Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Freedom For All

TEXT: Gal 3:28

"28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

     Alexis de Tocqueville, considered to be the foremost authority on early 19th century American liberty & political philosophy, listed this text as the bedrock basis of American liberty in chapter 1 of his monumental work Democracy in America.  In his analysis in that book, he detailed how well educated every American was, primarily from each reading the Bible in their native tongue (primarily English).  He deduced that it was every Americans' knowledge of the implications of this verse as the Word of God that brought about the revolution against Britain.

     In fact, de Tocqueville asserts that Paul's expression here is the first time that anyone had ever declared all men, women, slave, master, Jew, or gentile were equals under God.  This then is the root for Jefferson’s ground-breaking chain in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States, that “We hold these truths to be self evident:  that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights;  that among these are life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.”  How much like Paul’s statement does the opening half of Jefferson’s formulation sound.

     Tocqueville goes on to examine the root of the claim & finds that it rings true that without Biblical Christianity there is no egalitarian freedom for all.  He sees this as the driving force behind all the other leaps toward democracy (the printing press, the gun, the microscope, science, the engines that drive democracy), without which, progress would not be possible.

     Wrote de Tocqueville:  "Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth." *

     Regardless of what revisionists wish to say today, no matter what pratter they peddle, it is imperative that one read the documents of the period to see that from the Bible & from our people's ability & freedom to read it springs the lifeblood of our freedom.

*Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337

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