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With what is arguably the most important election to occur in most of our lifetimes on the horizon, please forgive me if it seems I am going back and plowing up the same ground, but recently I talked about “yellow lines” and what that means in our everyday lives. I received many emails regarding a particular word I used in that commentary, sovereignty.
Although the Founding Fathers never used that word per se, the entire concept of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is based on the notion of human sovereignty. When the founders said man is “… endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” it was evident that they were alluding to the idea that human beings are authorized by a Creator to make, and be responsible for, their own decisions.
It is critical that we understand the concept on which the founders based their positions in the Declaration and the Constitution. Just as we refer to the United States as a “sovereign” nation, we must understand that, using the same rationale, every person is a “sovereign” being.
The founders saw God, the Creator, as the ultimate Sovereign and mankind “made in His image and His likeness” as beings who operated in a state of individual “sovereignty” (independent, autonomous, self-governing, self-determining, nonaligned, free). They were to be held accountable for their actions, individually and collectively.
The right of individuals to cast a free, unencumbered vote is predicated upon the concept of man as a free moral and, therefore, responsible agent – a definition that is applicable only to and by those who ascribe to creationism. Evolutionists, of course, hold that man is subservient to his animalistic urges, is merely a slave to his nature, and must, therefore, impute the power to control his behavior to someone “smarter” than himself (i.e., the government).
A sovereign, which man is, has the right to be responsible for and enjoy the benefits of, or suffer the consequences of, his freely made decisions. Since the assumption was that all the voting individuals would be persons who were aware of the issues and willing to accept the consequences (individually and collectively) of their actions, their votes, and subsequently their government, would reflect “the will of the people.”
It was their considered opinion that an enlightened populace – thus free (unbiased) press and free speech – would send individuals to the seat of government who would represent their positions and enact legislation that reflected the will of an involved, informed, participative majority: a representative republic. While there would be different levels of achievement and skills among them, overall, the entire population would benefit (or suffer) as a result of their corporate decisions.
Some years after I finished junior college, I got a chance to ride the Autobahn, the world-famous no-speed-limit highway in Germany. While a passenger, I was really eager to get behind the wheel, open up the Mercedes we were riding in and drive that concrete ribbon myself. I felt qualified, because after the Air Force I had gone to college on the GI Bill but supported my family by working nights and weekends as a test driver for a major tire company. I also drew extra pay for high-speed tire testing (for police pursuit) and racked up a lot of miles on the Texas track at well over 100 miles per hour.
I wanted to taste the freedom of “zoom-zoom” again. You see, you can drive as fast as you want on the Audubon. There are three lanes; the left lane is unlimited, and if your car doesn’t top 110-120 miles per hour, you have no business in that lane; the middle lane is for those driving up to a hundred miles per hour; the right lane is the “slow lane” for people only doing around 65 to 85 miles per hour. Point being, the Autobahn is available to accommodate everyone from the slow driver to the speed demon. If one wants to admire the beautiful countryside and picturesque villages, take the back roads. Everyone has options and all will benefit, or suffer, depending on the individual’s adherence to, or refusal to abide by, established customs or laws. Imagine the ensuing chaos of 45 miles per hour vehicles in the 120 miles per hour lane, or a 120 miles per hour driver in the 75 miles per hour lane, or an 85 to 100 miles per hour vehicle tearing down country roads and through sleepy villages.
So what has that to do with us? The truth is, the Creator has designed all of us to be self-governing individuals with the freedom and responsibility to make our own choices and determine our own destinies. I am convinced that this is one of the primary reasons America, despite some missteps and relatively few serious social problems, has been such a wondrous and successful experiment in human behavior. I am persuaded the framers of the Constitution had a divine understanding of the biblical concept of the sovereignty of humans – our God-given right to be free and self-directed.
Unfortunately, in recent decades we have seen a chipping away at the idea of individual responsibility and the adherence to a national moral code. As a result, the quality of American life and the scope of American greatness is rapidly declining. We now have “entitlements” to healthy, able-bodied citizens, protection extended to social predators, pornographers, abortion mills, same-sex marriages and other licentious behavior. Latitude is now granted, not to liberty but to license.
What’s next? Polygamy? After all, shouldn’t government (taxpayers) be responsible for a man’s 12-24 kids by 10-12 wives if he can’t feed them himself? Bestiality? Why not? Why shouldn’t sex with animals be a constitutionally protected right? (Didn’t I read somewhere that women have left millions of dollars to pets? True love?)
The good news/bad news is, in our constitutionally mandated republic, “We the People” are responsible for our own destinies. Isn’t that the essence of liberty? Isn’t that the way it should be for a free people? Isn’t that why America is (thus far) arguably the greatest country in existence today? Why are people lined up (in some cases for years) to get in, but few are lined up to get out?
I think there is a clear-cut underlying reason, perhaps best stated by the second president of the United States, John Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The alternative to self government is more government.