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Natural Law

Do you know how many new laws you're expected to obey in 1997? Whatever the number, when we combine all lawmaking activities at the federal, state, and local levels, we can see that every U.S. citizen is bound by literally hundreds of new government mandates each year. As business owners and others can attest, it's becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to comply with these constantly changing legal requirements-or even to keep track of them all! According to Richard Strong, Utah's director of legislative research, there is a growing trend in American society to have legislators pass new laws for every ill: "People are turning to government to solve problems. Government is expected to come to the table on anything and everything."

The Final Act for American Independence

One cannot read the writings of the Founders without discovering that a most singular and important feature of the settlers of America was their overpowering sense of mission -- a conviction that they were taking part in a grand latter-day scene of divine design and magnitude. This sense of America’s destiny will be found expressed in nearly all of the inaugural addresses given by the presidents of the United States. It was not a feeling of superiority or of a conquering imperialistic nature, but of humble recognition that the great yearnings of the human heart of all people is to live in freedom, prosperity, and peace. In the Founders thinking these yearnings were not limited to just the people in the colonies of America, but, if possible, the American experiment could eventually be an example and a blessing to the entire human race. For example, John Adams wrote:

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

The Principles of Republican Government

School is out for another year! Hundreds and thousands of high school seniors have graduated and are looking to begin their post high school activities. After a recent presentation on the ideas of the Founders, one high school student approached me and said, "I sure wish I had learned these concepts in my government class. We only talk about what is popular at the time. Nobody really talks principles of good government, just what is the current thinking. Everything seems so negative and hopeless, unless you are one of those political guys." As a result of the rewriting of American History and Government textbooks since the 1920s, most of the Founding Fathers formula for Constitutional government has been removed from public school curriculia. All that remains is the nuts and bolts of politics such as political parties and the procedure for passing a bill. The real meat and sinew of the Constitution is not taught any more. It has even been fashionable in recent decades to think that being educated in a foreign land somehow is a mark of higher education.

The Miracle at Philadelphia

Last month we discussed the Founder's preparation for the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the miraculous results of that preparation. But it was not without effort. During that long hot summer, the delegates engaged in heated debates, saw tempers nearly out of control, sometimes expressing the thought that this just might not be possible to accomplish, and even saying they would just as soon go their own way rather than unionize. But isn't this the way with miracles? The Designer of freedom often lets His children struggle till they have exhausted themselves and nearly every possibility before He seems to say they are now ready to receive and appreciate the answer. And so it was in the Convention of 1787.

Strong Warnings from the Founders

One of the most remarkable observations in the study of history is the caution and warnings that are always given by Founders of great civilizations. It seems that those who lay foundations for great civilizations are quite aware of the seeds of pride, selfishness, and contention in human nature which over time usually begin to manifest themselves in society--even good societies. These Founders, realizing the tendency of human nature to degenerate, have always closed their public ministries with solemn warnings of the dire consequences of departing from the lofty ideals they established. Moses gave the children of Israel the most sublime principles of government and human behavior, which would have led them to the most prosperous society ever. But he seemed to know that after his departure it would be difficult to hold. No doubt he knew from personal experiences that the Israelites would soon depart from his inspired counsel. He said: "For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?" (Deuteronomy 31:27) He even predicted that they would eventually fall from being the most prosperous and blessed nation on earth into a state of slavery, devoured by other nations, and losing the great blessings of freedom.

The True Story of Senator Joseph McCarthy

Last month I took a group of high school seniors once again to the Boston/New York area for a week. In addition to the historical places we always visit, I decided to add Salem, Massachusetts to the list. I hadn’t included Salem before because I was aware of the political interpretations of what happened in the Salem witch trials in 1692, and felt that it didn’t deserve our valuable time. But I was persuaded this time and so on our way to Lexington and Concord we made a small detour and visited Salem and the Salem Witch Museum. The multi-media presentation was quite impressive and seemed to portray accurately the fateful happenings wherein 20 people lost their lives as a result of the hysteria generated over “witch-hunts” in puritanical New England in the late 1600s.