Our nation was founded on the belief that men and women are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For these rights to live on, our government was set up with a complex system of checks and balances. No one person or party can govern against the will of the people, and even the will of the people is limited by our Constitution and the Supreme Court.
But our founders also knew that in order for our society to prosper our people would need to have good values, a strong work ethic, and a belief in God. Of course, there is a freedom of religion, and there is no national “God”. Our Founding Fathers also weren’t advocating a theocracy. What they were saying is that faith and religion were important. If liberty is limited by government, then we need something else to rule us. Our government isn’t here to tell us what is right and what is wrong. Much of what is morally wrong is perfectly legal. But to preserve the civil society, we need to have some kind of rule in place – God.
It is precisely when people lose their faith in God that they start looking for salvation in other places. Some people find their God in material things; houses, cars, fortunes in offshore bank accounts. Other people find their God in themselves; fame, admiration, power. The masses will many times come to replace God with government. The world is imperfect, and God doesn’t offer solutions nearly as quickly as government does. Many times we feel as if God is ignoring us, but government… government listens to us if we elect the right people.
Our democratic system however is designed specifically to hinder progression. All those checks and balances really get in the way when we’re trying to move things along. Of course this is done on purpose. New laws shouldn’t be passed willy nilly. The government’s power to do bad is infinitely greater than its power to do good. But nevermind all of that. People want their “progress” and they want it now!
F.A. Hayek wrote in The Road to Serfdom,
Yet, agreement that planning is necessary, together with the inability of democratic assemblies to produce a plan, will evoke stronger and stronger demands that the government or some single individual should be given the powers to act on their own responsibility. The belief is becoming more and more widespread that, if things are to get done, the responsible authorities must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure.
Hayek was talking about people becoming frustrated with the slowness of the democratic process and believing that government’s powers shouldn’t be as limited as they are. In fact, some people may want to give powers to a single authority and count on that person to just “do what is best”. They are ignorant of the fact that they are demanding a dictator.
This is happening today. Cries from both sides of the aisle (although more so from the left) are telling politicians to just “do what needs to be done” without worrying whether they actually have the power to do such things. During the debates over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, people wanted the president to just issue an executive order that would raise the debt ceiling regardless of what congress says. These people are asking for one person to have all the power – a dictator, a God.
If we want liberty, we need something to govern us other than government. God is the answer. How is it that we survived so long without government passing new laws everyday? We didn’t need all of these laws before. But God has slowly been kicked to the curb, and people are crying out for government to rescue us. The security government gives us is a trade off with liberty. The security God gives us is not.
The battle with overpowering government is not just with Washington. It is a battle of good and evil; of light and darkness. If we live in a world without God, we live in darkness. It is in this darkness where totalitarianism lives. For limited government, and our liberty, to prevail, God must win in America. If God is struck from our schools, from our media, and from our everyday life we have little hope. It is a choice between God or government.