We are facing major national challenges, such as the ongoing pandemic, riots in the streets of America, and a national media and social platforms that have promoted incivility, gossip, nastiness, cruelty, violence, dishonesty, hate, and open support for the tyrannical actions of several of our city and state governors.
I’ve written before about 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.
It was Tocqueville’s belief that America was good because it was established and built on a foundation of Judeo-Christian values that had historical roots in both Judaism and Christianity.
But there were other issues Tocqueville wrote about that served as a warning to Americans. One of his warnings had to do with what would happen if our government wasn’t careful about its use of our tax dollars:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
In our enlightened society, the U.S. Congress routinely bribes the public with taxpayer dollars and borrowed money.
In addition to the bribing, we hear a lot about all the so-called rights we are entitled to. Here’s what Tocqueville said about the perils of demanding more rights for ourselves:
It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the “right” to education, the “right” to health care, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.
And, of course, Tocqueville commented about Americans’ love of “equality” by pointing out,
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Here’s one more quote from Tocqueville about the dangers that Americans could someday face:
Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Even though the above-referenced quotes were from the 1800s, they apply more to the America of today than they did when they were written by Tocqueville. Now that really is scary.
Are we destined to become completely dependent on a corrupt government that promises utopia, while it panders to our fears and desires and turns us all into its subjects? Are we willing fight for our independence from government by risking our comfort, security and, if necessary, our lives to ensure that the fundamental freedoms that were guaranteed by our constitution remain intact?
Our country is at a fork in the road. We can travel down the road that leads to dependency and slavery, or we can choose to travel down the road that leads to preserving our freedoms and our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
One road requires independence, courage, risk, and the Grace of God, while the other road requires dependence, complacency, and surrender.
We need to pray that enough Americans will save our country by choosing to travel down the road that requires independence, courage, risk, and the Grace of God