Righteousness, Power, Liberty and Authority
by Herbert W. Titus
In his recently published autobiography, Strength for the Journey, Jerry Falwell recalls some of the early reactions against him as the President of the Moral Majority:
“At Harvard University, as I began my address, a well-organized group of students rose and began to chant in unison: Hitler rose, Hitler fell; racist Falwell, go to hell.'”1
Falwell goes on to explain his belief that these students and others like them had been misled, in part, “by the liberal press” that had consistently compared him with ‘the Ayatollah Khomeni, Adolf Hitler, and Jim Jones.”2
Although perhaps the most visible recipient of such comparisons, Falwell has not been the only public leader in the conservative Christian movement of the 1980’s to be given such a reception. The entire leadership of the Christian conservative movement was swept under the banner headline, “America’s Ayatollahs,’ by the New Republic in its September 29, 1986 issue. And as Pat Robertson began to emerge as a serious candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, questions were raised whether he would, as President, seek to outlaw Halloween or to force women to submit to their husbands as the head of the home.3 In short, he has been pressed again and again if he would enforce his Christian beliefs upon America through the office of the President.4
These types of questions of Robertson have not been posed to any of the other presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican, and most significantly they have not been asked of the only other ordained minister in the field of presidential candidates, Jesse Jackson. These kinds of objections to Falwell’s Moral Majority have not been raised against organizations such as Common Cause or the National Organization of Women or even of the leaders of conservative groups like Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum. Why is this so?
Such attacks and such questions come because both Falwell and Robertson claim that their views and their actions are greatly influenced, if not determined, by the revelation of God. For example, Falwell preaches without reservation and without apology that he believes the Bible to be “the Word of God”:
“It is the only infallible revelation of God’s mind and purpose for the believer. Historically, the Bible is accurate. Geographically it is correct. Theologically it is without error. Scientifically it is believable.”5
Moreover, Falwell asserts that the Bible’s purpose is “to reveal the mind of God to every man and woman upon the earth.”6 In short, The Bible is absolutely true not because Falwell or other Christians believe it, but it is true whether anyone believes it or not.
This kind of faith, also, undergirds Pat Robertson’s widely broadcast use of ” words of knowledge’ where God shows someone another person’s need for the purpose of bringing help or healing to them.”7 Robertson does not limit his hearing God’s voice to such matters as physical healing. He has claimed to hear God regarding the weather (rebuking hurricanes) and regarding his candidacy for the presidential nomination.8
In fact, Robertson has a profound conviction that the United States of America was established by men who consciously chose to carry out Christ’s Great Commission and God’s command to exercise dominion. If America is to prosper as a nation, Robertson claims that she must return to the principles of the nation’s founding documents, especially to the Declaration of Independence:
“King George broke God’s law, and our ancestors in America rose up, listed their grievances carefully, proclaimed their liberty, declared their separate and equal status, defended their honor, and defeated their king. And in that process we learn our most valuable lesson from the Declaration of Independence.
. . . What a gift our forefathers have given us. By their example we learn that it is our right and duty as citizens to judge the laws and the lawmakers of this nation by the laws of God in the created order and in God’s Word and then to act.”9
Such views are foreign to the ears of most Americans today who participate in and write about the public affairs of nations. So the experts have scurried to the history books to raise the specter of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Salem witch trials. These politicians and their apologists claim that the Falwells and the Robertsons pose similar threats because faith 1n God and the Bible prevents the true believer from being open to reason or to doubt, thereby, unleashing a risk of a different kind, not just degree, to that posed by the unbeliever.10 In short, they voice alarm about anyone who would enter politics or entertain political opinions if that entry or view rests upon an absolute objective moral and legal order created and imposed by a Creator God upon all mankind.
These critics are seriously wrong. First, they overlook the fact that the major contributors to international terrorism and domestic tyranny are the Soviet Communists who have denied the existence of a Creator God and the authenticity of the Bible and who have built their political movement upon atheistic reason. Even before the Russian Revolution Lenin made this foundational principle most clear:
“Our programme is based entirely on scientific – to be more precise – upon a materialist world conception. In explaining our programme, we must necessarily explain the actual historical and economic roots of the religious fog. Our programme necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.”11
It is upon this atheistic premise that the Soviets have built their constitutional commitment to the separation of the church from the state and of the church from the school.12 The purpose of this constitutional guarantee is to carry forth Lenin’s strategy to “see to it that religion does really become a private matter as far as the state is concerned.”13
The privatization of religion, thereby eliminating the Bible as God’s revelation from the conduct of the public affairs in the Soviet Union and other Communist nations, has not protected the peoples of those nations from domestic tyranny. To the contrary, reliance upon man’s reason, divorced from any supernatural revelation, has ushered in a reign of terror unsurpassed in the annals of Christendom. The history of Communist rule has encompassed the systematic extermination of hundreds of thousands of Ukranian peasants under Stalin in the 1930’s to the wholesale slaughter of the Cambodian people following the withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam.
