Those who ascribe to the idea that we are “One Nation Under God” believe that there are some basic, fundamental principles established by God that can never be negotiated away; three in particular are expressed in the Manhattan Declaration: the Sanctity of Life, the historical definition of Marriage, and Religious Liberties.The history of the United States has been, until recently, the history of achieving a more perfect union by improving our institutions and standards to provide greater opportunities for everyone. All our advances for equality have been initiated by people of faith motivated by their understanding of God’s will as reflected in the Bible. Abolition of Slavery, Women’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, these were all fueled by the Biblical understanding of God’s plan for a peaceful and orderly society. Though all these initiatives experienced resistance at their outset, they were eventually assimilated into our culture and now seen as legitimate progressive steps in our journey toward that “more perfect union,” because they were consistent with Biblical ideals and also reflected in natural law.
There have been some missteps along the way. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 which dehumanized blacks, declaring slaves to be “property” not entitled to citizenship or recognition as human beings, launched a long Civil Rights struggle that led to the eventual overturning of that decision, because the Bible clearly establishes the equality of all regardless of skin color. As the electorate became more educated concerning this issue it eventually absorbed this “truth” into the fabric of our culture though we paid a great price in blood and treasure, coming close to committing national suicide in our first War Between the States, in which we lost more than 500,000 citizens.
The Roe. V. Wade decision of 1972 likewise spawned a “pro-life” movement led, again, by the Church, because the Bible, and natural law clearly speaks to the sanctity of every human life, and the need to protect the most defenseless among us. As society has become educated on this issue popular opinion has been steadily becoming more “pro-life.” As the U.S. Supreme Court reflects culture, it will eventually overturn another “bad” decision, this time at a cost of the lives of more than 50 million babies.
Now the U.S. Supreme Court has, in effect, given the green light for homosexual rights groups to pursue a universal redefinition of marriage. As they attempt to impose their morality on America, some “progressive” states will acquiesce to their sense of equality based on the religious view of Secular Humanism that declares that there is no higher standard of morality than that which is established by human reasoning. States whose people and institutions still subscribe to the Judeo-Christian standard of morality will never acquiesce to an imposed anti-biblical standard of morality, even if imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court or federal regulatory authorities.What will make this conflict different than the abortion issue is that no American is being compelled by law to abort a baby, however the same-sex marriage movement is moving toward compelling Americans to recognize homosexual unions as a legitimate moral union, even calling it “marriage”. This will present a clear conflict where people of faith will have to choose to obey God rather than man. State governments that recognize that “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to acknowledge their dependence upon the overruling power of God” will never bow down to dictates contrary to the standards set by God. One of the mottos from our first war for independence “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” will ring out once again.
I can foresee the day when people of faith will begin to move toward “faith-friendly” states while humanists will continue to build power in their “progressive” states, thus polarizing the country even more than it has been polarized by the current left and right ideologies, until there will be two standards of morality. This will prove to be untenable in these “United” States of America. We will be, in effect, as one writer called it, “The Divided States of America.”There are certain truths that must be agreed upon by all Americans if we are to continue to live with the peace and prosperity that we have known since our founding. The most fundamental truth is that our rights come to us not from the generosity of the state but by the hand of God. Yes, we can debate the meaning of those rights in our various state and federal legislatures, but we must never depart from the laws of nature and nature’s God, or we will surely experience civil discord, chaos, and yes, possibly even war.
Either we will be one nation under God, or many nations under man. Let us pray for the former to avert the conflict and chaos that will result from the latter. Let the seeds sown by the U.S Supreme Court not sprout a harvest of discord and strife, and yes, possibly war between the states. Let us pray and continue to work toward realizing that more perfect union—One Nation Under God.