Donald Trump has promised to make America great again if he wins the presidential election. He talks in terms of creating jobs by reducing government regulations and modifying trade policies that will force businesses to stop transferring jobs overseas. Will that be enough to make America great again?
You may have heard of Alexis de Tocqueville, a Catholic Frenchman who died in 1859 at the age of 53. Tocqueville was active in French politics and traveled extensively. He came to the United States in May 1831, and spent nine months traveling throughout the country. While he was in America, he took extensive notes concerning religious, political, and economic activity in our country.
After he returned to France, Tocqueville published Democracy in America, a book in which he praised the freedom and economic opportunities in America. Here’s one of the most famous quotes from Tocqueville’s book:
I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers — and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce — and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.
America was and still is great because she is good. Her goodness has always come from the Judeo-Christian values that were the foundation upon which our country was established and built — values that have historical roots in both Judaism and Christianity.
Judaism is a religion that was developed among the ancient Hebrews and was characterized by a belief in one transcendent God who revealed Himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets. It is a religion that is still practiced by the Jewish people in accordance with scriptures and rabbinic traditions.
Those of us who are Christians know that Christianity is a religion that was derived from the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is a religion based on tradition and the bible (sacred scripture) and is professed and taught by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant organizations.
The Judeo-Christian values include honesty, integrity, temperance, humility, courage, industriousness, sincerity, self-denial, and chastity. Unfortunately, those values are no longer taught in our public schools. In our modern culture, many of our leaders and citizens have replaced those proven values with dishonesty, greed, jealousy, envy, anger, revenge, laziness, impulsiveness, over-indulgence, and impurity.
We know from history that our Founding Fathers believed in and practiced Judeo-Christian values. Those values influenced their declaration that we were all created equal in the eyes of God, and provided the pillars upon which our legal and financial systems were built.
We have reached the point where we now have an ever-increasing number of corrupt and lawless politicians, legislators, judges, and regulators whose sole purpose is to undermine our traditional religious values. Why? So they can exercise more power and control over us and become wealthy through the theft of our money and property. As a consequence, the freedoms upon which our country was built are in jeopardy.
If we want to return to the greatness that we once enjoyed as a country, we first need to return to the value system upon which our country was built. Our freedoms will not survive unless the majority of our citizens are committed to and practicing the Judeo-Christian values of our Founding Fathers.
In my opinion, if Trump is elected, before he can make America great again, he must do everything in his power to restore and protect our freedom of religion, association, and speech. He can begin by keeping his promise to select and appoint federal judges who will adhere to the U.S. Constitution and the principles upon which our nation was built.
He also needs to keep his promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which was passed by Congress in 1954, and named after then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. The Johnson amendment added a provision to the U.S. tax code that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
Prior to the passage of the Johnson Amendment, nonprofit organizations such as Christian churches and groups were allowed to speak out in favor of or against political candidates. After the amendment was passed, anti-Christian lawmakers and organizations began bullying and threatening Christian pastors with removal of their church’s nonprofit status if they continued to attempt to influence the political process.
The purpose of the Johnson Amendment was to completely prevent the ability of the leaders of Christian churches and organizations to participate in the political process. On more than one occasion, Trump has assured American pastors that he will repeal the Johnson Amendment if he is elected.
On Thursday (November 3), Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, announced that her father is in favor of school choice, which would allow federal education funds to be used by families to send their children to either public or private schools. If school choice is allowed, many parents will pull their children out of public schools and enroll them in private Christian schools.
Let’s hope and pray that the pulpits of the Churches in our country will again be allowed to be “aflame with righteousness,” just as they were allowed to do in 1831, when Alexis de Tocqueville visited our great country.
We need to continue to pray that God will bless and guide America so that she will once again become a great Christian country.