Pulpit Reflections by Rev. Robert Grossmann This Sunday, the Fourth of July, we again pause to celebrate the birth of "one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all." The United States is an absolutely unique nation. No other nation on earth attracts immigrants like the United States and has virtually no one wanting to leave.
We could list hundreds of reasons why this is true, but they really all boil down to one word, "liberty." The prosperity, freedom of economic choice, and amazing array of useful inventions that come out of the U.S. every year are all the products of liberty; liberty which is the right to live one's life, think one's thoughts, and pursue one's own economic dreams.
It needs to be understood by all our citizens, especially as we celebrate Independence Day, that "liberty" in the United States, be it political, economic or religious, is God-given liberty. According to the founders of our nation "all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ?"
Get this straight, we are equal, and have equal rights not from other men, not from government, not even from ourselves, but from God! Now the God-given nature of human rights are given by God, no human authority, including that of government can take these rights away.
Indeed, the Declaration of Independence proclaims that it is government's duty to "secure these (God-given) rights" to its citizens. Government's job is to protect our liberties, not to tax and regulate them into non-existence as is done so often these days.
Now, the Founders of the United States did not argue the truth of their statement about God-given rights. They said in the Declaration of Independence, "we hold these truths to be self-evident." "Self-evident" means that if you and I don't understand and accept the truth that God has given each of us these inalienable rights, we are just plain stupid.
Nevertheless, some very important people don't know this. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently wrote, "The whole theory of democracy ? is that the majority rules, that is the whole theory of it. You protect minorities only because the majority determines that there are certain minority positions that deserve protection."
This is horrible! The United States has a constitution just because certain things are right (freedom of press, right to bear arms, etc.) and certain things are wrong (ex post facto laws, debtors' prisons, etc.) before anybody votes, and no matter what the majority might be persuaded to vote for. Mr. Scalia's position is the same one that allowed Hilter to try to exterminate Jews.
Germany had regular elections, and since Hitler was elected by vast majorities, he had the will of the majority behind him, didn't he?
Well who, ultimately, should decide what is right and what is wrong? For Justice Scalia, it is the majority, no matter if the majority are Hindus (who believe that certain folks are "untouchable" because of what they did in a previous life), or Atheists (who demonstrated their good will in Communism), or radical Muslims (who believe that all Christians and Jews should be killed).
For the Founders of the United States, the only safeguard against inter-human evil, was to have the God of the Bible, the Creator God, decide good and evil. They said this by declaring that human rights, being "endowed by their Creator," are therefore wrong to take away.
Also every signer of the Declaration of Independence either said or wrote that the Ten Commandments must be the basis of our morality. Any honest reading of history will have to conclude that this morality is what has made the United States a great place to live.
A French political philosopher, Guy de Toqueville, declared this to be true already in 1838, after traveling around the U.S. In 1892 the Supreme Court wrote that America is a "Christian nation," and as late as 1946 the Court used the Bible to decide whether a particular divorce should be granted.
Led by the Supreme Court, our federal judges have recently been dismantling God-given liberty from our national heritage. By approving things that are against God's law in the name of man-made "freedom" (for example, to kill a child by abortion), our courts have actually undermined our liberty by saying that they as human beings are the authorities who decide our liberties.
"No, no, no," the writers of what we celebrate on the Fourth of July would say, "What you are doing is self-evidently wrong!" Human being, including court would say, "What you are doing is self-evidently wrong!" Human beings, including court judges, must never invent or remove rights, they must protect God-given rights.
Long live the United States! "One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all!"