majority.

Abortion on demand, too, was imposed by judicial fiat.

Thus, as America ceases to be a Christian country, it is ceasing to be a democratic one.

Why did Christianity lead to more democratic views of government?

First is the idea that all human beings are created in the Image of God, including the lowliest blue-collar worker.

Second is the idea that all human beings are part of a fallen race, including the well-groomed members of the Eastern Liberal Establishment like Bush and Kerry.

The third Biblical idea that has moved humanity from empire to democracy has been "the Consent of the Governed."

Fourth is the idea of "the Priesthood of Every Believer."

Fifth is the idea of "optimillennialism," the view that Christ is redeeming fallen man and his culture in history, not just after some cosmic discontinuity known as "the Rapture," a view which tends toward "pessimillennialism" and a police state.

Finally, a concept of "rights" which is based on God's Law rather than fallen man's wants.

Secularism believes that human beings are no better than insects, except those human beings who understand the great truths of Evolutionism and are therefore qualified to direct the course of evolution by governing the rest of us.

"Liberalism" and "Rights"
Liberalism is Aristocracy
Libertarian Democracy

Christians acting inconsistently with the teachings of Christ and the Bible may have given us thousands of dead bodies in the Spanish Inquisition, but as they become more mature in their faith, Christians become more libertarian. Atheists have given us the Soviet Gulags and hundreds of millions of dead bodies, and as they become more consistent with their atheistic presuppositions, atheistic mega-murders will be vastly multiplied.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birmingham Jail Tea Party

On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King penned his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." According to Wikipedia,

King's letter is a response to a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen on April 12, 1963, titled "A Call For Unity". The clergymen agreed that social injustices existed but argued that the battle against racial segregation should be fought solely in the courts, not in the streets. King responded that without nonviolent forceful direct actions such as his, true civil rights could never be achieved. As he put it, "This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.'" He asserted that not only was civil disobedience justified in the face of unjust laws, but that "one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

I agree with the white clergymen. I have commented on King's letter here.

To my knowledge, King said nothing on the day before (April 15, "Tax Day,") about taxes. But King had more in common with the American Revolution than the participants in yesterday's "Tea Parties."

Yesterday's "Tea Parties" took their cue from the "Boston Tea Party" of December 16, 1773, which Wikipedia describes as "a direct action protest by colonists." Thus, the Boston colonists and the followers of Martin Luther King had this theory of "direct action" in common. "Direct action" means breaking a law to call attention to injustice.

I reject the idea of breaking laws as an instrument of propaganda. As a Christian, I believe the Bible says we should obey the government's laws -- unless the laws command us to sin or prohibit us from doing something God commands.

So on the one hand, it is not a sin to be robbed, therefore the Bible says "pay your taxes." It's not a sin to sit in the back of the bus.

On the other hand, if the State prohibits us from preaching the Gospel, "we must obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29).

King's letter made the following claims:

"In any nonviolent campaign, there are four basic steps:
• collection of the facts to determine whether injustice exists;
• negotiations;
• self-purification; and
• direct action."

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored."

"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'"

As I explain below, there is no such thing as a "just law." King was not an anarchist. I also reject King's claim that we should disobey all unjust laws.

The letter also contains the famous statement "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," as well as the words attributed to William E. Gladstone quoted by King: "[J]ustice too long delayed is justice denied."

In chapter 4 of Book IV of The City of God, St. Augustine writes about justice and "the State":

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you who does it with a great fleet are styled emperor.

Augustine's line about "justice taken away" contains a false assumption. I believe governments are systematic robbery and injustice by their very nature. There is no justice to "take away." By their very definition, "governments" claim a right to do things which would rightly and appropriately be called "immoral" or "injustice" if perpetrated by "private" citizens. The processes by which "private citizens" are elevated to the status of "public servants" are pure charades which do not really transubstantiate injustice into justice.

Yesterday's Tea Party participants likely don't agree with much of this post. Most probably believe some taxation is moral. They also don't agree with the political philosophy of the "Sons of Liberty" and the Boston Tea Party. The royal tax on tea in 1773 was only 3 pence per pound, but that met the Founding Fathers' definition of a "tyranny" which must be overthrown. Yesterday's Tea Party participants pay ten times more in taxes on every gallon of gas they buy, without protests of any kind, much less "direct action."

