Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled by a power within them or a power without them; either by the Word of God or the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or the bayonet. Robert Winthrop, US Congressman, 1847-1849
Truth- In our land, the founding documents stand on the belief that there is an absolute TRUTH, upon which all mankind stands equally.
Justice- In our land, there has been the opportunity to pursue what one pleases, in the manner one pleases, through interacting with other people and institutions, guided by basic human dignity and decency, as long as those pursuits do not infringe on others’ property or rights to do the same.
The American Way- The pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps attitude, has always seemed to prevail in our country because of the dignity that is afforded to all people and the proven value of working toward what you want to achieve in life. There is an assumption hat every person wants something of value out of their lives. And the assumption stands that, if you can dream it, you can do it. If someone else is doing it, you can figure out a way to do it better. You can interact in a community and have the privacy of ones’ views, thoughts and convictions, to live by them and prosper in them.
I believe the issue is that government, in a society that has loose or no attachment to absolute truth, really views people as unremarkable, incapable, and void of intrinsic value as a creation of Almighty God. This is only confirmed when someone’s strong personal conviction has to be smeared in the public eye and subjugated to what has been deemed acceptable by a certain few.
Not the picture of inherent human dignity that I think of.
With Christ as the only Judge, I give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to determining what is right or wrong for you to believe. You’re capable, you can achieve. You’re intelligent, you can decide what is working and what needs to change in your life. That’s the way of things in my America.
So I don’t believe some (or a lot) of the same things you do. Do you give me the same respect to decide that I give you? Or am I intolerant because my convictions are different than yours? Answering those questions is a matter of justice.
If you decide that your lease on life isn’t working out- I can humbly submit to you a way to get a firm grasp on this life and the next. I’ll admit that I don’t always have the best grasp on life either, but I have found something worth holding on to- its the Word of God. It’s objective, clear, unchanging, and reliable. Not only that, you can experience the fulfillment of Christ’s plan in your life; the Bible isn’t just a code to live by, but it opens up a relationship with the God of all creation who wants to dwell in your life.
And the more you get acquainted with it, the more you will find that true Christians really have no reason to be bothered if their beliefs differ from others- we’re only on Earth temporarily, then we’ll become citizens of a Heavenly country. Until then, we want what the majority of Americans want- the liberty to pursue a life that fits with our convictions while providing for the needs of our homes and communities.
There you have it. Am I so far off base? Let me know what you think. God bless!