Ruben Garcia’s letter of July 4th is woefully lacking in an understanding of religion and of our country‘s founding principles. To wit, he begins by citing the statement of a dead Marxist, an advocate of a system being relegated to the dustbin of history even while Christianity survives.
Tragically, Garcia misses most of what Jesus had to say. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, i.e. God in the flesh. He indeed taught that we have a choice--but to be clear, that choice is to accept His offer of salvation or to reject it--and such rejection means eternity in hell. Garcia can indeed choose to reject Christianity--although this can be accomplished without misrepresenting and denigrating Christian beliefs, something inconsistent with Garcia‘s call for tolerance.
Both Old and New Testaments teach, contrary to what Garcia says, that all people are evil. The difference for those that accept Jesus’ offer is that they are forgiven. Interestingly, our founding fathers accepted this: our Constitution contains the checks and balances that it does because it is assumed that its individual officers have the potential to follow their inherent evil tendencies.
Garcia confuses the freedom and tolerance that our nation was founded on with the equally foundational parameters of a moral society. Our founding fathers represented a variety of faiths, but they all believed a Judeo-Christian moral foundation to be essential to their experiment in democracy--not optional, and not merely preferable, but essential. Note that the checks and balances don’t work if too many within and without the government are corrupt.
Take Garcia’s example of homosexuality. In reality, the current debate in America is not over a prohibition of this behavior, as he seems to imply. Rather, it is over whether homosexuals may impose the consequences or burdens of their choices on others--by requiring others to grant financial benefits, by demanding authority over other people’s children, even by demanding that others express the opinion that their behavior is acceptable. Further, they seek to attain these goals not through the lawful democratic and legislative processes, but by obtaining the illegal cooperation of a handful of judges and bureaucrats. The homosexual agenda is a denial of the freedoms and principles upon which this country is based.
A foundational element of the American system is that all eligible voters may participate in the forum of public policy--even if their views happen to be related to religious beliefs. But more importantly, the government has an obligation to protect both individual liberty and the society at large. The balance is challenging to strike in a pluralistic society. That the balance must address morality is both necessary and unavoidable.
(printed in The Brownsville Herald, 18 August 2004.)
© 2004 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 4 August 2004.
Return to Home. Return to IMHO.