In George Washington’s farewell address, he wisely declared, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Similarly, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s description of a moral society is well taken: “We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.”
How, then, do we govern a country or state during a crisis of morality?
In his book God, Caesar, and Idols, Rick D. Boyer writes, "The old canard says, ‘You can’t legislate morality.’ The truth is you can’t avoid legislating morality. Every law says, ‘It’s not okay to do this thing’ or ‘You must do this thing.’ Every law legislates morality. Morality will be legislated. The only question is, whose morality?”
The rise of secular humanism as the de facto religion of the US government has caused an intellectual crisis, of sorts, in our understanding of and loyalty to our country. There is no neutral. Every single decision is governed both by experience and morality. As I continually tell my children, “It always goes back to the spiritual question. Always.” That fact is multiplied by the collective actions of the secular state.
Not only has there been a shift toward secular progressive humanism in our state and federal governmental institutions, but there is also an entire segment of society that is perpetually offended by the truth. The virtue signaling set would rather say the right thing than do the right thing. They lend their voice to whatever the upheaval du jour is, but rarely put their money where their mouths are. The religion of moral relativism has shifted from anything goes to anything goes except fundamental belief. In an attempt at tolerance, we have ushered in a complete intolerance of Christianity in the marketplace of ideas. The gospel of government has edged out the actual church; to equate government with God is to reject God.
The Christian life is inherently intolerant; no one can serve two masters. When we cease worshipping the creator, the human inclination is to worship the creation. All of those cute memes people post that assert, “You are enough,” “You do you,” “Follow your heart,” “Love is Love” or “Speak your truth” are different versions of the exact same expression. Your every desire is just, and your experiences are equal to and maybe even preferable to objective truth - all blatant falsehoods.
“…Fortunately, Truth stands regardless of our recognition of it," Boyer writes. "Truth is unaffected by whether I believe it or not. Truth judges me; I do not judge Truth. Eternal Truth is like gravity. You may not like it. But you can’t change it. You can pretend it doesn’t exist. But it does not change. It will break you, and it will still be here, as much the Truth as ever.”
Self-worship shifts easily to worship of government as the collective actions of individuals combined with the powerful aphrodisiac of coercion are misconstrued as a manifestation of the divine. The improper exaltation of man over God and pursuit of equality with or dominion over the creator is a tale as old as time. That tragic story has been repeated in both rule and rebellion throughout world history in Eden, Babel, Rome, Revolutionary France and basically any country that has been ensnared by socialism or communism. While America is exceptional, America is no exception. The arc of history is much like truth; we can attempt to deny it, but it will still be there - true as ever.
Increasingly, the gospel of government demands the state take on the role of both protector and provider as an intentional usurpation of familial authority. Work is discouraged; equal outcomes are demanded. Redistribution of wealth is intended to equalize pain and maximize pleasure. Property ownership is declared vice rather than virtue. Interchangeable sexes and the denial of biblical roles are demanded; any restriction on sexuality lacks merit. In other words, the values of the state are diametrically opposed to the Judeo-Christian values most of us were raised on. That is why it seems so wrong to so many Americans and why it is objectively wrong: the body politic sits on the throne reserved for the divine.
Tolerance is a virtue when combined with truth and understanding. “But ‘tolerance,’ as practiced in America today, means something else entirely," writes Boyer. "To tolerate an opposing idea now means I cannot put forth my own competing ideas and argue for their superiority. It essentially means I have no right to make moral judgments about the conduct of others. To be tolerant of an opposing view now means I have to support, endorse, and even fund positions I view to be destructive. To fail to do so means I fit in the lowest life form imaginable — the ‘intolerant.’”
Confrontation for confrontation’s sake is wrong, but tolerance without regard to truth is evil. A.W. Tozer famously said, “When men believe God, they speak boldly.” We are in need of bold men and women to interject truth into our governmental institutions. We must engage in the fight, regardless of the personal consequences, and send the idle threats of cancel culture right back to the hellish dungeons they emerged from.
Abraham Kuyper asserted, “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.”
The dogma of progressivism is not neutral. Our children are in the crosshairs, and our country is at a tipping point.
Let us speak boldly.
Stephanie Holden Smith is an experienced policy analyst, political commentator, and public speaker. Smith has worked and volunteered in Governmental Affairs in Alabama since 1997, including lobbying for a Fortune 500 company and serving as Deputy Director of Finance for the State of Alabama. She is currently the principal of Thatcher Coalition LLC. To contact Stephanie, please go to http://thatchercoalition.com. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information Commentary@1819News.com.
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