John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the 16th word in the American Pledge of Allegiance, "Republic" asserts that the United States is thankfully not a democracy (that is, popular or "mob" rule) but instead a representative republic in which citizens elect representatives to establish public policy. The Founders deliberately chose this system of governance, realizing that democratic procedures invariably led to confusion and chaos. The Founders established a "non-political" Supreme Court to act as a safeguard against rash, unconstitutional policies. While the Founders conceived of the Justices as conservative-minded Constitutionalists who deeply respected established jurisprudence, a number of important Justices in the Twentieth Century have turned to Count into a body whose mission is to determine public policy regarding prayers in public schools, abortion rights, definitions of marriage, and the such. These humanist Justices moved the United Stated from a God-fearing to a secular nation. In the crucial Supreme Court hearings currently taking place, the pendulum could swing back to a more conservative position for the first time since the New Deal.
America's presidential primary season has brought voting in political elections to the fore once again. Because it is not directly mentioned in Scripture, people often ask if voting is biblically condoned. Martin Collins, beginning a short series of Bible Studies, re-asks the question in its most basic form for a true Christian: Would Jesus Vote?
John Ritenbaugh reflects on two recent news items in which individuals foolishly initiated altercations with police and lost their lives in the process. As a matter of common sense, it seems the height of idiocy to challenge constituted authority. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 8:17 that we are not privy to God's operations under the sun, but we must nevertheless leave room for God's operations, realizing that He has the prerogative to impose both blessings and calamity, the latter as a response to man's disobedience. God wants us to witness difficulties and the natural consequences of sin. In these difficult times, we need to be mindful that God is carefully watching us. As we yield to God, and apply godly wisdom, analyzing, calculating, observing, etc., our knowledge increases and we add an extra dimension of character as we morph into God's offspring. One of the difficult lessons we must process is that God backs up constituted authority, regardless of the governmental structures that placed it into office. We must realize that whether we are dealing with federal representatives, city council members, the policeman on the beat, our employer, our teachers, or our parents, we owe them the same deference and respect we would give to God. The human family was given by God as the building blocks of all governmental structures. As the beginning of wisdom is fear of Almighty God, we humans learn to fear, giving deference and respect to our parents, and then transfer this deference to civil government and other governmental structures of society. We must continually remember that we are strangers, pilgrims, and sojourners in an alien land. Even if we consider ourselves ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom, our latitude to participate in the governmental structures in this world has been greatly restricted. Nevertheless, we are obligated to render respect, deference, and honor to constituted authority as though we rendered it to God.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh: Many voices across the political and media spectrums have hailed the recent protests and changes in governments across the Middle East as welcome democratic advances into a largely totalitarian region of the world. ...
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