Yesterday's Tea Parties were not "direct action." They were more like "tailgate parties" at football games. Nothing wrong with that, but a far cry from the original Boston Tea Party in 1773.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Boycott the Tea Parties

The purpose of this post is not to criticize those who will be participating in the various "Tea Parties" around the nation tomorrow. It is more to defend myself against critics of my own non-participation.

I hope that the Tea Parties will all be non-violent protests; simply peaceful parades, marches, or assemblies with various colorful and clever posters. I've held a poster in hundreds of protests, and marched hundreds of miles to protest various injustices. Deep down I wondered about the effectiveness of them all, and often participated for more "social" or communitarian reasons (e.g., hang out with friends). I'm still working out my own theory of protests and political action.

Here is the cover of a new magazine supportive of the "tea party" movement:

Which group would Jesus be with:
• the corporate executives who use the government to steal from widows and orphans, or
• the "tea party" protesters, armed with baseball bats, pitchforks, and vandals' torches?

I would say "neither."

Bashing heads and burning property are not Christian options. I hope there's none of that anywhere tomorrow. I also hope the rest of this post is more positive.

Here are three strategic questions I ask about the Tea Parties:
  1. Doesn't the Tea Party movement truly represent the essence of America, the spirit of 1776?
  2. Then why is it the majority of Americans do not join the "Tea Party" protesters?
  3. Will the Tea Parties result in less government theft through taxation?

What is the "essence of America?"

I like to say "Liberty Under God." But it could be "violence employed to secure wealth." Americans don't like to think of themselves as people who are willing to use violence to get the stuff they want, but that's been the history of this country since the American Revolution.

Imagine a young man about 23 years old. As an agent of the British Empire, he wears a red coat. He believes that the colonies face a situation of "anarchy" and chaos. For generations, the British government has maintained law and order, and he has been told that this stability is threatened by lawless hoards who vandalize tax-paying merchants while dressed as Indians. Based on reports of a large cache of arms in Lexington and threats of armed revolution, he has been sent away from his family in Liverpool to help maintain order in the colonies.

Oh dear. This nice young man has just had a large part of his face and shoulders blown away by the musket fire of an outraged tax-resister. This colonist (and others like him) apparently believed that this young soldier evinced "a design to reduce them under absolute despotism." As the officer lies dying in a pool of his own blood, the revolutionary "minute-man" rejoices in his victory over this red-coat's objective of the "establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states."

Is this a loving (1 Corinthians 13:5-7) or righteous (John 7:24; Exodus 23:2; Prov. 24:21) judgment of this young human being? Was this soldier a "tyrant," a budding Adolph Hitler, or a "good Christian family man"?

I've argued that the American Revolution was unChristian and unBiblical here:

But I agree that taxation is tyrannical and tyrannies must be abolished.

Comparing tax burdens is illuminating. In 1775 the tax on the tea was three pence per pound. Today we pay ten times more on every gallon of gas. The total tax burden imposed on the colonies by Britain was about 2%. If you pay a penny in federal income tax today, then the federal government is taking over half of everything you earn. If muskets were justified in 1776, they are long overdue today.

Why aren't the Tea Parties advocating muskets? It would truly be all-American.

I guess I'm not a true American.

But I agree with the Tea Party contention that taxes are too high. And if Sam Adams and John Hancock were here today, they would certainly agree.

And that makes me part of the "fringe."

Second question: Why is the Tea Party movement perceived as "fringe?" Why aren't nearly all Americans participating?

And let's be clear: most Americans are not participating.

The New York Times is reporting a Gallup poll that says more Americans think taxes are "about right" than think they are "too high." Astonishingly, 3% say taxes are "too low." (Did they understand the question?) The Times article, "Hold the Tea: Americans Fine With Taxes," concludes,

As the remaining U.S. tax filers prepare to send their income-tax returns before the April 15 deadline, Gallup finds Americans’ views of their federal income taxes about as positive as at any point in the last 60 years. This may reflect the income-tax cut that was part of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan, as well as a continuing sense of patriotism with the country fighting two wars.

