That’s the question for today. The simplistic answer is yes; however, the correct answer is no. If we think we are just a nation of laws we are no different than the Nazi government of the 1930’s & 40’s or Communism or for that matter many Islamic regimes today which are guided by laws called Sharia. All of these anti-American forms of government can clan make the same exact claim, that they are a “nation of laws”. So what is different about American from these other forms of government? Or is there any difference?
The founders knew that if they set forth a new government, where laws were the foundation, America would quickly become a totalitarian state. Instead they believed in a higher power. The opening paragraph to the Declaration of Independence gives us a great insight into what the founders thought should be the foundation for our laws:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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.”
The bold section is my emphasis. The justification the founders had for revolting from the British Empire is found in the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”. The higher power, the moral authority, the foundation of American laws and society is to be found in the Jehovah, the author of the Bible. Their justification was not because they were angry, it was because they believe King George and Co., had violated their basic rights. And this idea came from the moral authority, not themselves. 51 of the 55 of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention were born again, evangelical Christians (70% of those being Calvinists/Reformed Theology thinkers). That’s an amazing 93%!
We are not just a nation of laws. We are a nation of values, and those values about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness come from God almighty. We are not just a nation of laws; we are a representative republic. We are not just a nation of laws but a people who value liberty, personal responsibility, hard work, charity, and limited government. We get these ideas, not from ourselves, but by understanding the way God has said things are and in response our founder’s wisely set in motion this great nation.
A federal government that tells us what type of fuel we must use, what type of energy is good or bad, what education for our children should look like, how much water must be used for this purpose or that, how to define marriage,... is not a government that represents the hard working and moral people of this nation. It reflects a corrupt and powerful elite group of legislatures and bureaucrats in Washington. Time to throw them out. Let’s make this easy: those who have been in the US House longer than 8 years and in the US Senate 12 must now vacate their seats. If we did that one thing, Washington would quickly look much, much different, and begin to reflect the values of our founder’s and the people for whom the federal government is to serve.