We’ve all heard this phrase repeated over and over, haven’t we? “You can’t legislate morality!“
Of course, this dictum is propounded mainly by a growing army of militant self-appointed legislators who don’t want anybody telling them what they can or can’t do. Increasingly, there is resistance to even any public mention of Judeo-Christian, yes biblical, prohibitions or guidelines meant to govern social and personal behavior. “Nobody, no government, should be able to enforce its ideas on other people! Each citizen should be able to decide for himself or herself what’s right and wrong, according to individual conscience.”
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Sounds like freedom, democracy, independence, right?
Think again. Moral law, whether codified by civil law or not, is absolutely essential to any society’s survival; if history teaches us anything, it reveals that all great governments and states have disintegrated when they became corrupted with immorality – no matter how you define immorality.
Hear again the profound words of Benjamin Franklin, no hothouse plant or religious fanatic himself: “Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more vicious and corrupt a society becomes – the more it has need of masters.”
Look around. Has our society become, on virtually every level, more vicious and corrupt? Is drug traffic pandemic in America? Are there 12 to 14 million trespassers permeating our population and illegally appropriating tax benefits as well as paychecks? Has violence swept through our streets and schools almost unchecked? Have we sacrificed over 40 million babies since 1973 on the altar of expediency? Are virulent strains of racism, anti-Semitism and atheism infecting the thinking of millions?
How did all this happen in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?
My able assistant Janet, in a contemplative moment just a day or so after the California gay marriage decision, asked me: “Isn’t it ironic? People say you can’t legislate morality – but aren’t they doing that very thing right now, in our courts instead of our legislature?” I was caught up short, realizing an obvious truth: From our founding days, there was a universal acceptance of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, biblical precepts concerning moral behavior.
The framers of the Constitution, though not every one a dedicated churchgoer, all subscribed to those basic tenets – and held them suitable as the understood parameters of the new republic.
They didn’t think to make any laws about homosexual behavior; it was not an issue, already forbidden by God. They didn’t decree that marriage should only be understood as a covenant between one man and one woman; anything else was unimaginable. Abortion? Illegal immigration? Drugs? Institutionalized sex “education” for kids? Theories about man evolving by cosmic accident forced into children’s minds, against parents’ wishes? No, the moral climate, the intellectual context, was firmly established on the written pronouncements of the Creator who endows us all with equality and liberty and life itself.
Even after the First Amendment was codified, state constitutions required an elected official to affirm his belief in God as part of his oath of office! Imagine the outcry if any state required that today!
So, now – since revisionists, atheists and left-leaning pressure groups have succeeded in browbeating politicians and even likeminded jurists into discrediting God’s commandments – we’re forced to come up with new, more “progressive” laws, to legislate a morality (or lack of it) of our own!
And we’re finding, to growing dismay, we’re not up to the job! We no sooner are afflicted with one judicial fiat, decreeing that same-sex unions should be recognized as “marriage,” then we are told in other court decisions that our grade school children must be taught to appreciate transgender and bisexual proclivity as well – and that if a young kid “identifies” himself as female, he must be permitted to use the girls’ restroom at school, and even come to school in a dress!
Well, whadaya know? This didn’t take God by surprise. In the Book of Romans, written 2,000 years ago, our Creator foresaw all of this – and described it in the past tense, as if it had already happened. It reads like a Time magazine editorial, or even a New York Times description of where we are right now:
But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires.
Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men – and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless and have no mercy.
They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” Romans 1:18-32
Abandoning God’s laws makes it necessary to legislate morality for ourselves. On our own. And on our own is not a good place to be.