If you thought this was going to be a piece about military strategy, nuclear capability or any of the many physical means whereby liberty and freedom are defended from risk; sorry to disappoint, that’s not on the table today. I was mulling over how to explain why the United States of America is the greatest nation in the world to a variety of folks who, for one reason or another, either wish to dismantle the workings of government in such a way as to destroy its foundations or fail to recognize the character requirements necessary to maintain the greatest nation in the world.
There was a comment left to an article I’d posted, The Ant and the Grasshopper which ignited the fuse that now burns, a thoughtless jab intended to denigrate my country, perhaps in jest; but more likely it ran a little deeper. “Fascinating that the politics of the "greatest nation on this planet" is based upon myth, fable and half-truths...”
I looked at that short mockery typed by one of my regular readers, for what else other than a mockery could it be than a statement declaring the origins of my country to be nothing more than a self perpetuating lie; wondered how to respond, civil tongued or with flashes of lightning. Granted, the inclusion of the word “politics” opens the door to plenty of jokes which might include reference to myths, fables and half-truths; however, when coupled with the rest of the sentence, “based upon”, the statement takes on a darker and more troubling tone.
Last week in Sunday School the discussion centered around Alma 30, a confrontation between righteous God fearing men and a self professed Anti-Christ going about telling everyone how they’d been duped into obeying laws put in place by the church in order to make them subservient, there was no God, no Savior to save them and that it was all a ruse to get gain for the leaders of the church.
“Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.” (verse 7)
That sounds very similar to the separation of church and state here in America. You can spout off all you want, within the confines of socially acceptable behavior and a reminder not to slander others. I suppose the limits of socially acceptable behavior have been stretched pretty far by today’s lack of standards; but you get the idea. You don’t have to accept the founding father’s acknowledgement that our nation was the direct result of divine influence, nothing in the law requires you to prostrate yourself on the ground or to pay one penny in support of religion. You do however have to obey the laws of the land and are subject to the penalties assigned to each respectively.
“Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.” (verse 9)
The parallels with the fellow, the one who left his comment and the sharp witted Anti-Christ as recorded in the book of Alma are worth looking at. Neither of them have much respect or claim to have a belief in God; my having gone over the topic of religion with him on more than one occasion. The idea that God has His hand in the workings of government or that there is any relationship between God and man is a fruitless discussion. Explanations on the foundations of our government which don’t include God, the Supreme Creator, call Him what you wish; are hollow and deny the very nature of America.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)
Like I said, no reason to include reference to such a bunch of hooey, after all, there is no such thing as God or a Creator; things just always were and are; anything else is a myth, a fairy tale or an out right lie. The United States of America is no different than any of the other governments on the earth, just a bunch of politicians taking advantage of the little people in order to obtain money and power; at least that is how a lot of folks see it. Truth be known, if we are not very careful who we elect to positions of authority; we could become just as corrupted as the other governments of the world.
I could go on and on; but as the saying goes, “Let’s cut to the chase.” The common ground which permits an exchange of information assumes that all involved are being up front and truthful; I know, “that makes and ass out of u and me”. Deeper in chapter 30, starting in verse 39 the playing field gets leveled. Those who criticize the United States of America’s form of government do so out of envy; they hope we fail so as to become as miserable as they are. Each time a part of the foundation of our government is removed we move precariously closer to self destruction of that form of government which was a gift from God.
“…Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.
40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.
41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?
42 Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.”
Those are pretty strong words to invoke on some guy I’ve never met face to face; but they would seem applicable under the circumstances. If you wish to tear down my belief in my country and the form of government we have, something established by God, then you’d better have more than just your word that there is no God.
With each passing year a larger portion of citizens clamor for government entitlements, demanding our elected legislators ignore constitutional boundaries set to protect all those other individuals, believing such entitlements were earned; even when it must be clear to everyone that nothing is free and that someone else must pay for each and every entitlement. We accept as “progressive”, that those who have earned must pay for those who have not earned and by so doing we deny the laws of God. This is not the same as individual’s offering to help those with needs; no, this is based on the confiscation of wealth in order to redistribute to those less fortunate. Theft, whether carried out by an individual criminal or by an arm of government is still theft. The only difference, as I’ve learned over the years, is that most individual criminals only get one chance at you while the government keeps coming back.
Politicians use the unrighteous clamoring for entitlements as a means of getting elected, promising to evenly distribute the bounties of our great nation without regard for the rightful ownership of property. We need to elect individuals who have a great respect for the stewardship of elected office rather than the elitists seeking power and money without regard for the damage done to the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I’m afraid our great nation is indeed headed for serious trouble as more and more individuals are led down the garden path, a path easily traveled because there are fewer and perhaps, no challenges toward self restraint, no requirements to follow God’s laws and; after all, some have said, there is nothing after this life except a cold grave. If there is no God there are no consequences for actions, either here in mortality or in the eternities.
If we continue to elect individuals who have little if any regard for the foundations upon which our great nation was established, turning instead toward forms of government which are considerably less desirable, instituting and establishing laws and policies which are in direct conflict with God’s laws and that of nature, then we are doomed to failure by becoming corrupted.
“…The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” (verse 44)
Rather than accept the premise, “that the politics of the "greatest nation on this planet" is based upon myth, fable and half-truths...”, I would say just the opposite. The foundations of my government are laid upon eternal truths and will remain so until a majority of our citizens choose to ignore God’s laws in favor of something less demanding. It is my hope and prayer that we remain faithful, true and deserving of the blessings which have been poured out upon us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.