Saturday, July 23, 2005

A line drawn in the sand

Brad the Unrepentant Individual pointed out in an article he wrote that,

Part of the nature of humanity is linked to the environment man is in, which is highly fluid.”

Brad used the writings of Robert Heinlein to express the idea that mankind is remarkably flexible and can adapt to almost any environment, not necessarily conforming to earlier standards or morality that had been accepted; but with different societies come varied and acceptable rules of conduct determined and set by those environments.

He then explained, “I’ve always thought that freedom allows people to do what they want, and that this will result in increased happiness and a society which works better in the long run.”

As much as I enjoy the writings of Heinlein and the Sci-fi format, for it surely permits a wide range of possible environments, I would prefer to remain in the reality of our time and place for the purpose of this discussion. To understand our time and place requires quite a bit of historical input. I was reading Thomas Paine’s, Common Sense, where he defined the American individual as being offshoots from hostile European environments, escapees from tyranny and oppression from all over Europe, not simply from Great Britain or England as many have improperly identified the new colonies. These people had an independent spirit, the desire to hold property, the desire to express thoughts openly, the spark of individual identity were all parts of the American legacy that was being forged. Part of the mix was religious freedom, the desire to express varied beliefs in God without being constrained to one particular sect or religious group; all however being based in a general Christian base.

Our Founders set forth the most flexible form of government ever to grace the face of the earth, acknowledging the necessary evils of a strong central government while also understanding its necessity in order to preserve the “unalienable rights” as so defined. I would refer to an article, Author of Liberty, ( linked via title bar), which I wrote some time back in which I explained that inherent rights come from God, as we are his heirs and are therefore accountable and responsible for our actions to Him.

As a collective of individual’s intent on accomplishing the highest forms of liberty and freedom, there was a compromise made which would insure that the delicate balance of individual agency and the common good of the collective was met. This delicate balance is in jeopardy today because part of the foundation upon which such a fragile form of government was established has been compromised; that being the once strong restraining factors brought to bear on the vast majority of citizens in and by the knowledge that there are Christian values that fill in the gaps left by man’s imperfect laws and ordinances. To exclude this part of the foundation, an integral part of a working whole society, even later as it evolves into a more “mature” population, is to bring about its own destruction.

We may step back and say that we are tolerant of other’s right to believe and express themselves in any number of ways, provided those beliefs and those expressions do not upset the delicate balance necessary to insure stability to the foundation upon which we all depend.

Here is where we as Americans have turned a blind eye, believing that any and all forms of expression are part of our inherent freedom and liberty and that any and all are to be tolerated and even pursued. Such unwarranted toleration has led to degradation of the most noble of human desires, to become worthy heirs to all that our Father in Heaven has. In our pride and our abandoning of Christian values, once an integral part of the fabric of our everyday lives, we have abandoned the sure footing that was intended to guide our society through all times, good and bad. It is not enough to permit individuals their right to continue in their religious belief in a Christian setting; for that is still permissible, the changing environment mentioned by Brad, is that there has been a shift in the percentage of those who adhere to the laws as found in the Holy Scriptures, which go well beyond any laws and ordinances created and set in motion by men.

When I stated that I may not be ready for the Brave New World, one in which the vows of marriage no longer contain the affirmation that such was ordained of God, that such is intended to last until the end of days or that such is intended to be a binding of a man and a woman as husband and wife; then the foundation upon which that society is based has been usurped. When the citizens of a once noble society, one in which our Creator was revered and honored, now refrain from giving Him their respect and obedience; instead insist that their government is the provider of liberty and the provider of freedom, then it becomes only a matter of time when that society will become debased and unworthy of the blessings of that Creator who once they counted on for those liberties and freedoms.

The Christian belief in the Resurrection is central to the idea which I am discussing, an understanding of the state of man being able to defeat the mortal death by virtue of a Savior, even Jesus Christ. When our Founders went about the process of defining the parameters of our government, most of our citizens had a common thread, that our lives would be judged in a more important court setting, one in which our eternal souls would be placed in after mortality. While the intricacies of the Resurrection have been debated by almost every denomination, the fact remains that as a whole, the Resurrection and all that it entailed was held sacred and a part of the reason for holding to a life of worth and good character.

I will draw from an explanation found in the Book of Mormon, one that helps to understand the concept of the Resurrection or restoration, since the body will be restored into its perfected union; spirit with body. In Alma, Chapter 41 the scriptures tell us:

“Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness. And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.”

The concept of having to be accountable to God for your life here in mortality, the reward of having been restored into a body, that body being in the image of either perfect sin or perfect obedience as a reflection of the choices made during mortality, that concept has been the foundation of our society and the ability to contain debauchery and the carnal state of man, not the government’s rules and ordinances.

When I hear that we must be tolerant of the deviant carnal members of our society, that is not the same as permitting these degenerates the ability to remove the foundation upon which our society depends by altering our concepts of liberty and freedom to mean disobedience and rebellion to God’s commandments and the eternal laws which have always been in place, regardless of man’s acceptance of them. We will all have to stand before the bar of justice, explain our transgressions and our willingness to be obedient or the lack thereof. I am not accountable for the sins of any other mortal being, however, I am responsible and accountable to God for advising my fellow mortal beings of the truths which I am aware of; anything less would in itself be slothful and undeserving of blessings.

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