THE CONCEPT OF SELF GOVERNANCE
Lynn M. Stuter
March 2, 2003
It becomes clear, in reading the documents of our Founding Fathers, that our nation was built upon Biblical law, not by chance, by design. The concept is one few people, even those who call themselves "Christian," understand.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
This sentence, found in the Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776, is one of the most powerful statements of purpose ever made. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The Declaration of Independence is the precursor to the United States Constitution. The purpose of the form of government established by the Constitution: to secure the rights of man inclusive of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is a concept Americans have long since lost sight of. Securing the rights of man is the antithesis of providing man with security and taking care of his every need on the premise that people are but human capital to be used and discarded at the whim of the government.
As established by the Declaration of Independence, the flow of power in the government would be from the Creator to man and from man to the government; the government to be the servant of the people in securing their God-given unalienable rights.
James Madison said:
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
To repeat, the Founding Fathers staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. Again, we see the reference to Biblical law.
John Adams made this even clearer:
"Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other."
Why? Because an immoral and irreligious people will not practice self-governance in accordance with the Ten Commandments of God. This is all too apparent in our society today where children and adults alike believe right and wrong are relative, situational, whatever they want them to be at the particular time and place.
Such, by construct, builds a society in which there is no moral compass and no uniform religious sentiment that serves as the glue binding one individual to another to form a group, a community, a society in which each individual chooses, of his own volition, to abide the ethical laws that govern the whole.
Edmund Burke defined the purpose of the Bible when he stated (sic) that freedom without virtue is not freedom, but license to pursue whatever passions prevail in the intemperate mind; man's right to freedom being in exact proportion to his willingness to place chains upon his own appetite; the less restraint shown from within, the more must be imposed from without.
In short, the Bible is a book of ethical laws that, if the individual abides by, will serve him well in governing self, said self-governance then extending to the family level, community level, on up to the highest level of civil government. Our Founding Fathers knew this well. They knew that the more man governed self, restrained self in accordance to a universally accepted moral and religious sentiment, the less need there would be for restraint imposed upon all men by the government to secure the rights of men. In other words, to restrain the size of government, men must choose the restraint of self-governance and be unswerving in its practice.
Freedom does not, nor can it ever, exist in an atmosphere where man seeks to impose, either by law or by sanction, a man-made moral code on another. Freedom only exists when each man, among men, chooses to governs self according to a universally accepted creed of moral and religious sentiment emanating from a Higher Authority.
This is one of the greatest fallacies of humanism and the New Age religion. Both incorporate self-divination (no Higher Authority) in which all power and moral bearing comes from within in a world where man is deemed inherently good. Man is not inherently good. Man will inevitably, left to his own devices, seek to impose that which is self-serving at the expense of others and the rights of others. Such does not encourage cohesion, but rather sows discourse, disharmony, and conflict.
Modern society is quick to point out its intellectual advancement. But no society can be termed "intellectually advanced" when it has forgotten or cast aside that which allows man to truly be free. Reformers, pronouncing themselves "enlightened," seek to disparage our traditional moral and religious sentiment. To the degree they are successful in making people believe that moral and religious sentiment is self-deprecating, they set sail in a ship predestined to sink. In other words, they set the course of their own enslavement and destruction.
Our Founding Fathers knew that only a moral and religious people, moral and religious by choice, could truly be free. That such moral and religious sentiment must govern the individual in his day to day living, no matter the time or place. In this, our Founding Fathers fully expected that men of government would stand firmly upon the principles of moral and religious sentiment in all their deliberations to secure the rights of men. Our Founding Fathers never, for an instance, believed men should leave their moral and religious sentiment at the threshold of government.
For those who believe that religion has no place in government, they fail to understand a basic principle: a religion will, in every instance, guide the deliberations of men.
If not Christianity, then what religion will it be? And will that religion seek control of man or will that religion allow man to be truly free?
Our Founding Fathers knew the answer to that question. Thomas Jefferson, 1816:
"Lay down true principles, and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their surrender ..."
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: http://www.icehouse.net/lmstuter E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org