This weekend I’m heading for Boiling Springs, S.C., to join one of the many TEA party events that will be taking place around the country July 4.
I received inquiries and interest from people involved in several of the events that are taking place; so why Boiling Springs?
Because organizers there did not shy try to discourage me from presenting what I believe to be the true and essential message about the crisis the United States now faces. I believe it’s a crisis that goes beyond Obama and his determination to drive America over the cliff of socialist self-destruction. It goes beyond the willingness of self-serving elites to plunge generations of Americans into enslaving national debt that will hollow out both our economic strength and our liberty. I cannot talk about the crisis that grips us today without reference to the collapse of moral principle and national character that lies at the root of it.
The vote that severed colonial America’s ties to Great Britain occurred on July 2, the day the Continental Congress adopted Richard Henry Lee’s resolution that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” On July 4, therefore, we do not commemorate that fact of our nation’s Independence but the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the document in which Congress set forth the principles, facts and circumstances that justified an action everyone understood to be an irrevocable commitment to war with the British.
Though grievances involving economic interests were partly responsible for the anger and resentment that fueled the push toward rebellion, the Declaration focused rather on the moral principles of right and justice as the basis for a decision that could only be sustained by force of arms. They knew better than to pretend that material damage can make sense of a decision that would probably result in the destruction of their material goods, and great loss of physical life.
The moral principles they articulated, beginning with the self-evident truths of God-ordained human equality and natural rights, have been the basis for just about every advance in self-government and human dignity achieved in the course of America’s history.
Unfortunately, while pretending to care deeply for the plight of oppressed and unjustly abused humanity, the elites of our day are actually implementing an agenda that explicitly rejects the moral premises set forth in the Declaration. The premise of moral equality that requires that every human life be treated with equal respect has given way to a specious pursuit of material equality, though it require the sacrifice of millions of innocent lives along the way. The promotion of the so-called right to child murder prepares people to accept this calculus of death, which ultimately has Obama describing a system of government-controlled health care in which elderly people will be neglected and ultimately discarded on account of their physical frailty, rather than loved and respected for the real though intangible treasure of their spirit and moral character.
Things have come so far that efforts to drive the moral perspective from our political discussions now extend across the divide that supposedly separates the Republican and Democratic parties. I was sad to learn that many of the people who expressed discomfort with the moral tenor of the message I feel obliged to deliver about the current crisis of our republic are Republicans, and purported conservatives. They apparently believe that any focus on the moral priorities will interfere with prospects for making political gains against the Obama faction.
I thank God that the people responsible for America’s bid for independence didn’t share this obtuse indifference or hostility toward the moral perspective. Thanks to their wisdom, ideas of justice and moral right kept a place throughout America’s history. They provided a vital counterweight to the temptations of greed and ambition arising from the prospects of enormous wealth and power so often encountered as the New World yielded up its natural riches to the ingenuity of advancing science and technology.
Where sin abounds, there does grace more abound, the apostle tells us. I believe the moral principles of the American Declaration of Independence were the result of just such Providential grace. It’s a shame that even many of those who today profess to be concerned about the precipitous moral decline of our nation, and who claim to understand its connection to the economic and political crisis we face, seem to have so little faith in the provision of common sense and spiritual discernment that God continues to make for us.
Faith would lead them to try the hearts of our people on every occasion, offering the perspective of moral principle whatever the pundits and political consultants say about its unpopularity. Like us, the American founders lived during a time when supposedly worldly-wise thinkers developed philosophies that rejected God and moral ideas in favor of reliance on purely material passion and self-interest. Yet they invited the nation to revere and celebrate the moral truths that justified their claim to freedom. If we mean for liberty to survive the crisis of our day, shouldn’t we do likewise?