As this year, 2014, draws to a close let’s take time to reflect back on the past twelve months; its accomplishments and its challenges. For those of us who have run for office, there are some very powerful memories. As for me, one of those was the vitriolic response in the press was to the idea I have taught for years, an idea held firmly by the Founders of our country, as well as by a vast majority of Americans, at least until about ninety years ago. In fact this idea is the organic law at the Federal level, our State Constitution along with many others codifies it in plain ink.
What is this idea? It is that a people have a right of self-determination as a civil body politic; that government is only by consent of the governed; that if the civil government becomes corrupt and despotic, the people retain the right to separate themselves from that government by altering it or even by abolishing it altogether. Yet today, when you use the word that has come to encompass all those principles our Founders clearly held to, the word Secession, you are immediately branded a racist and labeled as unAmerican.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Their propaganda machine would claim no one body of citizens can ever separate from their civil government, that it is illegal and that, above all, they claim it is immoral. Of course, that is untrue. I didn’t make this idea a centerpiece of my campaign, but my opponents took great pains to tell everyone that I was a secessionist and therefore a very dangerous candidate.
What is fascinating to me in the history of ideas is that one hundred years ago it was very common for Americans to believe in the rights of citizens to separate from their civil government, yet today it is not. All the while in thinking about a far more important government than civil government, family government, one hundred years ago almost no one believed it was good for a husband and wife to separate the family government, and yet today these are exactly reversed. Simply put, one hundred years ago, almost everyone believed it was nigh to impossible and virtually illegal to separate a family government while it was very possible and fully legal to separate a civil government.
Today it is the exact reverse, it is nigh to impossible a majority believe, to separate a civil government (not to mention illegal) while it is very possible (and fully legal) to separate a family government by divorce. But we are in a time of change; perhaps the pendulum of this idea has passed its apex as the idea of secession has begun to grow again.
This past fall, Reuters conducted a poll asking the question, “Do you support or oppose the idea of your state peacefully withdrawing from the United States of America and the federal government?” One in four Americans said yes, they support peaceful secession! 60 million Americans! So perhaps that pendulum has begun to swing the other way. And it is fascinating to see who holds this position. “…more from younger than older people, more from lower- than higher-income brackets, more from high school than college grads. But there was a surprising amount of support in every group and region, especially the Rocky Mountain States, the Southwest and the old Confederacy, but also in places like Illinois and Kansas. And of the people who said they identified with the Tea Party, supporters of secession were actually in the majority, with 53 percent.” A growing body of Americans wants a divorce from Washington, D.C. and I would add many also want a divorce from their own corrupt State governments.
I want to think aloud about family government, which is far more important than civil government in every way. God’s design is clear. What He planned is that one man and one woman would be joined together in a one-flesh union for life, without any separation until death parts that couple.
Please read to Exodus 20:14. The Seventh Commandment focuses in on the most important institution in this world bar none – marriage. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
The word adultery in Webster’s 1828 is defined as “Violation of the marriage bed; a crime, or a civil injury, which introduces, or may introduce, into a family, a spurious offspring.” The root of the English word is the idea of an unnatural union, as in the grafting of two trees. To understand this commandment, particularly in our day, it is necessary to understand the sanctity of God’s Holy Institution of marriage. Indeed, we live in a day when marriage has been reduced to a legal contract which is the least binding of all legal contracts.
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