In this first of two pieces in the sixth of our series – Our Great U.S. Culture War – we finish the first of the first things about what made America – become America.
Finishing the First of the First Things
Our series began with an exposition of how America began with four distinct regional sub-cultures. During our Colonial period these sub-cultures assimilated everyone who lived in their region. That’s very different from the multi-cultural myth taught to Virginia’s children about the blending of European, African, and Indigenous People’s cultures. By the time of our American Revolution an over-arching, consensus American Culture was formed.
This growing, maturing culture was based on a unique dissident Protestant, Biblical worldview and was shaped by the distinct British and American Enlightenments. America’s regional sub-cultures retained their differences, but all Americans were united in the founding “American Creed.” As Americans set up to govern themselves in “The Great Experiment – Democracy in America” they had to make first order decisions about Government. It wasn’t a perfect process.
The Articles of Confederation failed. The 1787 Constitution remains with us today. Perhaps in tatters, but it’s still here. The ideas embedded in it are vitally important, because it’s still the basis of government and law in these United States. The foundation for those ideas is Natural Law.
In fact, if this American society, culture, country, and civilization is examined by a first things first, second things second, etc. analysis, then the first thing to be understood about America at its founding is Natural Law. Natural Law acknowledges a sovereign creator God. From this first of the first things, the Founders’ created a consensus political culture.
Natural Law theory sounds esoteric, but can be boiled down to the primary question and decisions around “Who decides?” Today, that same question is behind every issue in Virginia and across America. The Great U.S. Culture War is the rejection of the traditional, former consensus culture answers about who decides what.
In this installment, we cap off the discussion about Natural Law and “Who decides?” with the focus on the individual. That focus comes from John Locke. Then, we’ll close the discussion with you as an individual. You.
What John Locke wrote in the 1600s, we believe today. John Locke’s ideas on our first things are what the Founders intended to put into action. They wrote his ideas into the U.S. Constitution.
Let’s begin with Locke’s three fundamental principles for Natural Law:
- It’s the duty of every man to praise, honor, and glorify God.
- Mankind ought to be preserved.
- Mankind is obliged to preserve society to preserve himself.
Make sense? This focuses everything down to you as an individual. You have a responsibility to know your place in the universe as a created being and recognize the deity accordingly. There’s a much higher authority over you and your life. You have a responsibility to keep the human race alive. In order for you to survive and help others live, you must live as part of a society.
This Social Compact or Contract is the basis for our society, culture, and civilization. Furthermore, our social compact is the centerpiece of the American democratically-elected, representative federal republic established by written constitutions.
Again, political society originates in a social compact among individuals.
God creates us all as equals. Government derives all of its power from the consent of the governed.
This reinforces the idea that we, you, have self-ownership of society and government. And, this ownership is only possible where men have property. Property that can’t be taken away arbitrarily by anyone in power. That idea was established in the English Magna Charta in 1215. This first limit on the absolute power of kings didn’t happen anywhere else in the world. The idea of limiting the powers of rulers and expanding the rights of individuals evolved for almost 800 years in England and America to arrive at the individual citizen actually being the sovereign of the state. It’s an incredible, empowering, exciting, and humbling idea. It’s a still ascending idea.
The individual citizen as the sovereign is built on this doctrine of inalienable rights. Inalienable.
The right to revolt is included.
Locke said men, as individuals, reserve the right to judge whether the authority to which they have subjected themselves is exercising or seeking absolute, arbitrary dominion over their lives, liberties, and properties. This sets the conditions for rebellion, revolution, secession, and civil disobedience.
Our natural right to life and self-preservation connects us directly as individuals to our 2d Amendment right to bear arms. Likewise, the other individual rights listed in our Bill of Rights link to these foundational, first things.
Our American Left, the Democrats, reject Natural Law. If they make a head nod towards it, they don’t acknowledge the hierarchy which places God above man. They don’t acknowledge our rights as God-given. They talk in terms of “the Common Good” and “the Will of the People.” Those concepts aren’t bad, until they’re twisted into whatever the Democrats are trying to cram down the citizens’ throats. Like they are doing with their fixation on all things “Trans.”
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