Because of withholding, most Americans have no feelings about taxes because it's done impersonally before they even get their paycheck. Because of envy, most Americans like the idea of "taxing the rich," and assume that their own Congressman is going to GET more goodies for them than they are going to have to PAY in taxes. And because of statism, Americans love it ("patriotism") when our military bombs someone "back to the stone age."

When violence (taxation, war) can be justified on pragmatic or emotional/sentimental grounds, a "Tea Party" is not going to have much persuasive effect. Especially if the participants are carrying bats and bombs, there's no pure principle. Both sides resort to violence to get what they want.

The only solid and lasting principle is the "non-aggression" principle: no initiation of force. Taxation is the ethical and moral equivalent of extortion or robbery. Taxation is threatening to lock someone in a federal prison with a psychopath to be sodomized if they don't fork over the dough. The Tea Parties don't seem to carry this principled opposition to all taxation, to the very concept of taxation, just a cost-benefit analysis: "I'm OK with that violence as long as I don't have to pay too much or if the benefits outweigh the pangs of conscience."

The final question becomes: How do we persuade someone -- especially a tax-collector or someone who supports government extortion of the people -- to change their moral calculus? How do you convince someone that taking money from someone under threats of violence is immoral?

Not by a "Tea Party," I believe.

People who work for the IRS are human beings. Protests treat these individuals as abstractions. They are threatening, not reasoning; offensive, not persuasive.

If your next-door neighbor is a prostitute, will your protests in her front yard -- waving signs, shouting slogans -- persuade her to get a new job? It probably won't work with an IRS agent, either.

It's easy to put a clever slogan on a poster, but what would you say if I were to buy dinner for you and an IRS agent? Can you visualize the dinner conversation? Can you anticipate what the IRS agent would say in defense of his tax-collection efforts? Do you have a ready response?

Inviting an IRS agent to a tea party in your home seems more likely to persuade than showing up at the IRS agent's home with your protest signs.

But perhaps the real function of Tea Parties is not persuasion, but community-building.

Then let's have fun at the Tea Party, but let's also plan out a long-range strategy to educate the majority of Americans, and to persaude the bureaucrats to resign.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter and Tax Day

This week offers us two "holidays": Easter (April 12) and "Tax Day" (April 15).

Easter is a religious holiday which has nothing to do with the real world of economics and politics. "Tax Day" is simply the mundane legal reality of a deadline to pay taxes, which has nothing to do with religion.



Both days commemorate legal and political events, and both are truly "holidays," that is, "holy days."

Easter marks the assassination of the "King of the Jews." The "Religious Right" of the day exercised political clout in the neoconservative empire of the day to try, convict, and execute a communist Revolutionary, who rises from the dead and ascends to the Throne as the Anti-King, and now offers the world "Peace on Earth" in a comprehensive all-encompassing legal, political, and cultural sense that the Bible describes as "salvation."

"Tax Day" marks the subjugation of a nation to an imperial "New World Order" which imposes tribute and claims to bring the very same "salvation."

When the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus by asking Him if His disciples paid taxes, Jesus asked them to show Him a coin used to pay taxes. They gave Him one they were carrying. He asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" (Matt. 22:20; Mark 12:16; Luke 20:24). The answer was, of course, "Caesar's." According to Geldenhuys,

After their acknowledgment that it is Caesar's, the following two facts are vividly brought to light through Jesus' masterly handling of the situation:
(1) Coins with Caesar's image and superscription are in use among the Jews.
(2) The coins are evidently the property of Caesar, otherwise they would not have borne his image and superscription.
From these two facts it thus follows that the Jews had accepted the imperial rule as a practical reality, for it was the generally current view that a ruler's power extended as far as his coins were in use.

Rushdoony notes:

The practical reality was thus made clear. These men used the coins of Tiberius which carried a "bust of Tiberius in Olympian nakedness, adorned with the laurel wreath, the sign of divinity." The inscription read, "Emperor Tiberius August Son of the August God," on the one side, and "Pontifex Maximus" or "High Priest" on the other. The symbols also included the emperor's mother, Julia Augusta (Livia) sitting on the throne of the gods, holding the Olympian sceptre in her right hand, and, in her left, the olive branch to signify that "she was the earthly incarnation of the heavenly Pax."[7] The Coins thus had a re­ligious significance. Israel was in a certain sense serving other gods by being subject to Rome and to Roman currency. The point made by implication by His enemies, that tribute to Caesar had religious over­tones, was almost confirmed by Jesus, even as He proved their own submission to Caesar.

