Continuing from yesterday and the idea of our being saved by first being thoroughly submersed (baptized) in the teaching of the Lord and then preserved (saved – peripoiesis) as it permeates our thinking and becomes the foundation of our comprehension of existence. As we saw in the previous post, this is our being born again as our natural mind is overwritten with the new nature of the spirit man, the spirit man being that which now understanding the underlying spirit (God’s intention in His creating us). In this man willfully subordinates his animal desires and the ensuing reflex actions, and elevates his new nature of understanding the consequences of his actions on others individually and society in general (the general welfare). We understand this as the formula of liberty and optimal civilization by self-government. This is the state of general welfare our form of government was intended to promote as its intention. It is founded in government that protects and defends the God given rights of all, rich or poor, equally as we live in this state of liberty, and pursue happiness (generally – generic, as in all without distinction).
Now is a good time to be reminded of the definition of the word general.
1: involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole
2: involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group <the general equation of a straight line>
3: not confined by specialization or careful limitation
4: belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals : generic
5a : applicable to or characteristic of the majority of individuals involved : prevalent
b : concerned or dealing with universal rather than particular aspects
6: relating to, determined by, or concerned with main elements rather than limited details <bearing a general resemblance to the original>
7: holding superior rank or taking precedence over others similarly titled <the general manager>
This takes us to the idea and meaning of the word welfare. Here is the traditional meaning of the word before it took on its modern meaning of government payments in exchange for votes: “The state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity.”
The inevitable next question is, does our government in its current corrupted form resulted in good fortune, happiness, wellbeing, or prosperity? This is a question that relates to one of the points from yesterday and it as necessity for living in a state of reality as the basis for right reasoning. When answering the above question we must do it in the context of the general cause and effect, government as cause in its current roll as the major influencing factor in all aspects mentioned and being therefore and logically the producer of the effect.
Again, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the definition of intelligence as what separates us not only from all other animals but also as what separates us from our own inner animal nature. It is an endowment of our creation that is only of value to us if we use it. It is also a fact, proven by the evidence seen the effect, we live in a world that reject its qualities in all aspects relating to what actually influence our civilization (security in good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity). The world we live in judges by measuring the external while the internal declines into a state of chaos.
Here are a few definitions again from Merriam-Webster:
1a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)
b : Christian Science : the basic eternal quality of divine Mind
c : mental acuteness : shrewdness
2a : an intelligent entity; especially : angel
b : intelligent minds or mind <cosmic intelligence>
1a : the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will : the capacity for knowledge
b : the capacity for rational or intelligent thought especially when highly developed
2: a person with great intellectual powers
How has the government declined into its current state of total corruption? Here it is again in the words of Calvin Coolidge as he warns that all the prosperity and advancement would become nothing more than a “barren scepter in our hand.” He was saying this in reference to the move then underway toward socialist ideas. What we see (evidence) is this move having been planted now in full fruit. It by necessity having destroyed well reasoned thought by intention now leaves man unable to understand the situation he finds himself in. Without an ability to understand or even acknowledge reality he is unable to properly evaluate and therefore use his intellectual capacity to overcome his environment. This is what Coolidge also told of when he said the ideas that were attempting to supplant those of our founding where not “progress” as their champions espoused, but rather devolution into a former less civilized time and state.
We would all do well in reading again and understanding at least the closing paragraphs of president Coolidge’s speech. It was given on July 5th, 1926 in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
” We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
In the development of its institutions America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago. In all the essentials we have achieved an equality which was never possessed by any other people. Even in the less important matter of material possessions we have secured a wider and wider distribution of wealth. The rights of the individual are held sacred and protected by constitutional guaranties which even the Government itself is bound not to violate. If there is any one thing among us that is established beyond question, it is self-government – the right of the people to rule. If there is any failure in respect to any of these principles, it is because there is a failure on the part of individuals to observe them. We hold that the duly authorized expression of the will of the people has a divine sanction. But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that “Democracy is Christ’s government * * *.” The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty.
On an occasion like this great temptation exists to present evidence of the practical success of our form of democratic republic at home and the ever-broadening acceptance it is securing abroad. Although these things are well known, their frequent consideration is an encouragement and an inspiration. But it is not results and effects so much as sources and causes that I believe it is even more necessary constantly to contemplate. Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will. Its officers may sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions. The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform. It is to that cause that we must ascribe all our results.
It was in the contemplation of these truths that the fathers made their declaration and adopted their Constitution. It was to establish a free government, which must not be permitted to degenerate into the unrestrained authority of a mere majority or the unbridled weight of a mere influential few. They undertook to balance these interests against each other and provide the three separate independent branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments of the Government, with checks against each other in order that neither one might encroach upon the other. These are our guarantees of liberty. As a result of these methods enterprise has been duly protected from confiscation, the people have been free from oppression, and there has been an ever-broadening and deepening of the humanities of life.
Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general. Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meetinghouse. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.
No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.”