By Jeff Ziegler, President: SGI
The notion of possessing a world-life-view is an inescapable concept of life. Even a child, though not epistemologically self-aware, still holds to a particular worldview. In other words, it his way of organizing facts, experiences, and impressions into a life system, wherein he will define his reality, his basis of truth, and thus take corresponding action. Such experiences and actions will be primitive and very limited, lacking mature experience and context, but never-the-less form a worldview.
Ergo, it is never a question of having a worldview or not having worldview. It is instead a question of what or whose worldview is in ascendancy. Nor is it a question of sophistication or understanding. Worldviews exist with or without a conscious cogent, articulation of the same.
In a larger context, Marxists have a worldview and Fascists have a worldview. So too Christians and Muslims, Western linear historical thinkers and Eastern circular realists, as well as conspiratorialists and rationalists all these have a worldview. That these views continually battle for supremacy are of utmost importance in defining how we relate to government, the notion of individual rights, and the definition of who we are and where we are going.
Worldview: The State and Individual “Rights”
To a man, our Founding Fathers rightly held that the “rights” of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. Organically a “right” is an area to which no authority may speak and which no authority may invade.
On the other hand, totalitarians, statists and other “man as god” regimes hold that there is no area exempt from state authority. These all, with one voice see that there is no place for individuals; and that nothing exists outside of the state, since for them, the highest end of man is the State.
Yet clearly, God while granting certain unalienable rights to individuals also established the state. The state serves to bring a social cohesion and identification, it serves as an administrator of justice, and provides for a common defense.
Without a transcendent authority providing both individual rights, and laws of governance replete with proper jurisdictional authority, freedom as conceived by our forbears cannot long endure. Governance is more than state power, but includes basic self-control, family governance, religious allegiances, commercial ethics and then finally political structures. Our Founders looked to the political as the governance of last resort. There was no concept of interventions into the other spheres of authority except to redress criminal actions.
The Declaration of Independence’s spinal cord of thought “God-the creator who endows” stands in sharp relief to the modernists’ concept of state power. Herein is the presupposition of a transcendent God perfectly ordered, yet at the same time, immanently revealed in history through the individual rights and principles as described in the document. Therefore the new political nation and individuality are held equally yet jurisdictionally defined by God. Therefore, neither the state, nor individuality may be exalted over the other. Both are under Divine authority.
John Locke vs. Barack Obama
While our founders were of course influenced by a Western and orthodox Christian culture, there existed more than a few political and social theorists that made, what were then, unprecedented applications of theistic philosophy to political social theory. Chief among them was John Locke. Locke held that men derived their rights from God, but voluntarily consented to give up a portion of them to institute governments for and limited to the protecting of life, liberty, and property.
Locke then proposed a social contract, because he saw that men were not perfect (an acknowledgement of sin nature) and thus would not uphold the rights of others in a non-governmental state of being. Therefore, men consent together to form a society to govern the state of sinful men, for self-preservation and those things seen as necessary to that preservation or life, liberty, and property. This governance was based upon the “consent of the governed” and the ability of “reasonable men” to discern just laws. The end purpose of the government was to preserve life, liberty, and property. If a ruler or ruling body, broke that contract by oppressing individual rights again pertaining to life, liberty and property, the people had not only the right, but an obligation before God to overthrow that same governance.
The election of Barack Obama points to a dominate worldview at odds with that of Locke and the founders. This utopian motif deems mankind as essentially good but whose ultimate evolution and realization can only be found in a political state of unity. The political end of governance coercively suppresses individual “rights” in exchange for a collective security wherein the political entity is not the last resort, but is the beginning and the end of every iota of life.
The worldview of our Founding Fathers birthed the freest, most prosperous, and life affirming nation the world has yet know. A worldview that sees the Creator-God endowing men with unalienable rights. These rights cannot be taken away. President Obama’s election points to a state wherein the government as god determines who is free, who lives, who dies, and defines our existence from cradle to grave. Rights can be dispensed or taken away by Federal edict.
The choice for you dear reader is simple. What kind of America do you want to live in? Who is your God? The Founders demand your reply!
“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” – Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]
“Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.”