In the writings of our Founding Fathers, there can be seen an unmistakable belief in a higher Being. The well known phrase gleaned from the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence states unequivocally, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pBelief in Freedomursuit of Happiness.”
These words were not chosen capriciously. Only a Supreme Being can give rights that are “unalienable.” If the rights are bestowed by a human being or a group of human beings, that is, a king, a dictator, a prime minister, a president, a parliament, congress or legislature, then those rights are not inalienable. Those rights only last as long as the person or persons who conferred those rights allows them to exist or until the next powerful ruler or rulers come along.
Of course, tyrants and oligarchs can deny their populace their inalienable rights, but when they do, as the Declaration of Independence points out, the people have a right and are justified in overthrowing their rulers. That august document also points out that this should not be done for “light or transient causes.”
The Creator mentioned in the Declaration is the God that has given us free will. In addition, He has blessed us with simple rules (The Ten Commandments) that, when followed and enforced, create and maintain an orderly society. Although there will always be those who violate one or more of the Commandments, a community, city, state, or country that enforces laws based on them avoids much chaos and anarchy. It provides its citizens with the freedom of movement, the freedom of commerce, (that is to invent, manufacture, buy and sell products and produce), and freedom of association. Free will allows us to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and progress in whatever endeavors we undertake.
As always, when humans are involved, there are bumps, detours and bad roads along the way, but these foundational rules, have lead Western Civilization to progress faster and to a higher degree than any other civilization. Those academics and politicians who deny this, are either historical revisionists or pander to the elitist myths that all civilizations and cultures are equal, that truth is not universal but individually interpreted and that diversity is more important than competency.
A belief in God also has a civilizing effect on the believers. I once had the fortunate pleasure of hearing a Constitutional expert, W. Cleon Skousen, speak. Mr. Skousen had been an FBI agent and later the Chief of Police in Salt Lake City. He stated that had it been Constitutionally permitted, he would have only hired police officers who had a strong belief in God. His reasoning was impeccable. Skousen related that police officers see many perversions of justice. They sometimes see criminals literally getting away with murder, not to mention lesser crimes. Officers, he reasoned, who did not believe in a Higher Authority, often have a tendency to mete out “street justice”. Police officers who have a belief in the All Mighty have a different perspective. When they see law breakers they know are guilty, walk out of court after being found “not guilty” or released on a technicality, they know that these crooks will be held accountable for their crimes in the hereafter, even if they escape justice in this life.
In a more general sense, all of us can avoid the trap of victimhood in this life if we believe in God and know that justice will eventually prevail.