Second, these critics have forgotten that America was founded upon the very objective moral and legal order to which the Falwells and the Robertsons are recalling her. The Declaration of Independence rested the foundation of the nation upon “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” a short-hand expression for the will of God as revealed in nature and in the Holy Scriptures. The Declaration has further committed the nation to protecting God-given rights: “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . . that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men . . ..”14 This commitment to the laws of God and God-given rights has protected America for over 200 years from having to experience anywhere near the international turmoil and domestic terror that have plagued the Soviets and their Communist allies in their relatively short history on earth.
Ridding politics of positions based upon the Bible as God’s revealed and absolute truth for all mankind would have been anathema to men like Thomas Jefferson. Yet, linking politics with God’s revelation is not a panacea, either. After all, the Middle East today is torn to pieces by Jews, Christians, and Moslems all claiming to know the revelation of God. The key here is not to fear such claims and ban them from politics altogether, as the Communists have done. Rather, it is to address those claims as legitimate political and legal discourse and to embrace those that are true and to reject those that are false.
But how are such claims to be assessed. By what standard are they to be measured? By man’s reason standing apart from the Bible? Or by man’s reason conforming to the Bible? In times past the Bible has been America’s standard.
Just 202 years ago  Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom became law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Among the guarantees stated is the one securing the right of all to participate fully in the civil affairs of the state no matter what their religious convictions. That right included the application of religious conviction to public matters:
“that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”15
This rule is still on the books in Virginia. Even more significant, the religious foundation upon which Jefferson rested this rule is still written in the statute books of the state:16
“. . . Well aware . . . that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain. . . that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being lord both of mind and body, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone . . ..”
Jefferson rested his case for religious liberty upon the teachings of Jesus Christ who stated the principle in these terms: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”17 Jefferson repeated and applied this principle in 1786 with these words:
“. . . the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion . . . is a dangerous falacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty . . . that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order . . ..”
Jefferson’s statements in this statute, in turn, rested upon Virginia’s constitutional commitment to religious liberty expressed in the same religious terms:
“that Religion or the Duty when we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction not by force or violence and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of conscience and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forebearance, Love and Charity towards each other.”18
Jefferson’s colleague, James Madison, has provided the best explanation of the meaning of this constitutional guarantee in his famous July, 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance on the Religious Rights of Man:19
“The Religion . . . of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men is a duty towards the Creator.”
Madison’s justification here paralleled the one offered by the early Christian church leaders, Peter and John, who, after being twice arrested and beaten, informed their persecutors that they would “obey God, not men.” What had been the offense with which they had been charged? Teaching in the name of Jesus Christ without a license from the department of religion of the Roman Empire.20
Persecution of the early church did not end in the first century. Rather, from 64 A.D. to 311 A.D. under Roman emperors from Nero to Diocletian Galerius — and even under the enlightened Marcus Aurelius, Christians died at the hands of the state for their faith.21 Ironically, the Church, after it emerged from under this terrible era of persecution, actively promoted and cooperated with heads of state to get rid of her “enemies,” especially of those whose opinions were not orthodox as determined by the head of the Church.22 It was this sorry history of persecution that Jefferson remembered with these words in his 1786 statute:
“that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greater part of the world and through all time.”
It was a return to the Biblical norm, the teaching of the “Holy Author of our religion,” that led Jefferson and Madison to proclaim and to introduce true religious liberty in America. What were the essential features of that liberty? Again, Jefferson’s words in the 1786 statute are the best evidence of his early vision for the new nation that he helped found.
