CAN THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC BE SAVED?
A well-known footnote in America’s quest for independence is an exchange between and Benjamin Franklin. It was the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and some citizens stood anxiously outside of Independence Hall as the delegates filed out. Mrs. Elizabeth Powell of Philadelphia shouted out at Franklin, “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?’ He replied, “A republic if you can keep it”.
Over two hundred years later, America is still grappling with the complexities of a republic. The United States Constitution is stained with the blood of patriots from Valley Forge to Fallujah. The sacrifices to maintain freedom is wide and deep.
Yet we find the republic in danger today. Not because of an external military power, catastrophic disease, or a coupe de tat. No, the United States is fractured from the inside. The nation that has stood as the bastion of free speech and religious liberty now has groups championing the eradication of those same great freedoms.
One of the major television shows went out to college campuses and asked students to sign a petition to eliminate freedom of speech from the constitution. Guess what? Almost all of them gladly signed the petition. Yet these same students would protest and/or riot if they were told to keep quiet about homosexuality, atheism, or a woman’s right to choose. So in essence, these people don’t want all freedom of speech eradicated, just the rights of people who disagree with them.
A republic is not a la carte, where we pick and choose each day which freedoms to acknowledge. This is why the constitution was so painstaking because it was to infinitely guarantee the same freedoms to all the inhabitants of the homeland.
I’m convinced the political, economic and cultural divides will only widen in the coming years. Which will yield even more anger, discord, and violence. The American people need an example and a pattern of civility. The nation should get this pattern from Christians. People should witness our boldness in exercising overwhelming kindness, civility, and adherence to imitating the life of Jesus Christ.
There is a strong correlation between America being called a beacon of light on a hill, and the old spiritual song that implores us to let this little light of ours shine. The nation which fails to shine the light of Christ on its land is a nation that will crumble. America is headed that way, like so many empires before her. But we can change the course, but only if the people of God light the path.
Tim Lollis is Executive Director of Destiny Institute, community relations specialist, and freelance writer. See more articles at www.thecalled.net