Ideas for decision making have one of two origins—either materialistic and mortal or based upon the reality of everlasting truth, according to the design of Creation’s God. From the beginning, Americans reached beyond the failed practices of man to immortal values that make stability, liberty and prosperity possible. Judeo-Christian principles have been the foundation for public dialogue and government policy. Truth from the Hebrew Christian Bible has enabled citizen self-government and individual liberty.
William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England were used by Abraham Lincoln and were continued to be used by students of law into the 1920s. Blackstone said: “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws [principles] of his Creator … These laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil … This law of nature dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over the entire globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”
The God of Creation is Man’s Benefactor
That the God of creation is man’s benefactor is so foundational it cannot be arrived at by any other proposition. It is the basic principle upon which all other principles follow. When man chooses to walk according to God’s benevolent law, he learns of the power that is God’s alone and by which God grants him victory over evil. This reality about creation’s nature reveals God’s protection.
“Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for support of societies as the natural affection is for the support of families. The Amor Patriae is both moral and a religious duty. It comprehends not only the love of our neighbors but millions of our fellow creatures, not only the present but of future generations. This virtue we find constitutes a part of the first character of history.” (Dr. Benjamin Rush, essay on patriotism published in 1773. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania and signed the Declaration of Independence. A devout Christian, Rush established Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and served as professor of medical theory and clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania from 1791 to 1813.)
In fact, the American colonies did not become united until the constitutional delegates agreed to amendments that were specific about religious and educational freedom from government and non-government dictation. The first ten amendments included the codification of the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence (separation from authoritarian rule). Far from being secular, all aspects of human endeavor, including government, fall under the purview of creation’s God. The values for determining the proper role of laws and the use of government power are clear. We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). Adoption of this impartial, nonsectarian, God-honoring predicate for society has served as a marvelous unifier for our diverse immigrant nation.
~ D. Norris