On a blog I follow "American Creation", there has been a discussion on whether America is a Christian nation, or not. There are various opinions, but one that most agree upon, is that our Founding Fathers were "theistic rationalists". They did not believe necessarily in the Trinity, as they were 'Unitarian".
Our Founders belief in "order" was what inspired them to "create" our form of government. They assumed by the witness of history that men were "self seeking", so they set up a balance and separation of powers. No person was uncorruptable, so no person should have absolute rule. We were not to be ruled by kings, dictators, or tyrants. We believe in liberty for religion and individual conscience.
Although we were a nation whose diversity was maintained under the "rule of law", we have become a people that has no value of the "collective". Because America allows such freedom, we have become a nation that is about freedom or liberty more than life.
Why would we loose what our nation fought and died for in the past? The right for the individual to live?
Today's medical miracles and scientific discoveries have made life what it could never be in the past. We live longer and more comfortable lives, and some of us think that this is the pursuit of life, quantity and quality.
Does an individual have the right to decide how, when and where he will die? The religious believe that all life is a gift from God and that to do damage to life is negating God, which is the ultimate unpardonable sin. Others seem to allow individuals to decide their conscience concerning these issues. If there are diverse views, then what is the damage to our culture? Religious freedom can still be upheld, even if there are some that believe in euthanasia, chosen by the individual.
Many are concerned with universal healthcare. Everyone is promised an entitlement to bring a healthier life, but what really does it do, but limit all of us in choice? We cannot have it both ways, either we will hold to individual liberty, or we will commit to collective "good". And "collective good" is a positive view of the law, not the limiting one.
While I agree that we have gotten overly independent as to our responsiblities and obligations in our families, and our communities, we must not give up our understanding of being a "free people", where no "elite" decides our liberties. We will cease to be a "free people", when the "elites" determine and decide for us, what we should believe, and how we are to behave.
Limited government was to be upheld so that government would not intrude upon the individual, his family and his possessions. (The supposed criminal has to have his rights "read" to him, before the police officier takes him into custody. He is innocent until proven guilty.) This is a right that is to be protected, otherwise, we will live by a tribal mentality that preys upon others for the 'common good", as determined by these "elites", whether religious or academic.
Many "elites" make fun of those who like to have the right to their guns, a right granted in the Constitution. But, while I may not value that right in the city, is it something that should be decided for the average "joe" in the Midwest? This is why we have a representative Republic, because we believe that our representatives will represent our values when they meet to defend our liberties and what that means in legislation. We must not give up that diversity, otherwise we will be doomed to be a "totaltalarian Religious Regime, or a Secularized State".
This battle becomes a fine balance between religious freedom and moral order. Moeal order is established by the "powers that be" in the laws of our land. We cannot give up the value of our country's "rule of law' without giving up one of the basic values that protect all of us, and that included the individuals own right to protect and defend himself from tyranny (whether religious or political).
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