The above title may seem a bit unconventional, but if the wise men came back today they’d probably agree that we have too much government and not enough God.
We’ve reached that time of year again when we pay a little more attention to God’s blessings in our lives. Everywhere we turn there are symbols to remind us that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and the gift of God. The evergreen tree standing in the living room symbolizes everlasting life, and the needles are said to point up to heaven. The star atop represents the star of Bethlehem that led the wise men to Jesus’ manger. The wreath hanging on the front door symbolizes God’s eternal love, which has no beginning or end. Candy canes remind us of the shepherd’s crook, while bells still ring in honor of the Lord’s arrival. Just for the Christmas season, these symbols serve to remind us of our faith and of God’s role in our lives.
How is it then that when symbols of Christianity surround the nation’s capital every day, political leaders can so easily forget God’s role in our government?
The U.S. government was founded upon Christian principles. Yet despite the biblical scriptures etched on countless monuments and memorials, statues and plaques depicting the Ten Commandments spread throughout government buildings and the words “In God We Trust” inscribed on U.S. currency, America’s leaders increasingly put government first and God second.
This disorder in priorities has led to a culture that no longer values faith and self-reliance, but instead looks to government to provide for every need.
The Book of Luke, chapter 11 verse 9, says: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
The Bible clearly tells us to have faith that God will provide. Yet 1.6 million Americans rely on welfare to survive. Over 2 million people live in government housing, and Congress is attempting to become the sole provider of health care. Gone are the days when people used to rely on themselves, their community and God to help them in hard times. Government has become a false idol to which people turn for the basic necessities of life.
The founding fathers had the foresight to warn against such government corruption. They founded our democratic system upon Christian principles that recognize the limitless power of God as the foundation of a limited government.
The architects of this system knew that government would fail without God.
In his 1787 address to the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin declared: “I have lived, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
Government has taken the place of God in so many areas of our lives. Where people used to look to a neighbor, church or prayer for assistance, they now turn to the newest bureaucratic program. Washington is spending the country into trillions of dollars in debt by providing for every want and whim.
We must return to our founding principles of faith, community, family and country. Government is not designed to take the place of these values. The government isn’t designed to sell cars or run a private business. Government isn’t designed to manage our health. Government isn’t designed to teach our children or act as society’s moral compass. It’s our job to do that for ourselves and to ask God for help. It is only through hard work, self-reliance and unwavering faith that we can achieve prosperity, not through government handouts.
The Father of our Constitution, James Madison, noted that: “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
As we remember the true meaning of Christmas this year, let’s not forget God’s place in our lives and that of our government. Spread a little holiday cheer by sending a Christmas card to your Washington leaders and encourage them to put God before government.
It is my honor to serve you in the 51st District and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
Sen. Chip Pearson serves as chairman of the Economic Development Committee. He represents the 51st Senate District, which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Pickens and Union counties and portions of Forsyth and White counties. He may be reached (404) 656-9921 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.