Ours is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a government instituted among men deriving its power from the consent of the governed. As such it should respond to our beliefs, our needs and our ideals. It should reflect our beliefs as a nation. Our nation is 78% Christian. Shouldn’t our government reflect the ideals of the majority?
Let’s say that it should, although Jefferson argued that democracy simply gave 51 percent of the population authority to lord it over the other 49 percent. But let’s say that our nation is a Christian nation, and our government should reflect those beliefs. We should bring Christ into our government.
Jesus Christ directs His followers to turn the other cheek, to forgive trespasses, to give more than what is asked, to do good works, to give to the poor, to store up treasures in Heaven rather than earth, to not judge others, to not worry about the future or material needs, to love enemies, and to love one another as they love Him. His commands are not disputed. These are not merely suggestions. This is how His followers are to live their lives.
What does that mean for a Christian nation whose government is reflective of its people’s beliefs? How should it respond to acts of war or terror? Should it respond with violent retribution, or should it turn its cheek? How should it respond to the hungry, naked and homeless? Should it feed and clothe and shelter them, or should it admonish them for their poor work ethic, poor choices and lack of education? Should it love its enemies and share its bounties with the world, or should it hoard its wealth and sanction other countries that threaten it? If a nation is devastated by natural disaster and asks for a billion dollars in aid, should the Christian nation give it two billion in aid? Should a Christian nation attach God’s name to money or a pledge to its secular flag? Should it mandate public prayer, or should it require people to pray privately as instructed by Jesus?
In my heart of hearts I would love to see this country act as Jesus instructed. I would love to see us turn the other cheek. I would love to see us share our bounty with the world. I would love to see us give away our shirt with our coat. I would love to see us beat our swords into ploughshares. I would love to see us act as a Christian nation rather than just say that we are. And someone has to go first.
Someone, somewhere, has to take the first step. Some nation has to step up and say cooperation is more important than competition. Someone has to say we will give you our shirt with our coat. We will feed and clothe the poor. We will bathe the feet of the lepers. We will treat the least of our neighbors as we would Christ, and we will begin to create peace on earth through our actions rather than our words. It will not be easy. It was not easy for Christ. But it must be done. We are always willing to sacrifice our young for warfare. Why are we not willing to sacrifice our egos, our comfort, our earthly treasures for peace and the commands of Christ?