By Melvin Adams – Renewanation President & COO
Did your mom ever tell you, “There are two things you should never talk about in public: religion and politics?” To be honest, my mom never did—and I’m glad!
Religion and politics are probably two things everyone should talk about. Like it or not, they affect us all. They both speak to matters of authority in our lives as well as to how we get along in community. So, let’s talk politics for a bit to get a better understanding of why legislation is so important.
Every society is built around some type of social order. The family is always the basic unit of any larger society, but for social order to be complete, it must take into consideration the need of every individual as well as the good of the collective population.
Societies come to consensus on their social order in different ways. Some get it through anarchy or dictatorship, both of which often survive through martial intervention (people are literally controlled at the point of a gun). Examples of such societies include Mexico where drug gangs and police battle to maintain control, N. Korea, Iran, and Syria who have crushing military governments, and to some extent China, Egypt, and many others less known. Other societies find social order through democratic processes where individuals can voice their opinions and actually have influence over their own lives.
In the United States, we have a democratic process of elections through which we elect representatives. Our representatives then make laws and appoint judges. Judges are to reject or enforce laws passed by our representatives based upon predetermined factors as set forth in the principles of founding documents like: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, Reconstruction Amendments, and others.
Our society is thus built upon principles of individual liberty and the rule of law.
Individual liberties are set forth repeatedly in our founding documents, but perhaps nowhere clearer than in our Declaration of Independence which says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Rule of law was clearly established for us in the United States Constitution, where a federal system was established having national, state, and local government, all with separation of governmental powers into three distinct branches (executive, legislative, and judicial) to check and balance each other, and give flexibility and a republican form of government.
Because of its content and because its authority is derived from the people, the highest law of the land is the Constitution. This “highest law” sets parameters of ideas and principles that government cannot create or destroy. Among these is the principle that the people are sovereign, and that legitimate governments must be based on popular consent.
While the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, most of the specific, day-to-day rules and regulations that bring order to American society are not included in the Constitution itself. These “ordinary” laws are creations of the Congress, state legislatures, and city councils.1
Why is legislation so important?
It is important because these “ordinary” laws created by our government bodies give us freedom or regulation, and because they are created by our elected representatives, thus reflecting our personal involvement (or lack of involvement) in the process of politics.
We started off talking about the importance of religion and politics. It is clear that biblical principles and Christian faith were the foundations of our great society. This was our ordinary law and practice. We know this from: (1) reading our nation’s founding documents; (2) a simple study of our core judicial codes; (3) any observing visit to most of our historic buildings; and (4) researching original mission statements of all of our oldest and arguably most prestigious universities. Christianity touched every area of society, including business and education, and promoted freedom over regulation because the moral fiber of our nation was strong.
Today, we are increasingly wondering what happened to those days of individual freedom and strong social morality. Regulation increases with every election cycle as our representatives try to protect us from ourselves and from the increasing decay in public society. The more we separate religion (spirituality) and politics, the deeper we go into social decay.
What’s the big deal about legislation?
The “ordinary” laws we allow to govern us set the course of our society and determine the history we make. Legislation can bring positive change if we understand the core issues that are destroying us and come together as a people to find moral and legislative solutions.
We fully understand that one cannot legislate morality. However, when spiritual awakening and revival come, positive legislation always follows. History shows this repeatedly.
What steps do we need to take?
We need to turn our hearts and minds toward God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We need to see our society from God’s point of view.
The Bible clearly shows us attitudes and behaviors that grieve God’s heart. It also shows us His heart of love for people. We need to let God’s “heart” guide us as we interact within society so that His will and blessing can be experienced. Our faith must be real and lived out.
We need to actively engage in the political process in ways that promote righteousness.
Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”
- This begins by understanding issues facing the nation and our communities. We need to educate ourselves!
- We must become active in meeting political candidates and politely pressing them on their positions related to the issues while letting them know our own. We should do the same with those already serving in office. They actually want and need us … or they need to be gone!
- We should help to recruit and promote strong, principled candidates who hold biblical values, even considering the idea of running for office ourselves.
- Finally, we must VOTE—and get others to vote with us.
Not sure this outline form is the best approach but need text layout to make the points clear
What legislative interests does Renewanation have?
Renewanation supports every legislative agenda that promotes freedoms, values, and principles for a healthy society that are in alignment with Scripture. However, Pro School Choice legislation is our highest priority.
We are encouraged by the increase of Pro School Choice legislation being passed across the country. It needs to spread to every state, and all existing legislation needs to be improved upon.
We encourage individuals to work toward these priorities in their own communities and with their legislators:
- We believe the education of children and youth should be determined by the will and consent of parents.
- We believe that if funding for education is based on taxation, all parents, regardless of their income or where they choose for their child to attend school, should have equal representation in benefits toward their child’s education.
- We believe that having free markets in education is the most effective way to improve quality and reduce cost.
All scripture passages from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.