In 1776, things were much different than they are today. America was made up of a primarily Christian people– some of them slaves, some prisoners, some outcasts and some that were looking for a fresh start. Whether it was Anglican, Puritan, Catholic or Quaker, the nation was made up of people with a common set of moral guideposts, a common mental framework, and a concept of a common Creator God.
That’s what you see flowing through the Declaration of Independence, as a people that held to the Bible’s demands that you submit to the governing authority over you grappled with when and if that governing authority could cross a line where obedience was no longer required– indeed, that revolution could be pursued.
That’s part of what makes the defectors so interesting– it wasn’t that all the people in the colonies believed that the revolutionaries were right in their theological defense. Some were not persuaded, and chose to do nothing, while some looked at the moral argument and chose to side with the British Empire– of which they were all subjects.
So, in the aftermath of the Revolution, the group of leaders had to come up with a government. As anyone who has been a part of helping to craft a church or organization’s constitution knows, the writers of that constitution are predisposed to put into it things to address problems that they are now having. This is exactly why the Bill of Rights had to be passed soon after the Constitution was ratified– not because the founders believed that the government could infringe on those rights– or should have any say on those rights– but because the states wanted assurances that they could choose to worship as they pleased, etc.
However, foundational to all of this was the idea of this common moral framework. The Founders understood that without a common foundation for right and wrong there would be the tendency to define morality with whatever the populace believed to be moral– and within that, people (being human) would sometimes vote against what they knew to be right for their own gain.
And that’s what we’re seeing now. Having removed the Christian law and moral tradition from our education system, and replaced it with secular humanism, we have a war of ideologies going on, and a shifting moral system. And we’re seeing the result of that war, and we’ve yet to see what has happened in every other country… where it ceases to be just that “you’re wrong” but goes into “you’re evil.”
Sure, some are saying it, but it’s not public sentiment– yet.
Our Founders were rich in understanding. They worked hard to give us both freedom and a strong Constitution. We are the inheritors of it– but we’re spending it away as quickly as possible because it’s not really our “money” and we don’t understand our history and how the world works.
We are the Paris Hiltons of politics.