First, there would be no use of the taxing power ‘to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors.” Calling such a tax “sinful and tyrannical,” Jefferson made clear that his objection to the use of such power extended even to prohibiting the civil government’s “forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion.” In other words, the taxing power could not lawfully be employed even when the taxpayer could choose the teacher or institution to whom or to which his tax money would go. This would, in Jefferson’s view, deprive “him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern.” Moreover, Jefferson believed that withdrawing tax support from the teacher or institution would provide “an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind.”
Second, the taxing power of the state would not be employed to support the teaching of opinions. The immediate danger that Jefferson faced in 1786 was a proposal to tax the people to support Christian teachers of each individual taxpayer’s choice. But Jefferson did not couch his opposition to this proposal because the subject matter to be taught was “religion” or because the truth to be taught was from a “religious perspective.” Rather, he opposed the use of such taxing power to support the teaching of any opinions on any subject: “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” The danger was a tax-supported orthodoxy of opinion from whatever source and the answer to such a danger was the total denial of jurisdiction to the civil government:
“that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion . . . is a dangerous fallacy . . . because he being of course judge . . . will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own.”
Third, the state would stay out of the “marketplace of ideas” entirely because ‘truth is great and will prevail if left to herself.” No tax subsidies, no threat of civil or criminal penalty, no civil sanction whatsoever could be allowed for
“she (truth) is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed by her natural weapons, free argument and debate.”
Madison seconded Jefferson’s observation that no civil magistrate had any authority to ‘judge the truth” of any opinion. The search for truth in every realm was outside the jurisdiction of civil society because what man believed and taught was a duty toward his Creator and, therefore, an unalienable right towards man. It was, as Madison put it so well in his Remonstrance, part of the law of nature:
“. . . (T)he opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated in their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men; . . . (they are within) a duty towards the creator . . . this duty is precedent . . . to the claims of civil society. Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the governor of the universe . . . (therefore) every man who becomes a member of a particular civil society (must) do it with the saving allegiance to the universal sovereign.”23
The Jefferson-Madison legacy based upon a Biblical worldview and definition of religous freedom led not only to the disestablishment of the preaching and worship ministry of the church, but of the teaching and welfare ministry. Ironically, the Protestant majority in America would soon abandon this legacy of liberty to embrace the use of civil power to combat the perceived threat of Roman Catholic immigrants in the latter part of the 19th Century.24 More ironic still, they chose to enter this battle by joining forces with the anti-Christian tax-supported public education movement headed by the Unitarian Horace Mann. Mann, in turn, had found a fertile field for a civilly-supported education system in Massachusetts, because it had not followed the lead of Jefferson and Madison to disestablish religion in her first state constitution.25
The people of Massachusetts invested their legislature with power
“to authorize and require . . . the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.”26
The people believed that such taxing power for such purposes was necessary to ‘the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government.” That rationale and that means is exactly the one given today by the defenders of the tax-supported public school system:
“To many Americans, the state’s noblest function is the education of our nation’s youth. We entrust this responsibility largely to the public schools, and hope our children grow into responsible citizens by learning the enduring values of Western Civilization we all share.”27
Not content with invoking only the taxing power, the people of Massachusetts in 1780 invested “their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of the public teacher aforesaid . . . if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.” Similar compulsory attendance laws have been enacted in every state with only one modification: they only apply to children, not to adults who presumably have been sufficiently educated in the “enduring values of western civilization.”
These striking similarities linking today’s public schools with the established church of early Massachusetts must not be noted without pointing out one significant difference between the Massachusetts education system established in 1780 and the one today. In 1780 the Massachusetts citizen could require his tax money to “be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination . . ..” Today, no taxpayer in any state has this privilege. In fact, public education’s leaders vigorously oppose proposals creating a voucher system to allow America’s parents to use tax revenues to choose the private education alternative for their children. Why is there such opposition?
There is only one answer — because private education threatens the opinion orthodoxy established across the nation by a public school system that uses the same textbooks, similarly-educated teachers, and common curriculum designed by state licensed teachers and administrators. It is an orthodoxy that systematically excludes the Bible if it is presented as “the Word of God” and, consequently, excludes any opinion based upon the premise that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.”28 After all, according to the civil rulers of the land, such a faith no longer embodies “the enduring values of Western Civilization we all share.”
For example, the Genesis account of creation and the flood has been displaced by the Darwinian theory of evolution.29 The Ten Commandments have become the six suggestions, the first four recently debarred from the public schools by the United States Supreme Court.30 Teachings increasingly hostile to orthodox Christianity dominate the public school system in such a way that more and more parents are seeking private alternatives to public education.31 Yet, they must still pay taxes to support “the propagation of opinions which (they) disbelieve and abhor” which, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “is sinful and tyrannical.”
