The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte famously said that the people must have a religion, and the government must control it. France rid itself of the Emperor, courtesy of the Brits, Prussians and some others. Napoleon’s view of religion however, survived after him. Though it receives little attention now, that view was a staple of governance and remains such in Europe today, transmitted to the Americas by Spain and Portugal everywhere south of the Rio Grande.
But in the United States, the Founders valued an independent church to counter tyrannical government; they founded a nation for a Christian people with a non-sectarian government. Not, you notice, a non-believing government; the Congress has opened every session with a prayer since its inception and that has not changed in all those years.
But American society has changed; we inhabit a post-Christian era now. The American government is recognizing that by attacking Christianity, using Catholics, the largest such church, as a primary target. The first goal seems to be the removal of the Church’s tax preferences. The present attack is based on forcing the church and its members to follow laws that directly counter core beliefs, such as the Obamacare abortion/birth control mandate and gay marriage demands for Catholic military chaplains. Ironically, this is more a Left phenomenon in an era when Catholics have largely supported the Left and a new Pope still does. “Put not thy trust,” the Scripture warns, “in Princes.” Citizens and even Popes, may do well to remember it.
It’s not only America; Christianity is under world-wide attack, especially in Moslem lands. In many of those, Christians are dying; in America, they are merely increasingly disregarded. But the wider cost of that is ignored. America’s economic system has rested upon the Christian ethical system, that has been an integral component of the American economic miracle. As that is relinquished, the uniquely ethical economies of the post-Reformation German-English peoples are receding toward the world’s historical average corruption level, taking the extraordinary productivity of the American economy with it.
It is inarguable that abandonment of the God-given and therefore, unalienable rights identified in the Declaration of Independence leaves only government as a source of rights. And when that is the case, one’s rights are the gifts of politicians. What lasting structure can be built upon such as that? Not much, seems to us.
Tossing, as we have done, the glue that cemented us into a common culture and unified society has divided us into divergent segments headed in different directions, recalling another Scriptural comment: “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” Nobody has refuted that one, either, so far as we k now…
Whether or not one adheres to a church, the Christian churches have been the framework of the nation. Now they have been abandoned, what will replace that framework that is not itself merely the desires of men seeking power? the future of the United States will be defined by the answer to that question; do you know what that will be? Our children’s and grandchildren’s lives will be defined by it…