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God’s Approval Rating?

What does it say about American Culture that we now believe we have the right to rate God’s performance? For starters, it demonstrates that we’re drifting away from being a nation of principles to a nation of people pleasers. Every time a public figure makes a move, a poll is performed and the results analyzed to determine their next move. Leadership is a principled determination to make a positive difference, not mere deference to public opinion. This trend of perpetual polling and campaigning illustrates that we’re becoming less a republic, based on the rule of law, and more of a straight democracy that is ruled by the whims of men.

I’ve long tried to depose folks of the notion that America is a democracy. It is not. This nation was founded as a Republic, wherein the rulers are chosen by the people from among the people, but she is not a democracy. A straight democracy is as dictatorial and tyrannical as rule by princes and potentates. The founders knew this, and sought to avoid any semblance of historical democracies (such as the Greek city states), which lived shortly in anarchy before ending in tyranny. In a republic, the rule of law protects minority rights, meaning that the losers of an election or a legislative battle still have rights and freedoms. Under a straight democracy, where each decision is made by a simple majority without constitutional restraints, losers of elections and legislative debates are often in danger of life and limb. From the chaos of never ending debates, disagreements and upheavals come dictators and an elite ruling class. As such, democracy is a transitional form of government between republic and oligarchy (rule by elites).

The canary in the mine shift, warning us of a dangerous cultural shift toward straight democracy, is our politicized obsession with public opinion. Instead of leading, “leaders” seek popularity and often sacrifice principles and national prosperity to get it. The recent example of Public Policy Polling’s (a left-leaning polling group out of North Carolina) attempt to rate public opinion of God aptly demonstrates this danger. The arrogance of the cultural left to assign public ratings to God is stunning. It demonstrates a culture so consumed with self-determination that it cannot accept the authority even of the Creator. The founders believed in individualism and individual rights, but our culture has taken that concept to an extreme. We have determined that our individual comfort is paramount, regardless of how our choices affect those around us. As a result, our overly individualistic society, as it currently stands, can never remain a free society.

Any society that lives in self-absorption cannot long stand in freedom. Freedom is a gift from God, which is to be exercised from a position of love for one’s neighbor. The whole premise of personal liberty is that a moral and virtuous people will not violate their neighbor’s well-being in pursuit of their own. That’s how republics work: they enshrine natural, or revealed, law in their constitutions and let the rule of law be their guide. A morally capable and educated electorate is then expected to select leaders who will uphold these moral standards and preserve freedom. Straight democracy is mob rule, whereby morally bankrupt populaces seek to pass laws and regulations that enrich themselves, at the expense of their own countrymen.

I believe that a country that starts polling God is in danger of losing its soul. The position of King of the Universe is not an elected office, and its Occupant is not up for reelection. Our Republic provides for the rule of law, with the consent of the governed, because we do not believe man is capable of being a monarch. No man is fit to be a dictator, and no man deserves to be a slave. God is a benevolent King, but His rule is absolute and is not subject to public opinion or electoral process. America will do well to return to our belief that the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are gifts from God, and start measuring our own performance on the preservation of these rights. It is an arrogant and futile waste of time to poll the One who made the pollsters. Our nation enjoys equal liberty under law, and we enjoy equality in law because God is the ultimate lawgiver.

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