Because the American Protestant community abandoned this Biblical legacy of freedom to use civil power to rebuff the alien invasion of Roman Catholic doctrines, they have lost their liberties to an ungodly educational elite who have displaced the revelation of God with the reason of man. Only with the complete displacement of tax-supported education and the elimination of tax subsidies for research, the arts, and dissemination of ideas will the Jefferson-Madison vision for the freedom of mind once again become reality in America.
But the Biblical legacy of America’s founding is not just one of liberty, but one of limited civil government authority. Federalist Paper No. 51 demonstrates without question that the founding fathers’ view of government was shaped primarily by a Biblical view of human nature:
“. . . (w)hat is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections of human nature. If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”32
The necessity of government did not blind the writer to the risks of placing government power in the hands of some men to control other men. To the contrary, the need to control the governors was as great as the need to control the governed:
“If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”33
Recognition that the “depravity in mankind . . . requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust,”34 led to the establishment of the principle of separation of powers in every state constitution and in the national document, as well:
“. . . (T)he great security against a gradual concentration of the general powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others . . .. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”35
The inefficiencies and inevitable conflicts arising from such division of powers were considered “a reflection on human nature,” but “necessary to control the abuses of government.”
Whenever the Biblical view of fallen human nature is rejected, concentration of power in the hands of a few inevitably follows. Rulers claim their righteousness to be the salvation of the people. No better example of the consequences of the rejection of the Biblical view of man can be found than in the fundamental ideology of Marxism-Leninism. Assuming “that neither the essential natures of men and women, nor the right and wrong ways for them to live in society, are fixed or immutable,” the Marxist-Leninist has concluded that man is determined by “the prevailing economic system.”36
Because he does not like what he sees, the Communist ideologue favors a coercive state apparatus to achieve “the creation of a perfect communist society in which social conflicts, wars, poverty, oppression, and eventually disease will vanish.”37 This chosen instrument–“a dictatorship of the proletariat’ –will, he promises, usher in “the new socialist man'” who will no longer “need . . . government of any kind.”38
In the meantime a monolithic and highly centralized party structure is created to penetrate deep into the lives of the people so that all actions or decisions–ranging from the buying of an apartment to traveling–“must . . . be authorized by a Party official.”39 Such an all-encompassing state and party machine would simply be impossible if the religious notion of “depraved” or “fallen” man had not been rejected as part of what Lenin called the “opium of the people.”40
As the Biblical view of fallen human nature has receded from center stage in American politics, we have seen a gradual increase of government control of the economic lives of the people in the United States. Moreover, we have experienced a steady, although gradual, encroachment of government control in every aspect of life because today’s American political leaders have, also, discarded the Biblical view of God embraced by the Declaration of Independence.
In the last paragraph of the Declaration America’s founders appealed to the ‘Supreme Judge of the world” for justice and expressed their reliance upon “Divine Providence” for protection. Their belief in a Creator God meant a God who actively promoted righteousness and mercy in the affairs of nations.41 Divine Providence, a term widely used by men like George Washington, was defined by Noah Webster in 1828, as follows: “. . . (t)he care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures.” Webster explained this term further with this most remarkable sentence:
“He that acknowledges a creation and denies a providence, involves himself in a palpable contradiction; for the same power which caused a thing to exist is necessary to continue its existence.”
America’s early faith in Divine Providence provided the foundation for limiting the power of civil government in two very significant ways. First, it presupposed the existence of an all-powerful God who actively enforced His laws against wrongdoers whether civil rulers existed or not. Second, it presupposed that no man wielding civil power had unlimited authority to enforce God’s law. Only God, Himself, possessed such complete jurisdiction.
These twin principles are evident from the beginning of man’s history. Immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, Cain murdered his brother Abel. He was not tried, convicted, and sentenced by any human authority, yet he was punished by God:
“. . . (N)ow art thou cursed from the earth . . . when thou tillest the ground, it shall not hence forth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”42
At the same time God prohibited any human being from killing Cain by decreeing that if any man did attempt to punish him (Cain), that he (Cain) would be avenged “sevenfold.”43 Why? At that time God had authorized no man to take the life of another even when the latter was deserving of death for having committed the crime of murder.
