In this country, we seem to have forgotten why there is a separation of church and state. It is not that politics and religion are so inimical to each other. There is nothing inherently wrong with governing a country by means of a set of moral values. In fact, having a set of shared values makes governing a country much easier, because every individual knows how he and everyone else is supposed to behave, and can help enforce the value system through shunning and other social deprivations, designed to make the miscreant rethink his antisocial actions or face personal retribution.
So the First Amendment was not inserted into the Constitution so that we would all be protected from the horrible effects of abiding by the ethics of the Judeo-Christian community. The First Amendment was inserted into the Constitution to protect the Judeo-Christian community, and any other religious affiliation, because the Founders well knew that the “power to tax involves the power to destroy”, as so aptly stated by Daniel Webster and Chief Justice John Marshall.
They were talking about the ability to destroy an institution through the taxing power, essentially stripping away its assets. But what we are facing in the U.S. today is the government stripping away the assets of taxpayers, and in the process, stripping away our freedoms.
This country grew great in a time of limited government. You lived in Europe, you didn’t like the system there, you moved to the Colonies. You didn’t like the government there, you moved to Kentucky. Not really enjoying yourself that close to Philadelphia, or New York, or Washington, wherever the capital happened to be at the time, head further West, to the Plains States. Still being chased by the infernal regulators? Head out to Colorado. The federal government didn’t cast its hold over the West Coast until well into the 1800’s. By that time, the pioneers in the West had gotten used to being their own bosses, and settling their own differences, just as had all of the immigrants to the New World before them.
What people seem to forget about the United States is that it was founded by men who believed that government needs to be restrained, requires limitations. That they were afraid of the grasping nature of politicians. That the new federal government had been set up as a counterpoint to the traditional governments of the Old World. That the revolutionists had been the first in the entire history of the world to successfully throw off the shackles of their homeland and start fresh, and that they put an enormous amount of thinking into exactly how they wanted their government to function.
They were not impressed by what government could do for them. They saw it as a necessary evil, and when it didn’t work the first time, when The Articles of Confederation proved a dud, they didn’t hesitate to throw out that whole system and start fresh.
And what the central planners, and the people who revere traditional overweening European governments do not understand is that that skepticism of government still pervades the heartland of this country. It’s easy to see in any map of predicted electoral votes. The coasts and Chicago are blue, but the rest of the country is red. It’s not that the flyover staters are stupid hicks, loving their Pabst and their guns and their NASCAR. The people in the red states retain that fear of government, and the knowledge that the government is powerful enough to crush human ambition and the human spirit, and must be utilized very carefully. And if the government becomes too large, reaches a critical mass, then the red staters are not above another revolution.
So tread carefully, central planners. Be judicious in enacting those taxes on the producers in order to pay for the contraceptives, the solar panels, the hybrid vehicles, the current playthings of the elite. You may laugh at the shots of the presidential candidates in their hunting garb, posing beside a deer whose life was just snuffed out. You may believe that a shot like that just proves that the mouth-breathing conservative ilk has not yet risen above barbarianism, but what you don’t understand is that the mouth-breathing conservatives have not yet risen above barbarianism.
It’s akin to the medieval villagers accusing the old hags of practicing witchcraft. If the old hags were really capable of flying around the land, poisoning cattle and wells, and stealing children in the night, dontcha think that they would have done something to defend themselves at trial? I always remember a scene from the old series, “Bewitched”, where Samantha (a witch) goes back in time to Salem, Massachusetts, and finds herself accused of being a witch.
“You betcha I’m a witch!” she tells the court, and proceeds to prove it by immolating the place. The same thing goes for the red-staters. You may tell yourself that they are barbarians. You may sneer at their uncouth manners. You may deride their humble dress, their oh-so-last-year hair cut. But never forget that the hallmark of barbarians is contempt for the powers-that-be, and the willingness to do something to modify the system in their favor.
You may think that of the government as the provider. Of laws, of justice, of funds to level out the ills of society. But the barbarians do not. To them, government is a necessary evil, and the less of it that exists, the better off they are. They hunt, not to show off the heft of their weapons, their phallic symbols (though, of course, that’s a factor), nor to have an excuse to pop open a cold one at 10 am (again, an added benefit). They become, and remain, proficient in the killing arts—just in case. Just in case they are asked, or decide to, aid in the protection of their country—or their countrymen. And they will distinguish between the two, if need be. They believe that this country was founded by individuals who built a government, not the other way around. And that a little revolution every once in awhile might just be a good thing.
Kinda like what the Founding Fathers did. After all, it was no less a personage than Thomas Jefferson himself who said that, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” But what did he know?