by Chuck Norris
Cursing, spitting, shoving, vandalism and death threats are pervading the political landscape. But who will relieve America of its political indigestion and anger?
I’ve seen a dozen U.S. presidents during my lifetime, but rarely have I seen the type of frustration and disdain being shown by many Americans in the first year of this presidency. And rather than seek to simmer that national heat, the president himself continues to taunt, demonize and socially quarantine opposition.
Why are Americans so frustrated? Not merely because of petty partisan politics. And not even solely because of the ginormous health-care bill that will costs taxpayers trillions. I believe the majority are disappointed with Washington because they voted for change, but are getting more of the same: more big government, more bureaucratic bullying, more overreaching federal intrusion and control, more pet projects, more taxes, more national debt, etc.
What’s so disheartening about America’s present political environment is that those in Washington are truly convinced that more and bigger government is America’s primary solution for recovery, future growth and security. President Obama even declared early in his presidency that “only government” is our savior.
Our founders had a far better solution than government. And it’s probably a good time, during this peak of citizens’ frustration (and also being Christendom’s Holy Week), to remind Americans that, though our founders initiated our government, they didn’t expect it to usher in any form of utopia. As proud as they were about their republic, their hope was not in government, but in God. For what? Most of the things that people today often look to government for: life, liberty, happiness, salvation, decency, civility, morality, honesty, restraint, equity of power and future hope, to name a few. Tragically, government has usurped God’s role in our republic and Americans’ lives.
The best tea-party signs ever — compiled in a striking book with foreword by Chuck Norris: “Don’t Tread on US! Signs of a 21st Century Political Awakening”
David Kupelian, in his new insightful treatise on what truly lurks behind the troubles in government and America, “How Evil Works,” notes that we’ve been “seduced” to believe that “‘the self-evident truths’ the founders relied upon are just outdated and dangerous myths.” “No wonder,” Kupelian says, “millions of Americans have gradually been demoralized into depending upon government to solve all of their problems, fueling today’s uncontrolled, cancer-like growth in government.”
But if our government and even public schools won’t remind Americans of our godly heritage (and hence the way out of this national mess), who will? The answer: we patriots. The least we can do is to remember and recall to others the Creator’s place in our republic, in hope of reawakening just one more American, especially during this Easter week.
It is no coincidence that the Declaration of Independence begins with a spiritual emphasis:
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 – that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.
For America’s founders, God and government were intricately linked. As Thomas Paine echoed one year earlier, in 1775, “Spiritual freedom is the root of political freedom. … As the union between spiritual freedom and political liberty seems nearly inseparable, it is our duty to defend both” (“Thoughts on Defensive War”).
For even the framers of our Constitution, which is often hailed by critics as godless, God was behind its monumental words. James Madison spoke for most, when he said, “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution” (“Federalist No. 37″).
To our founders, God was the source of our human rights, which put limits on government power. Most of all, God was (and should be) the ultimate agent for national renewal. We are dreaming if we think we can correct the ills in ourselves, our government or our society without His aid.
Ben Franklin was particularly eloquent on this very point, as he addressed those who attended the Constitutional Convention:
In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us, who were engaged in the struggle, must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, That God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? (“Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin,” p. 389)
Those are the questions not only every politician must answer, but every American, who is trying to resurrect a broken life, marriage, family, home or country: “And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? … And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”
If Franklin, a presumed deist, could believe that “God governs in the affairs of men,” it is certain that all or nearly all of the Founding Fathers did as well. That belief shaped our country, it is part of our heritage, and I do not believe that we can neglect or repudiate that belief – that we are responsible to God – without endangering our future. As Franklin declared, the American empire cannot rise or resurrect without his aid. That is also why an entire chapter in my new paperback expanded version of “Black Belt Patriotism” is devoted to the role God played in the founding of our republic and must play in America’s reawakening.
Friends, I am a patriot and an optimist at heart. I, as with many of you, believe that we can become a great nation again, known more for who we are than what we have. I believe in the resurrection of America. But that’s not going to happen by traveling down the same road we’ve been on.
If America has lost its way, its heart, its moral compass, the answer is to return to the old path, the path followed by our founders who put God first, trusting in Him – not big government – to be our salvation. In fact, the most important action you and I can take is to do that in our own lives: to put God first and raise up a new generation of decent, law-abiding, people-loving and God-fearing citizens.
That is why John Witherspoon, a founder and signer of the Declaration of Independence, urged Americans: “He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who set himself with the greatest firmness to bear down on profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country.”
When human government seems lost and without hope, let us not only remember that we the people have the power to make changes in government, but, mostly, that our hope is ultimately not in men or government. It is in God and his future government, upon whose throne will be a crucified and risen Messiah, and about whom the prophecy was given: “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (Isaiah 9:7).
No wonder the term gospel means “good news.”