Rushdoony also notes,

Stauffer [Christ and the Caesars] has tellingly summed up the imperial gospel as it was proclaimed on Roman coinage: Two related coins from Spain direct attention to world history. One is like a summary of the scenery on the armour of Augustus: the sun-god is soaring up with his crown of sun-rays and his outspread heavenly mantle, with the capricorn below, and between them the single word AUGUSTUS. The other shows the capricorn again, this time with the emblems of world dominion, the helm and the globe, and above them the emblem of the king of paradise, the cornucopia with the diadem, and again the single word AUGUSTUS. The symbolic meaning is clear: a new day is dawning for the world. The devine savior-king, born in the historical hour ordained by the stars, has come to power on land and sea, and inaugurates the cosmic era of salvation. Salvation is to be found in none other save Augustus, and there is no other name given to men in which they can be saved. This is the climax of the Advent proclamation of the Roman empire.

In not too many years, a disciple of Jesus Christ was to declare, in a challenge to the religious and civil leaders of Judea, and to all authorities: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Warfare between Christ and Caesar was thus inescapable: here were two rival gods claiming the same jurisdiction over man. It was not a struggle between church and state but between two kingdoms each claiming ultimate and divine powers, Rome and the Kingdom of God.

The parallels between Caesar and the Messianic Obama can hardly be missed.

Probably 99% of the public complains about taxes at some point in time. This month has seen numerous "Tea Parties" protesting taxes. They are the "fringe." But they are also quite mainstream. Most of the protesters probably voted for the Representatives who voted for the Bush and Obama Bailouts and the taxes to pay for them. And few of them are as radical as the organizers of the original Boston Tea Party, men like Sam Adams and John Hancock, who took direct action against a tax of 3 pence per pound of tea, and a total tax burden of no more than 3%.

Today's Caesar, today's King George III, takes over two-thirds of everything you earn. And the vast majority of Americans would protest any protesters who wanted to abolish all taxes and the government programs they support. Most Americans -- even those who go to church on Easter Sunday -- believe that imperial tribute is necessary and justified, and that without the Empire we would lose our salvation, that is, our medical and economic health, prosperity, national security, welfare, and stability -- in short, everything the Bible and Caesar Augustus spoke of using the word "salvation."

America's true faith is in the IRS King, not the Easter King.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pacifist Friday

If ever there were "An Inconvenient Truth," it is the fact that the Book found in 94% of all American homes commands us to be pacifists.

"Good Friday" commemorates the choice of a completely sinless and righteous Person to allow Himself to be murdered.

Some Christians say Jesus allowed Himself to be murdered so that He could be a sacrifice for sins, but we are not to follow Jesus in this respect, but we are to kill those who might murder us. Even more inconvenient is the fact that the Bible commands us to follow in the steps of the Good Friday pacifist. As one Church Father put it, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."

This means the American Revolution (1775 - 1783) was unChristian.

This means millions of professing followers of Christ in America have voted for politicians who promise to murder millions of people, a policy which has been carried out, one of the few campaign promises ever kept.


This weekend we celebrate the resurrection of the One who taught us to love our enemies.


Why do we pay lip service to a Book that clearly commands us to beat our Swords Into Plowshares, when the mere invitation to consider this command is considered "reckless" and "impractical?"

Would America be a better nation if Christians were more consistent with their professed religion, or would the world be a better place if Christians simply abandoned any pretension to be followers of the executed Christ and became professing atheists instead?

A Biblical pacifist is not someone who does not oppose evil, but rather someone who does not oppose evil with more evil.

Christians are commanded to leave vengeance to God. Not just in our "private" lives, but in our public "foreign policy." God already took care of those who murdered Christ. God will take care of all those who take up the sword, as long as we are faithful to teach and practice the commands of Christ: "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Anarchist Thursday

Today is "Holy Thursday" or "Maundy Thursday." It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.

According to Wikipedia, "On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' Feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot."

We should also commemorate Christ's institution of anarchism on this day.

