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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well, I Declare!

With a New Year upon us, I thought there was no better time to address the course of our nation than when we are looking at a fresh start each New Year provides for us.

Every month I receive a publication, provided free, entitled, Imprimis, (Latin: in the first place) from Hillsdale College located in Hillsdale, Michigan. The slogan for the school reads, “Pursuing Truth – Defending Liberty since 1844.” Each publication prints one article, usually an extrapolation from a speech given at the school by a guest lecturer. Make no mistake – this is a conservative school, thus a conservative publication. The December issue has the school’s president, Larry P. Arnn, addressing the concern many have today in the denigration and disdainful dismissal of the Constitution of the United States as antiquated and out-of-date.

Within the article, I was struck once again by the opening words of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Please note if you will, the very clear reference by the founders of our nation to the basic assertion that there is a God, and God’s laws ought to prevail in all the affairs of men. This is the foundation upon which the founding fathers of our nation then crafted the entire Declaration and Constitution. Neither of those documents makes sense without the solid belief in a God who is supreme over man.

Here’s why this is important: First, if we accept the premise that there are laws in nature, called Natural Law (A law or body of laws that derives from nature and is believed to be binding upon human actions apart from or in conjunction with laws established by human authority), then it can be safely assumed that these laws were instituted by a God who is responsible for establishing these laws. The Britannica says Natural Law is “in jurisprudence and political philosophy, a system of right or justice common to all humankind and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society, or positive law. The concept can be traced to Aristotle, who held that what was ‘just by nature’ was not always the same as what was ‘just by law.’"

Second, following this line of thinking in what is called deductive reasoning, you would have to draw the conclusion that since God created natural laws for the physical world, then he must have also created laws for the spiritual world. It is in these laws that God has established the value of humankind. It is intentionally designed for us to be protected from one another.

For instance, when you look at the divine laws established by God, the Ten Commandments are the bedrock for all other divine (or spiritual) laws which follow. Let’s suppose you had neighbors living all around you. If you knew that they all believed in and lived by the Ten Commandments, you could leave your house unlocked, your garage door open, and the keys in your car. However, it only takes one person as your neighbor who does not adhere to the Ten Commandments for you to then change the way you look after your property.

There are still some of us who remember not having to lock our doors. We could leave our bikes outside. The keys to the car were perfectly safe sitting in the ignition. Some folks are still around who remember when cars didn’t have locks and didn’t require keys for the ignition. Just step on the pedal located on the floorboard and Vroooom! Off you go. Have you ever asked yourself why that was?

In the establishment of our nation, the vast majority of the people were God fearing. That is, they believed in the Laws of Nature as being provided by a God who ultimately holds each one of us accountable for our actions.

That’s something to ponder as we start 2010. More on this next week.

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