While God later authorized man to impose the death penalty in His covenant with Noah after the flood,44 God did not thereby withdraw from actively enforcing His law against wrongdoers upon the earth. The Psalms are replete with testimony that God holds all men responsible for their wrongful deeds and continues to impose natural consequences upon them for such actions. Faith in such an active and just God naturally leads men first to trust Him to bring about justice and mercy and, second, to relegate the civil government to a subordinate and limited role in righting the wrongs that occur in society. Without such faith, men turn increasingly to the state because the state is the only institution with sufficient coercive power to deal with wrongdoers. Therefore, the state will inevitably be given more and more power over the affairs of men.
Belief in Divine Providence as understood by America’s founding fathers, necessarily limits the use of state power because God, as the Creator of all authority, determines the extent of the authority of the State:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained by God . . .. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil . . .. For he is a minister of God to thee for good . . . a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”45
James Madison captured the essence of this principle in his 1784 Remonstrance when he wrote that no man can enter any civil society and substitute civil rule in those matters that are to be governed exclusively by the Great Governor of the universe. And the English common law has long embodied this principle by requiring the proof of an act of wrongdoing before any man could be punished by the state. A man could never be subjected to the coercive power of the civil ruler for who he was, or, for what he might do in the future, but only upon proof that he had done something wrong in the past.46
Without God’s revealed objective limits on state power, man is left only with utilitarian reservations about such limits. God warned against such reasoning in the same chapter of Genesis where He set the absolute barrier to any man-administered punishment of the murderer, Cain:
“Lamech said to his wives: Adah and Zillah, hear my voice . . . I have slain a man for wounding me . . .. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”47
It is no accident that the first Biblical example of the lawless use of power is that of Lamech. A polygamist, he violated God’s command that he be the husband of only one wife and, thereby, that he assume authority as head of only one family. Once he transcended that limit, he exercised authority over whomever he chose so long as he had the power to do so.
For over 150 years the monogamous family was fostered and protected in America. Such a Biblical family policy was not the product of a people who just happened to prefer a godly code of sexual morality. Rather, that policy was established because America’s statesmen knew that a strong Biblical family was ordained of God:
“The primary and most important of the domestic relations, is that of husband and wife. It has its foundation in nature, and is the only lawful relation by which Providence has permitted the continuance of the human race.”48
When this policy was challenged in the middle and latter parts of the nineteenth century by Mormon polygamy, the United States Supreme Court unanimously rejected that form of family life:
“. . . [A]ccording as monogamous or polygamous marriages are allowed, do we find the principles on which the Government of the People, to be a greater or lesser extent, exists. Professor Lieber says: polygamy leads to the patriarchal principle, and which, when applied to large communities, fetters the people in stationary despotism, while that principle cannot long exist in connection with monogamy.”49
While polygamy continues to be outlawed in every state of the union, monogamy has been systematically undermined by the enactment of no-fault divorce and by the repeal of law prohibiting sexual promiscuity. Fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are no longer criminal in most states; even in those states where such activity is still prohibited, such laws are not enforced. Moreover, monogamy no longer commands high priority in the formulation of tax and welfare policy. Consequently, all kinds of “family structures” are being fostered and encouraged in modern America.
By undermining the monogamous family, God’s created order for all husbands, wives, and children, the state has expanded its grip on every aspect of American life, economic, social, and educational. In the name of the so-called “sexual liberation movement,’ Americans are eliminating the very institution that God intended the civil authorities promote and protect. Unwittingly, America has been committed by its leaders to one of the central tenets of Marxism: “Abolition of the family!”50
Marx’s comrade, Frederick Engels linked the future of the monogamous family to that of capitalism:
“With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry.”51
In fact, the blueprint for much of what we see in America under the banner of “women’s rights” was drawn by Lenin in 1920:
“The working women’s movement has for its objective the fight for the economic and social, and nor merely formal, equality of women. The main task is to draw the women into socially productive labour, extricate them from domestic slavery,’ free them from their stultifying and humiliating resignation to the perpetual and exclusive atmosphere of the kitchen and nursery. It is a long struggle . . .. But the struggle will end with the complete triumph of Communism.”52
And wherever Communism has triumphed it has always been accompanied by a loss of liberty and prosperity, both materially and spiritually.
