We need more and better gun laws. OK, but you have to be naive to believe that will correct the gun violence of today. No civil law will solve the problem. It is systemic in our culture.

Build an eight-foot fence and illegal users of guns will build a nine-foot ladder. Build a 10-foot fence and they will build an 11-foot ladder and the process goes on.

In my youth we carried guns to school so we could go hunting right after school. At recess we played “mumbly-peg” with jack knives. A young adult in Montana told me they took guns to school and shot varmints during recess. Nobody got shot nor knifed. There were fewer gun laws and more guns per capita then than now. It was the culture of the era.

What happened.? There was a change in our culture.

You can’t legislate away the problem. Out of the heart comes the issues of life. It is in the Book. We’ve got a heart problem. Denying it only exacerbates the problem.

Indirectly we have created an environment that encourages violence. Social media, TV, movies, books, and music approve — if not advocate — such violence. There is the old computer axiom GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. Like a computer, what you put in your heart is what comes out. It has become the norm in our culture.

As a generality, churches have gone silent on social issues. There is even a new theology being advocated that portends to make the matters more intense. It goes by a number of titles, but is most commonly called liberation theology. The thesis is the church alienated the world by proposing a morality that is outdated. To reach the world we must change our stance on most moral issues and agree with the world. Instead of exhorting the world to elevate its standards, it is proposed the church lower its standard.

Morality has no national voice. There is no John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. Consider our own community: What compassionate reasonable and logical voice does societal morality have? There are a lot, I mean a lot of good people, but what unofficial spokesman do they have? Who holds the banner to follow?

Our legislative halls have some courageous spokespersons, but the louder voices are often not the voice of reason. Exhibit A is our Electoral College. In their collective wisdom, our Founders gave us the Electoral College so that in presidential elections, heavily populated states could not impose their standards on less populated states.

They built safeguards to protect the college. In order to amend it, a two-thirds vote of both Houses or two-thirds of state legislatures to propose an amendment to change it and then three-forth of state legislatures for ratification. It is not likely to be changed. Yet, with loud voices, proponents of change advocate change.

There is a lot at risk. We are not a democracy, but we are increasingly acting like one. We are a republic. The word democracy is not in either the Declaration of Independence or Constitution. We pledge allegiance to the Republic, acting like a democracy is risky. John Adams warned, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.”

Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall opined, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

May reason prevail and societal sanity be restored.

The Rev. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

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