Alexander de Tocqueville was a young French politician who came to live in the United States during the late 1700s so that he might better experience and write about American life and society. Given his liberal and unbiblical tendencies, one would think that out of all early American literature, his work Democracy In America would dispel the myth that America was founded as a Christian nation. What is found in his book, however, would probably turn many atheist stomachs as he lays out how obnoxiously Christian most colonies were, as well as the early onset of American patriotism in citizen minds.
In his book, Tocqueville lets the reader take note of the Code of 1650 (more commonly known as Ludlow’s Code) which punished sloth, drunkenness, stubbornness, and the use of tobacco with fines, lashings, and even forced church attendance. One historically famous case involved Margaret Bedfort of Connecticut, who was convicted of “having uttered a few immodest words and of having allowed herself to be kissed.” She was thus sentenced to be whipped and then to marry her accomplice, Nicolas Jemmings. This was Connecticut in America, not some strange foreign country of the same. No sir, this happened on our own turf.
Tocqueville went on to observe how awful the compromise of morality can become when the legislative system becomes involved. He argued that something can be legal for so long that people will begin to think it is right, and even their human right, simply on the basis of its legality and not on any moral or ethical grounds. When seen in the light of America’s old traditions as it manifested with Margaret Bedfort, this has certainly been the case in our country with things like pornography and abortion. Not one person can defend either ethically, but society simply accepts it because it has been legally permissible for so long.
Today, we see talking heads moaning and groaning about how conservatives are imposing their religion on people by keeping them from marrying those of the same-sex, wanting to outlaw the American genocide known as abortion, and believing that maybe we should not allow people to become professional welfare recipients. Maybe these loons should take a gander at our history to see that our country has in fact become more liberal than it has become conservative; the left is either an ungrateful gathering of stank hippies or they are calculating S.O.Bs who are using their bemoaning as tactic to distract you from their destruction of our moral underpinnings.
Our interpretation of Christianity in how it relates to the workings of society has been radically warped by a variety of things. First, the apathy of the modern church. Ask any Christian that does not have grey in their hair what their political beliefs are and prepare for comedy. You will hear the parroted themes of the youth church pertaining to world views: Jesus for president, politics suck, we should just look to God, and separation of church and state. I refuse to believe in a God that would have me ignore other people, namely those who are leading nations.
Maybe I am alone in that I am sickened at the dialogue of the presidential and vice-presidential debates. We have gone from Ludlow’s Code to not voting for a candidate simply because he won’t pay for a woman’s $10 contraception. Just this week, a caller on Sean Hannity’s radio show asked Sean if it should be a crime for a man to impregnate a woman if it leads up to an abortion. It was embarrassing to hear Sean dance around the question like a timid doe. Of course it should be! A man is taken to court if he leaves the family to fend by themselves, how can we not take him to court if he leaves a girl to have her uterus scraped?
In effect, our sexually free culture has left us with high STD rates, abortion rates, divorce rates, teen pregnancy rates, and suicide rates among many others. Condoms, contraceptives, and sex ed classes have not helped the situation. How about we look at the statistics before condoms and the sexual revolution? Since then the numbers have skyrocketed! But we cannot talk about politics because it is too divisive.
What is wrong with us?
Image: courtesy of Harry Townsend; purchase of Norwalk by Roger Ludlow from Chief Mahackemo; Original uploader was TJ0513 at en.wikipedia; public domain.
Image: Alexis de Tocqueville; source: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University