It is ironic, to say the least, that men of faith in the Bible like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, are perceived by so many as posing a threat to liberty in America. It is not that they, like all other men, could not threaten our liberties if they, or men like them, come to power. But they do not pose a greater threat than men like Walter Mondale who, in the course of the 1984 presidential campaign, called for the privitization of religious faith.53 To the contrary, it is those who have abandoned the Biblical faith of America’s founders that pose the greater threat because they no longer embrace God’s absolute principles that alone guarantee both liberty and limited civil rule in human society.
1. J. Falwell, Strength for the Journey, 369 (1987).
3. Television Interview, David Frost, February 14, 1988.
4. E.g., Interview, U.S.A. Today, (July 1, 1986).
5. J. Falwell, Strength for the Journey, 150 (1987).
7. H. Morken, Pat Robertson, Where He Stands, 207 (1988).
8. Id. at 15.
9. P. Robertson, America’s Dates with Destiny, 72 (1986).
10. E.g., Editorial, “One Pulpit is Enough,” The Oregonian (June 26, 1986).
11. V.I. Lenin, Religion, 9-10 (Vol. 7, Little Lenin Library, International Publishers, 1933).
12. Article 52, Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (October 7, 1977).
13. V.I. Lenin, Religion, 11.
14. H. Titus, “The Law of Our Land,” 1986 Journal of Christian Jurisprudence, 57, 59-65.
15. The entire statute is reprinted in the Appendix of this paper.
16. Section 57.1, Code of Virginia (1950).
17. Luke 20:25.
18. Article I, Section 16, Constitution of Virginia (June 12, 1776) in Perry, ed., Sources of Our Liberties, 312 (1978}.
19. This document has been reprinted in its entirety by Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Basic Documents Relating to the Religious Clauses of the First Amendment, 7-14, (1965).
20. Acts 5:29; Acts 4:2, 18-19, 5:17-18, 27-28; and John 11:48.
21. See, R.C. Walton, Chronological and Background Charts of Church History 10, (1986).
22. See, e.g., R.J. Rushdoony, Christianity and the State, 128-131 (1986).
23. Basic Documents Relating to the Religious Clauses of the First Amendment, supra, note 19.
24. R. McCarthy, “Public Schools and Public Justice: The Past, the Present and the Future,” in R.J. Neuhaus, ed., Democracy and the Renewal of Public Education 57 (1987).
25. See H. Titus, “Education, Caesar’s or God’s: A Constitutional Question of Jurisdiction,” 1982 Journal of Christian Jurisprudence, 101, 130-142.
26. Article III, Constitution of Massachusetts (October 25, 1780) in R. Perry, ed., Sources of Our Liberties, 374 (1959).
27. Brandon v. Board of Education of the Guilderland Central School District, 635 F.2d 971, 973 (2d Cir. 1980).
28. Proverbs 9:10.
29. See, Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 107 S.Ct. 2573 (1987}.
30. Stoney v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 41-42 (1980).
31. See, e.g., Mozart v. Hawkins County Board of Education, 827 F.2d 1058 (6th Cir. 1987).
32. The Federalist, 337 (Mod. Lib. Ed. 1937).
34. Federalist Paper No. 55, The Federalist, supra note 32 at 365.
35. The Federalist, supra, note 32 at 337.
36. L. Arnn, et. al, A Primer in Soviet Government 5 (Claremont Paper No. 10, 1987).
37. Id., at 6.
38. Id., at 7.
39. Id., at 16.
40. V.I. Lenin, Religion, supra, note 11, at 7.
41. H. Titus, “Law of Our Land,” 1986 Journal of Christian Jurisprudence, supra, note 14, at 62-63.
42. Genesis 4:11-12.
43. Genesis 4:15.
44. Genesis 9:6.
45. Romans 13:1,4.
46. See, e.g., Clark and Marshall, A Treatise on the Law of Crimes, 176 (1958).
47. Genesis 4:23-24.
48. II J. Kent, Commentaries on American Law, 65 (1827).
49. Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 165-166 (1878).
50. K. Marx, Communist Manifesto, pt. II (1847).
51. F. Engles, Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, 67 (1884).
52. V.I. Lenin, Women and Communism, 63 (1950).
53. Time Magazine, 8 (September 10, 1984).
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (16 January 1786)
WELL AWARE that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraintthat all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time:That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuausive to righteousness; and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous falacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contadict them.
We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
And though we well know that this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies, constituted with power equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.