As the delegates left the building, a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got?”
With no hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Not a democracy, not a democratic republic. But “a republic, if you can keep it.”
The following two examples which highlight the difference between a democracy and a republic.
A lynch mob is democracy in action, while if you believe someone is innocent until proven guilty, and they deserve their day in court and that a jury of their peers should decide their fate, then you believe in a nation of laws, not just the whims of a mob.
Democracy is five wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. If you were the sheep, which would you rather live in—a republic or a democracy?
As America stands at the crossroads of history, there is a pressing need for us to look back and rediscover the vision of those who laid the groundwork and built the foundation that made our nation great. The Founders’ found the Scriptures as the basis for our original founding documents and inspired them in the fight for independence. The sacrifices they made were because of their Biblically-based beliefs and established America as a Christian nation.
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. (Dec 23, 1776, The Crises by Thomas Paine).
In a government constituted like ours, no purpose can be carried into permanent execution unless “the people love to have it so [Jerem. 5:31].” Every citizen has his weight; and if he throw that weight into the scale of righteousness; if by his example, his advice, and his suffrage, he exclusively countenance men and measures propitious to the common weal, he may do much to lengthen the public tranquility. (John Foster, A.M. Minister of Brighton, Massachusetts June 5, 1809 in A Sermon Preached Before The Ancient And Honorable Artillery Company)
Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be! (John Adams, Works, Vol. II, pp. 6-7, diary entry for February 22, 1756.)
If you have been following the news you would be led to believe that we are a secular nation and that God has no place in our lives, our community, or our politics.
I recently witnessed newly graduated high school young adults who didn’t know much about our Founding Fathers, our history, didn’t know the words to the Pledge of Allegiance to Our Flag or to place their hand over their heart when reciting it. Our future leaders are missing the richness and meaning of our history. How can they be expected to carry on our Republic when we’re gone if they don’t have an appreciation for it or don’t know we have one?
Sadly they may someday be called upon to take up arms and fight in a war without having an understanding what they are fighting for. Their enemy could be today’s terrorists. Today’s terrorists care deeply about their cause which makes them highly motivated to kill and therefore extremely dangerous. The uncommitted combat soldiers are easy prey for the committed terrorist.
The uncommitted combat soldier will incur more injuries than a committed opponent. Any combat soldier is susceptible to physical, emotional, and psychological injuries, such as PTSD. Recovery is more difficult when the injured veteran does not know what he was fighting for or believe in the cause that placed them in harms way.
If the proper end of politicks be to procure the happiness of nations, that end is not to be attained but by adhering to the rules of morality: for every act of injustice leads to misfortune, were it only from its being accompanied with certain infamy [Millot. Vol. I. P. 157-158. Salem Edit. 1796.].”
As we celebrate this Fourth of July weekend: let’s focus on the Liberty and Freedom we gained by our independence, what we’ve lost over the years; start to instill in at least one of our future leaders an appreciation of our Republic; and pray for our Republic and its current and future leaders.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org