“Civil government, though ordained by God, did not come immediately from Him, but mediately through the people. Whatever form it might take, the clergy almost unanimously agreed that if it were a just government it had been founded on compact.” – Alice M. Baldwin *
In light of the chaos afoot in our land, has our governing compact been broken?
It is an interesting question to ponder. Our forefathers understood that liberty and freedom were rights given to men by their Creator. They further understood that those rights alone were insufficient to form a just government, that those governed needed to agree on a framework for how that government would operate. It is a concept with biblical roots. It is that covenant, that structure, that rule of law, which makes government possible.
From top to bottom, our society is based upon this concept – Government, Church, social club, fraternity, car club, gambling, fishing, even youth sports. It is hard to find an aspect of our country not founded on the rule of law.
Today, it seems that our compact is unraveling. Large portions of the country, including some in high office, thumb their noses at rules by which we have long lived. It has become commonplace to ignore those regulations with which we disagree. Yes, this includes immigration law, but also environmental rules, zoning ordinances, and even traffic laws.
When we no longer follow the rules, why have the rules?
If we throw out the rules, do we not also throw out the compact?
We have developed an “Alice in Wonderland” world, where those flaunting the rules are elevated to celebrity status, while those demanding compliance are belittled and demonized.
Whither do we go from here?
It is time to cool the rhetoric, calm down, and reason together. Only through cooperation, consensus, and compromise can we survive.
*I am reading a book written by Alice M. Baldwin in 1928 (Edited and republished by Joel McDurmond Ph.D. in 2014 as The New England Pulpit and the American Revolution).
In her book, Baldwin details the roots of the formation of our government. She explains how the theories of God and Government, taught from the pulpit, found their way into the thinking of our forefathers, and eventually into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Derived from both the Bible and classical literature, these theories originated in the early 1700s, and percolated in public thought for decades, before our revolution.
David L Dahl.
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