by Mike Pyatt
My generation’s prone to be lugubrious when examining our shifting cultural and moral landscape, understanding the consequences of its end, if drastic measures aren’t forthcoming. It isn’t a generational curse, as it may appear. Younger citizens, who’ve assiduously contemplated that the erosion of individual liberty, reach similar conclusions, realizing one can’t ignore the obvious any longer. Others remain in their hermetically sealed world of obdurate denial. That magnificent book, “The 5000 Year Leap” chronicles 28 principles of liberty. That 2nd Principle, undergirds the grave concern of millions of liberty minded Christians and co-belligerents, “A free people cannot survive under a Republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong,” Benjamin Franklin warned. Anyone who’s astute of our current moral dilemma, and the precipitous slide toward decadence, must reject the flagrant hue and cry, “Don’t over-react, history runs in cycles…it will return.” One would be forced to ignore the plight of the Roman Empire, that discovered a human god, Caesar Augustus, “divinely appointed” was a poor foundation and Rome fell. This grand experiment called a Republic is precarious and vulnerable to mischief as the Founders solemnly warned.
If one were to conduct a survey, asking, “What’s the towering moral problem of the day?” One may anticipate a wide range of responses, depending on one’s target audience. A vast majority of liberty minded Christians, those who identify as genuinely belonging to Christ, an overwhelming number would place the slaughter of the unborn near the top of their list. Serious students of our recent history would conclude that for decades we’ve battled symptoms. At a recent Natrona County GOP subcommittee meeting, the question was posed, “What’s more dangerous than ten million radical secular Leftist” After a brief silence, the speaker replied, “One million lukewarm Christians who’ve ignored their calling to be salt and light.” Conservatives are skilled at assailing secularist for their foul agendas, and relentless attacks upon First Principles. Too often we behave like Cervantes’ idealistic, chivalrous Don Quixote, jousting at windmills, while the real battle rages just beyond the tip of his spear. Unlike the former Alfonso Quijano, whose battle was mostly mental, turned errant knight, we cannot sit this one out. Our cause’s real and just. Stakes are too high to cower and retreat.
One may legitimately criticize secularist for their surreptitious job of describing our glorious Founding history as “nominally Christian, primarily secular event, and, at best, a majority Deistic movement.” That knee-jerk response, more prominently in late 1950’s, began as a faucet’s trickle, is now a torrential flood, washing away most vestiges of Biblical Christianity, from our Founder’s heritage. Sadly, as more scholars with Christian credentials abandoned the academy, secularists filled that void, and, with rare exceptions, liberals and secular elites dominated education, news outlets, social media, politics and public agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Even in mainline denominations and seminaries, liberalism jettisoned orthodox Christian doctrines years ago, denying the faith that once was the linchpin of our Republic. With 19th century unorthodox latitudinarianism gone awry, their influence continues to wane in America, as mainline denomination membership dwindles. Evangelical ranks swell, where bastions of liberalism once reigned.
Sir William Blackstone, English law scholar, argued that English common law had its roots in God’s law. His influence was immense on our Founders, such as Thomas Jefferson’s appeal to the “law of nature and nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence, a reference to Blackstone’s thought. H.L. Mencken, deservedly labeled “The American Nietzsche,” a consistent critic of religion, in an essay in 1926, “Equality Before the Law,” declared, “The debt of Christianity has always been underestimated…Long centuries before Rousseau ever heard of, or Locke or Hobbs(sic), the fundamental principle of democracy were plainly stated in the New Testament, and elaborately expound by the early fathers including St. Augustine.” Mencken could see it. Blackstone could see it. The Founders could see it. The early church fathers like Paul and Silas could see it. One who’ll honestly examine our history will see it too. “Yes!” Religious liberty is Biblical. Regrettably, many of our foot soldiers, who formerly extolled and defended absolutes in our moral realm are AWOL or dead. While we’ll need more adherents, our sieve must strain for solids, not gelatin.
In the political process, we’ll need more liberty minded citizens engaged in the 2020 general elections to elect virtuous, moral statesman who understand, like our Founders, that men corrupt institutions, not the reverse. These rare statesman must acknowledge that Biblical Christianity, and ancient Judeo/Christian edifices are the remedies for these ills, and vote in like manner. Few liberty minded conservatives venerate President Trump as a statesman. He’s raw, outspoken-but no pretentious politician. His unswerving support from Evangelicals in 2016, was reminiscent of the Moral Majority’s backlash against President Carter’s Pro-choice platform, embracing former Tinsel Town star, and California governor Ronald Reagan, who some recall, declared 1983, the “Year of the Bible.” President Trump’s the most ardent supporter for the defense of the unborn to occupy the White House, since Roe v. Wade. Mere mortals, like we. There’re no angels running for office, as Madison observed, “If men were angels no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” (Federalist Papers No. 51, p. 322)
No longer can we expend our energy and resources on “shadows,” chasing every social agenda we abhor, such as ANTIFA, LGBTQ, Rainbow Coalition, racism, feminism, political correctness, toxic masculinity, NEA, endless foreign policy debates, and elusive legal entanglements that hamstring us for decades. That doesn’t mitigate one’s legitimate sphere of expertise and influence to specific causes that uphold permanent things in the process. One must know God’s call is certain and unambiguous. Otherwise, we must go to the heart of the battle-to stem the tide of the erosion of our individual God given Biblical liberty, and the corollary unrelenting defense of the unborn-as a bulwark against the ultimate violation of their individual liberty. In that pursuit we must enlist co-belligerents, not unlike the former Moral Majority’s coalition. Our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s an eternal vigil. This isn’t a call for a theocracy either, any more than de Tocqueville understood that the union of liberty and religion must co-mingle to perpetuate Liberty.
Reinvigorating Founding Biblical principles of liberty must be our focus. To do so requires our acknowledgment that the Sovereignty of God is the basis for good government. To those who would recoil at this statement, secularist admit that whoever is sovereign in any realm, determine who governs. For decades it was palatable to their cause, until we insisted it be so in our institutions and individual liberty. Because it isn’t so actually, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be so, according to our Founding documents. True liberty emanates from the acknowledgement of God’s right to reign over our Republic, and the affairs of men. He too is the absolute source of trust and authority.
Our pursuit must be singularly focused if we’re to prevail. It’s hard to resist jabbing the “stand-up comedy team” of Pelosi & Schumer. What about that otherwise feckless duo we call Congress? We must exercise discipline. Alabama should be our standard bearer. Samuel Adams insisted it was wicked and unnatural, to allow those great fruits of liberty to languish by apathy or neglect. We’ve been too easily beguiled and distracted by peripheral issues of less gravity. Our artifice must be wiser. Let’s humble ourselves-ditch the arrogance. Join the fray for Liberty-there’s no surcease. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org