Friday, March 01, 2013

Faith And Freedom--Inseparable In Our Democracy

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"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common except one word."

John Q. Adams, our 5th President, recognized the indissoluble bond between the principles of Christianity and the principles of American government.

He wasn't the only one to notice.

Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian also noticed when he toured America about 50 years after our Constitution was drafted and adopted.

In his classic book "Democracy in America" he noted, "The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other."

Faith and Freedom.

We were a nation bursting with energy and strength---fueled by faith---faith in God, in ourselves, and in our country's exceptionalism.

We held a faith in God who was recognized by our Founders to have played a divine role in our founding.

De Tocqueville took these discoveries home to France. He shared them. They chose a very different path.

They chose, rather, to pursue the path of "Equality of Conditions."

De Toqueville was not a religious person, but he observed: "It is religion that gave birth to the Anglo-American societies: one must never forget this. In the United States religion is therefore intermingled with all the national habits and all sentiments to which this country gives birth."

De Tocqueville felt there were only 2 things that could erode the strength of America.

And it comes down to a single word shared by democracy and socialism.

The word is "Equality."

1. "Equality of conditions."

He said such equality "makes men conceive a sort of instinctive incredulity about the supernatural and a very high and often much exaggerated idea of human reason."

Patrick Henry said it a different way. "When people forget God, tyrants forge their chains."

2. "Democracy Favors the taste for material enjoyments."

"This taste," he said, "if it becomes excessive, soon disposes men to believe that all is nothing but matter; and materialism in its turn serves to carry them toward these enjoyments with an insane ardor." Or passion.

And he gave the antidote for this destructive passion: He said, "It is religion, for it is a general, simple, and practical means of teaching men the immorality of the soul---a guard against materialism and a protection against inflated human reason."

Scripture says it a different way:

"Lean not to your own understanding, acknowledge God in all your ways and He will direct your path."


"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you."

President George Washington, in his farewell address said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness."

There are those among us today who work to "subvert those pillars."

And a perverted concept of "Equality" is at the heart of the subversion.

De Tocqueville said, "Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it."

"Democracy attaches all possible value to each man. Socialism makes each man a mere agent. A mere number."

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common, except one word."


"But notice the difference."

"While democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Thomas Jefferson said, "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

In our prosperity, we have become apathetic. In our apathy, we are becoming dependent. In our dependency we will become enslaved.

I agree with President Washington. Those who work to remove religion and morality from our culture are subverting the pillars and cannot claim patriotism.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.