According to Luke, writing in his Gospel, the Disciples took "the Last Supper" as an opportunity to argue over who would be greatest in the coming Kingdom. As Mark records the conversation, Jesus commands his disciples to be anarchists instead.

Most people, when they hear the word "anarchists," think of bomb-throwing assassins who oppose private property and foment chaos and riots. They think of protesters at the G20 conference who throw bricks through the windows of businesses.

A True state of "anarchy" is not a condition of riots and vandalism. Such a state is actually a state of "poly-archy" or "multi-archy," with numerous people attempting to impose their will on others through violence or the initiation of force, and not just one such person ("monarchy").

And, of course, people who think of "anarchists" in this way are glad when the "archists" show up to bring order (though they never think of calling those who put down "anarchy" as "archists").

But Jesus is not on the side of the "archists."

Ye have known that they who are considered to rule the nations do exercise lordship over them, and their great ones do exercise authority upon them. But so shall it NOT be among you

The word "RULE" is the Greek word from which we derive the English word "anarchist." They are considered to be "archists." They are considered to have the right to be lords (kurios) and the right to be "the powers that be" (exousiai, compare Romans 13). But Jesus says His followers are NOT to be "archists." They are to be servants.

The first 20 centuries after Christ saw the rise of Christendom, and the creations of institutions of service, such as hospitals, orphanages, universities, and industry. In the 20th century, Christians retreated, began waiting for "the rapture," and allowed "archists" to take over.

Ever since Martin Luther was protected by Saxony's Frederick "the Wise," Protestants have been too patriotic. They have fought to conserve the power of "the State."

Archism was pagan in origin, but has become a Christian heresy. Patriotic, conservative Christians have become a great force for death and violence rather than service.

The next great leap forward in human progress will come when Christians follow Christ, reject lordship and archism, and return to private service and anarchist dominion. Like Easter, this will bring life out of death,and light to a world in darkness.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chuck Baldwin's Easter Column

"He Is Risen"
by Chuck Baldwin
April 7, 2009

As we approach Resurrection Sunday, it behooves us to remind ourselves (Christians should need no reminder) of the significance of this season. Along with the virgin birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ form the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus separates Christianity from all the world's religions.

Furthermore, the overwhelming number of America's founders understood the connection between the Christian faith and the rise of these United States. John Quincy Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

Adams also said, "From the day of the Declaration . . . They [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct."

Then, on July 4, 1837, Adams said these words, "Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? . . . Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?"

Daniel Webster also acknowledged the relationship between our founders' Christian faith and America's creation. He said, "Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary."

Noah Webster, the man who is called the Father of American Education, said, "Education is useless without the Bible." He also said, "The Bible was America's basic textbook in all fields."

Noah Webster went on to say, "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. . . . No truth is more evident to my mind, than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

One more quotation from Noah Webster is necessary at this point. He said, "The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government."

These sentiments were the sentiments of America from the inception of our great country. Remember, the voyagers of the Mayflower made a covenant between themselves and Almighty God. It is called the Mayflower Compact, and in it they said the reason they had made the voyage and determined to plant a colony in the new world was "for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith."

It was only in the last half of the 20th Century that America began trying to distance itself from its Christian heritage. Yet today, educators, entertainers, chief executives, and politicians are in the process of supplanting our Christian heritage with the pseudo-religions of secularism, multiculturalism, and universalism.

What many people do not understand is that when America abandons its dependence upon the God of the Bible, it will--at the same time--surrender the very foundation of our liberty and independence. As Thomas Jefferson said, "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?"

Patrick Henry agreed with Jefferson. He said, "It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains."

As we celebrate the vicarious death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us remember the importance of preserving liberty within these United States of America. And this commitment involves much more than attending church once a week or repeating an occasional catechism. It means we must seek to incorporate the principles of liberty and independence into the very fabric of our lives and work. It means we will offer eternal vigilance to the fundamental principles upon which America was built. Liberty has no guarantees or assurances. Each generation must work to preserve, protect, and defend the principles of constitutional government, or else liberty will be lost.

The angel spoke of Christ, declaring, "He is risen." And so He is. And because Christ lives, liberty and freedom may also live. Why? Because "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."


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