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  • Foundations of Truth

Without a Strong Constitution, Democracies Descend into Tyranny

Christians are familiar with Proverbs 29-18. The King James version reads, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." The English Standard Version is probably closer to the Hebrew text: "Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law."

Not all nations are founded on a prophetic vision, but the United States of America was. We neglect that vision to our peril.

No doubt Benjamin Franklin spoke for many of the founding generation when he replied to a question posed by a Philadelphia citizen. He was asked, "Doctor Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?" He replied, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it!"

Has the Founders' vision of ordered liberty and the Rule of Law been nourished and sustained by each new generation? Yes, but not without dissent, some turmoil and even bloodshed.

Today, we cannot escape the gravity of our present crisis of constitutional legitimacy:

A wide swath of our political culture, including some of our most powerful institutions -- in higher education, entertainment, technology, corporate governance, and the mass media -- today have a radically different vision from our nation's founders and are increasingly committed to pure majority rule not restrained by the the anchor needed to weather severe storms, the Bill of Rights.

Our constitutional republic was never conceived as an experiment in unrestraned majority rule. Yet today, the sensible institutions created by our Founders' providential vision are being increasingly abandoned. Not only is freedom of speech being widely rejected, but so is the cornerstone of American liberty, freedom of religion.

The new authoritarians arrogantly call themselves "Progressives." They forget that the Constitution of 1787 was "ordained and established" by We the People ONLY AFTER ten Amendments were adopted, Amendments we call the Bill of Rights. Without the restraints on government in the Bill of Rights, we are left with something close to government by pure majorty rule. Our Founders knew that form of government by the word, tyranny.

The uniquely American vision of good government is a republic with personal freedoms guaranteed as an integral part of the fabric of government. That vision and that inheritance must be trasmitted to future generations. An independent judiciary, freedm of religion, freedolm of speech, the right to keep and bear arms, and the freedom of assembly -- those are features not found in a pure democracy.

How can the vision which inspired the American Constitutuional Republic be continued and strengthened? A starting place is the taste of the bitter fruit awaiting the purveyors of new "alternative social constructs."

Christians have an obligation to shine the light of truth on perverted ideologies which promise a rosy utopia but instead deliver only a pervasive misery. We must not accept or tolerate the loss of cherished liberties won by the "blood, sweat and tears" of ten generations.

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