Tim Throckmorton: Keeping First things First in the America

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 28, 2024

Here in the United States of America and around the world the freedom of religion, speech and the press are among the most important components in the foundation of a free society.
Amendment I of the Constitution states clearly, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
I have long since known and deeply appreciated this freedom in the land that I love.
I am now more concerned than ever that these freedoms are in jeopardy.
My friend Dr. Everett Piper in the Washington Times last week writes, “Creatio ex nihilo is a Latin phrase used to describe a central theological point of Christianity. It’s an axiom that captures the first event of Genesis: “In the beginning, God created.” It says it is God and God alone who can take nothing and turn it into something. He’s the one who sets the field and draws the boundaries. He’s the one who puts the goals in place. He is responsible for the rules and the definitions. God establishes order. No matter what you’ve been told, there is a Creator, and it’s not you. Some things are what they are, and neither you nor I has any business or power to change or redefine them. Facts are facts, and that’s the end of it… Truth is true, and falsehood is false, and that IS the end of it.
Only one worldview acknowledges that truth is endowed by our Creator and is not the subject of a political consensus. Only one worldview understands that all our rights and freedoms, therefore, can never be taken away by a democracy or a demagogue. In the ontological world of Creation vs. chaos, some things simply are. The yard lines are down. The boundaries are set. The rule book is written. It can’t be manipulated into whatever you’d like it to be. Only the Creation worldview understands that denying established facts doesn’t change them.”
On June 20,1785, James Madison in his Memorial and Remonstrance against
Religious Assessments wrote, “the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his Religion according to the dictates of conscience is held by the same tenure with all our other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consult the “Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of Government,” What Madison suggested and what was embraced by not only the Virginia legislature, but our young nation as well, established a worldwide principle of religious freedom. A freedom with worldwide significance which is still understood and appreciated to this day.
Here in America, unlike other places in the world, our founding documents say that our rights come to us from God and not Government.
We have them because of our creator, not our group.
If rights because of your group are what you are interested in, you’ll need to move to another country to find those.
The premise of our nation’s founding is clearly defined, “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 Pursuit of Happiness….” If it is suggested that American’s rights are based on anything else, reject the premise and stand for truth.
Jedidiah Morse, a historian of the American Revolution wrote, “To the kindly influence of Christianity, we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. All efforts made to destroy the foundations of our Holy Religion ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation… in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom… Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government and all the blessings which flow from them must fall with them.”
President Ronald Reagan in his farewell address reminded America, “An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? … We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom… freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important.”
I can’t think of anything more important to the future of our beloved nation than freedom.
If we fail to keep first things first in America, then nothing else may matter.

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.

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