Consider: If you were born in America circa 1750, would you have been a loyalist to King George or would you have been a revolutionary rebel? Would you have been appalled by the vandals who dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor, or would you have been one of the protesters? If you were a Christian you would have had to deal with, among other things, a rather specific Biblical directive (Romans 13): “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The existing authorities have been appointed by God…”. Because you would have been born under the King of England, he would be the “governing authority” you would have technically needed to obey. However, there is still good reason for you to ponder. Two prominent Christian Apostles (Peter and John) who explicitly demonstrated a Biblical duty to disobey government when obedience to government is in tension with obedience to God (Acts 4). There is good reason to ruminate before declaring you would have been a “left wing” or a “right wing” colonist. It is even interesting to mull over why either side would be left or right and why….
We face similar human dynamics and passions in Twitter and facebook feeds, email, and mainstream TV/radio news. A rebellious attitude toward the American government seems vogue right now. Is it a case of, “what goes around, comes around…” or just ignorant irony? We have openly socialist Congress members, a socialist candidate for President, a recent presidential apologizing for America, and now rioting, tearing down statues, protesting the police, resentments by self-centered, far left, and minority identity groups… The Boston Tea Party seems tame by comparison. It is not necessary to explain the shock and confusion modern “right wing” conservatives are feeling. The fear I have is, many Americans are indeed choosing whether they are “rebels” or “patriots” in modern America, without acknowledging historical American roots. Our founding fathers were also rebels, but with a very big difference! It doesn’t seem to even occur to the new “rebels” most of us were born into a democratic republic instead of under a king!
The human “sovereignty” of authority and power that once belonged to a monarch, now belongs to us … (“We the People”)! America transformed the “divine right of kings” to the “divine right of the electorate”. This means; if you are an American citizen, you inherit the right and responsibility to use your power to govern like it or not! No amount of ignorance or stupidity can remove your responsibility to be “political”. Being political looks like voting, knowing your political candidates and representative, running for office yourself, engaging personally in Constitutional efforts to amend the highest law of the land, and keeping yourself informed. You are stuck with the task BECAUSE of your American citizenship. If your sovereignty is overthrown, history will put you down as irresponsible or worse.Sovereigns (kings) of old were graded as “evil” or “good” based on failure to provide “justice” – a very big word. We will be judged evil or good based on whether we governed to maintain inherent human freedom, something only accomplished by political action.
Relate this to my original question. If you were “free” in 1750, did you have any justifiable thing to rebel against? Can any free human have a rebellious attitude? By definition, if there is no authority over you, there is nothing to rebel against! When our forefathers ratified the Constitution, they enthroned, as best they could, a representation of the majority of informed citizens, which is not the same as a “pure” democracy. There simply was no precedent or simple way without a complex system, which divided the rule making, rule enforcement, and the judiciary into three separate branches. The catch may turn out to be simply: totally free humans tend to deny the need to put checks on fallen human tendencies. The “rule of law” is meaningless if the law is polluted.
America truly is the greatest experiment ever, related to human governing authority. History records our stunning prosperity. Will America be recorded as resilient against the cognitive dissidence of the electorate rebelling against itself?
In the context of deciding if you are a “rebel” or a nationalist, reflect on the words of Declaration of Independence, adopted 244 years ago: “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 posers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…” This is the very act I am calling “rebellion” in this editorial. Whatever the religious/moral elements of your contemplation, “We the People” are in charge and will be judged harshly if we allow the misguided “Antifa” madness to prevail! Only fools presume America is a fascist nation.
This was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.