Nation’s ideals built upon God’s laws
By Heather Martin
I hear a lot of talk about the disunity of the American people.
The election cycle we just went through, and the reaction to the outcome, just keeps sending that point home.
But we should not despair. I see signs that many Americans are returning to our foundational ideals. These powerful and liberating ideas are being revived, and they are good for individual Americans and the republic of the United States.
THE REVIVAL OF NATURAL LAW
“Natural Law” is the great gem of Western civilization, and a specific interpretation of it through the lens of Christianity is the beating heart of the republic of the United States.
Where do humanity’s rights and freedoms come from, according to the Founding Fathers? It’s written right in the beginning of the Declaration of Independence: “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”
The American revolutionaries were appealing to the Natural Law and the Law Giver. The Natural Law gives freedom, individual rights and responsibilities, and punishment for transgression of the law. Natural Law applies equally to everyone, and governments are created to protect the rights and the freedom granted by the Natural Law Giver.
When governments cease to do this, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
God grants rights, responsibilities, and freedom to individuals; people create governments to protect them. This is where we get the idea of “limited government.” We don’t want the government to do things for us; we want the government to make a space for us to do things for ourselves.
Has the United States completely upheld the tenets of the Natural Law? Sadly, no. Has any civilization? Any individual? No. But it is our gold standard.
Natural Law nurtures creativity and independence. It emphasizes the incredible gift and power that individuals have over their own lives. That is why inventors and entrepreneurs flock to America. People with ideas and vision come here because people with aspirations, goals and dreams want to come to the place where they can make them a reality.
The revival of interest in Natural Law is the freeing of the American mind, and the revival of the American spirit. Want all ships to rise with the tide? This is the way.
THE REVIVAL OF NATIONALISM
Many people think nationalism is a dangerous symptom of oncoming tyranny, but nationalism is not the seed that must blossom into war, genocide, or xenophobia. Nationalism, balanced by Natural Law, is necessary for the perpetuation of the United States of America.
In fact, nationalism is necessary to create and maintain any country. Part of Natural Law is the Imago Dei, which says that humans are made in the “image of God.” Our differences are part of the sacred gift of being human; however, we are not the same. We are equal in worth, but not in attributes, attitudes, thoughts and abilities.
People who share values create nations and governments to preserve them, because, as Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
Governments will not exist for long if they do not represent the people who have given them legitimate power, unless they resort to tyranny and oppression.
A nationalist who uses Natural Law as a guide ensures the future of his country, with no need of dehumanizing those outside it. We must make choices that preserve our civilization. To ensure the perpetuation of representative government, we must breed and educate citizens who uphold our Constitution and understand the things that preserve and destroy our republic.
THE REVIVAL OF PROPERTY RIGHTS
Marxism, collectivism, wealth redistribution – whatever you want to call it, the idealized notion of state control of property has seduced even many Americans.
But when we embrace Natural Law and take advantage of the divine gift of American citizenship, private ownership sounds better and better.
John Locke, in the fifth chapter of ‘The Second Treatise On Civil Government,’ writes that God gave the Earth to mankind in common. The earth produces things that sustain the life of a man, but he must remove these things from nature to use them.
The action of the man physically removing the object is “labor.” The man’s labor attaches his ownership to the object.
Work literally creates private ownership. Labor creates value.
We do not live in a hunter-gatherer society, and our wealth is not measured in stored provisions, but in money. The principle still applies. What right does anyone have to separate people from their property, when the individual attached it to himself through his labor?
Increasingly, Americans are realizing they would rather be master of their property, rather than turning it over to a wasteful and capricious government only to have it apportioned out by political expedience.
We cannot be truly free if the fruits of our labor are not ours to apportion as we see fit.
These and other founding principles are central to our survival as a nation. And they are making a comeback – notably in much-maligned “new media”: podcasts, the internet and social media. These new-style patriots talk about freedom of speech, upholding the Second Amendment, and entrepreneurship.
The new American rebel is the same as the old: an America-loving individual who speaks up for our founding principles. It’s an uphill battle, but one we must wage.
The freedom we have in America is precious. Cherish it.
Heather Martin is founder of the Federalist Club of Columbia County, Ga.
Our founding principles are what bind the nation — yet, they have fallen out of fashion in many circles. Our founding documents were written centuries ago, critics say — and the Founders aren’t in vogue.
Our schools, elected leaders and media need to change the current fashion – by rising above political correctness and recognizing the uplifting and universal principles this nation was founded upon. They include:
• Individual Liberty
• Federalism (the delegation of limited powers to the federal government “while the states and the people retain those powers not delegated.”)
• Limited Government (“The philosophy that the national government has only those powers given to it in the Constitution.”)
• Representative Government (A republican system where the people select representatives to represent their interests as they make and carry out laws.”)
• Private Property (“A system where individuals have the right to obtain and control possessions, as well as the fruits of their own labor.”)
• “All Men Are Created Equal” (“The understanding that there is no natural class of rulers among people, and that all are born with the same unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”)
• Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances (A system of distinct powers to prevent an accumulation of power in one branch, and in order to ensure each branch can stop the others from growing too powerful.”)