The moral conundrum in the coming ideological battle
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams
The First Amendment guarantees access to religious institutions without government interference, along with the right to speak freely and seek redress of a grievance. The first guarantee shapes morality; the other two acknowledge that moral people are trustworthy.
The Second Amendment is also based on their faith that Americans would be moral and lawful. The right to the privacy of our papers and homes presumes that the people could be trusted without the government constantly watching and controlling them. A moral people can be trusted in their private affairs.
Throughout the Constitution, we find this trust that the people will do the right thing. It is a trust built on knowing that moral people can be trusted to behave morally in their private lives and in administering a government “of the people.” The connection between morality and trust is what makes self-government work. Consent of the governed is a consent born from trust.
We have changed. Many people have no moral foundation. We are less trustworthy in our personal lives and in our ability to self-govern. The government no longer trusts the people and the people no longer trust the government.
This distrust infects our lives more than personally. We are politically, socially, and legally untrustworthy.
Image: Americans in 1932/1933 dressed in Pilgrim costumes. Library of Congress.
Elections are not trusted because the administrators are untrusted. Social media giants use deceptive and false reasoning to block those with whom they disagree. School boards lie to parents, saying they are not teaching subjects parents find objectionable while secretly doing so. We have a two-tiered justice system in which the well-connected insiders get preferential treatment. The law is selectively enforced.
A few people still value morality and the trust it engenders. However, they see an uphill battle against the distrust that has permeated our society and its institutions. Some have suggested that we need to use immoral people’s weapons of immorality and deception to beat them.
This is the conundrum. Must we become immoral ourselves to defeat the immorality that is destroying us? “Do something even if it is wrong” doesn’t feel right because it isn’t right.
It is tempting to think that things might improve by reflecting immoral people’s techniques back at them. With a bit of cunning and effort, we can be just as good at the electoral deception they use. We could hire dishonest lawyers to lie for us. We can wrongly eject them from our social circles. Yes, we can adopt their immoral tactics and defeat them, but it will still be wrong.
We need moral and effective solutions.
I am tempted just to let God sort it out. We should not sink to their level of immorality to defeat the damaging things they have given us. That God will judge is certainly true. However, God may be expecting me to do something in the meantime.
Maybe we take over immoral institutions from the inside. However, these institutions are very protective. We might make gains around the edges, but they will never allow a takeover of institutions like academia or the legal system. We might also become dirty through association. Good people often go bad when they work inside immoral institutions.
We could build our own institutions. Homeschooling and private education have made inroads, but they are dwarfed by “free” government schools. There are few places where new institutions can be created. Immoral government will prevent them.
We could be fatalists and assume that an immoral society will eventually destroy itself. We let it crash, then swoop in and pick up the pieces. They die, and we win.
My take on a successful plan is different: patience, preparation, and providence. We wait, preparing ourselves for a moment of providence to act. We must stay tuned to our internal voices of reason and be prepared to move.
The right time and place will come. There will be times to win elections by legal ballot harvesting. We may work on the inside or create brand-new successful replacements. The key is to be ready and available. Opportunities will find the prepared.
Our Founders, armed with diligence and faith, succeeded in the impossible. At a time when needed, men were prepared to step up and end slavery and, later, the evil of racial discrimination. Prepared and available people of courage stood against despotism in Europe and the Pacific, ending a great evil.
It is more than faith. People who are ready and watching will sense when the time is right. That is my plan. Stay connected to what is right. I will work in my life to make changes as I can. I will listen to that inner voice that says, “Now, move; it is time.” Some will be called to lead, and many more will be called to act. Then we move. Be ready. The time may be close.