Freedom is always the answer to a society’s preservation. The foundation upon which one builds that freedom is most essential.
The United States Constitution grants two provisions: the freedom of religious expression, and a means by which to defend it. The establishment of our liberties is based on the adoption of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which can be summed up by the two commandments that Jesus asserts: love God with your whole being, and love your neighbor. On these two, in both the political and religious spheres, hangs the law that allows for the greatest expression of liberty.
Those who sacrificed for America’s independence from Great Britain were denied the rights that are still denied to many in other countries today. The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” One’s freedom to express every idea in a civilized way is a beautiful permission.
Such a law given to the individual needs self-defense. The 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” A right not worth defending is in itself worthless.
The Founding Fathers understood what was stolen from them, and would not wish that upon another human being. King George III violated his citizens: he stole their profits, stifled their petitions, and nullified their security. How does one defend itself from a government that continues to violate God-given liberty? If a government restricts a citizen’s right to defend themselves to a level that is easily overcome, a citizen’s freedom to petition the government is no longer tenable. America’s armed opposition to Great Britain was inevitable.
King George III confiscated arms in 1774. Joseph Stalin confiscated guns in 1929. Mao Tse-Tung confiscated guns in 1935. Adolf Hitler confiscated privately owned guns in 1938. Each tyrant either held a twisted or non-existent acknowledgement of God.To assume that any other government, including the United States, would be invulnerable to the same outworking of tyranny is a dangerously naïve miscalculation.
The Founding Fathers chose the Judeo-Christian viewpoint as a foundation for the Constitution even though their individual belief systems were different. Jesus commands the adherence to an absolutely moral God in identity, character, deed, and knowledge. Every aspect of one’s life is to be a testimony of one’s relationship with God. To impede anyone’s observance would have negative social effects. Why? When a government enacts laws to oppose a moral absolute, social stability begins to fail.
Jesus went on to command “…love your neighbor, as you love yourself.” This is a tall order. One’s enjoyment of liberty as well as its protection is to extend past the family unit, and onto one’s neighbor. The Judeo-Christian God is not satisfied solely in being worshiped; the lives He says He has created must also be given due and equal security. If the protection of a right is extended to one while denied to another, the system ceases to be just.
The two commandments Jesus gives are an expansion of the 1st commandant God gives to Moses and the children of Israel. God’s first commandment states, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” This is crucial to understand. The Judeo-Christian God is one who delivers out of bondage. Therefore, the exploitation of man is a direct offence against God.
Political philosopher John Locke stated, “The end [result] of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” A law is not made to limit man, but it is enacted in order to free man from violating himself and others.
Liberty is a mutually beneficial agreement between the law giver, the law follower, and between the law followers. Once justice is violated for one, it is violated for all. Pastor Martin Niemöller, in Nazi Germany, wrote, “…Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
It is impossible to truly love what one is unwilling to defend.
By: Rosemary Dewar