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Wednesday, October 19, 2011


At first it was a mere trickle. Then a steady seep. A little later a soft current. Then the current reaches critical velocity to enable the substrate to be washed away, the foundation undermined. At a certain point when there is nothing sustaining the structure, and not enough wealth can be expended to prevail against the onslaught, the house falls into the eroding water. The fresh paint, the manicured lawn, the expensive finishing touches – manifestation of material triumph, ultimately unable to stop the destruction.

There is at present a tension within the ascendant conservative movement. There are the laissez-faire capitalists who largely shy away from the contemporary moral questions to keep the debate on low taxes, limited government, and want to mostly be just left alone, perhaps best termed the Materialist Libertarians. On the other side of the discussion are those who believe that the moral questions as fairly narrowly constrained by the Judeo-Christian traditions of Western Civilization predominate in the arena of public debate. Many commentators fret about the possibility of an election lost as the result of excessive focus on the “divisive” questions of contemporary personal behavior. We must not ever forget the Natural Law foundation of America’s design:

“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.”  – Declaration of Independence, 1776

The designers of America were students of those great thinkers that recognized the natural order of the universe and the innate nature of humans due to that unalterable natural order, the term “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” was not mistake, rather it had central meaning for that document:

“Not only right and wrong are distinguished by nature, but also in general all honorable and disgraceful things. For nature makes common understandings for us and starts forming them in our minds so that honorable things are based on virtue, disgraceful things on vices”- - Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The evil implanted in man by nature spreads so imperceptibly, when the habit of wrong-doing is unchecked, that he himself can set no limit to his shamelessness.”  - Marcus Tullius Cicero

“There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity - the law of nature and of nations.” - Edmund Burke

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” - John Adams

“Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” - George Washington.

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

“The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other” -  Alexis de Tocqueville

Natural law - moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings and the nature of the world and is thus universal.  It is critical that one recognizes the primacy of culture and that freedom flourishes ONLY in societies undergirded by a moral culture that embraces the truth about the transcendent origin and destiny of all human beings. History reveals to us that an ordered, moral culture results in harmony and in the proper ordering of society and while the various institutions within the political, economic, and other spheres are important, the traditional family is the primary inculcator of the moral culture in a society.

As George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . And let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.”

It is my firm belief that to reduce public policy to materialist questions without a strong foundation that begets an ordered and moral society is to ignore history, ignore the design of America’s freedoms, and to ultimately allow the building currents of societal decay that will assuredly result in loss of the freedoms so dear to the Materialist Libertarians.

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