In Bearing The Cross There Is No Shame, Only The Hope Of Christ
In 1995, at a dinner hosted by the New Hampshire GOP, I was among the prospective candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination given a chance to speak. In my brief speech, I stressed the fact that the success of the United States depended above all on the moral character of its people, which was the mainstay and ground for the nation’s liberty. I said that the Supreme Court’s purport legalization of abortion posed the greatest threat to the blessings of liberty, since it portended the abandonment of the premises of our identity as a nation, stated in the Declaration that announced its birth, which relied on the authority of God, whose endowment of right to all humanity, gave all people willing to live in accordance with that endowment, the authority to govern themselves, instituting governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the people committed to act in concert for purposes consistent with the good will they had in common.
I went on to speak against those who sought to overturn the Republican Party’s commitment to give priority to overturning the SCOTUS decision on abortion, which denied the God-endowed right that is the sine qua non for the exercise of all other human rights, which is human life itself. Without regard for this right, extended to all human offspring as a matter of God’s authority over their conception, the notion that “all men are created equal” appears in contradiction with the experience of power. For, in one form or another, power imposes a hierarchy upon human beings, according to the share of it they can prove they possess.
Yet, given the helpless and dependent state in which all human beings first come into existence, human life would suffer self-extinction except for the respect for life that leads parents to serve the imperative needs of those, their offspring, who have no power to force them to that service except the inclination of their good will, which gives the still small voice of natural reason the power to command. Thus, the conception of human life commands the actions that preserve humanity in its first utterly dependent form.
This proof of natural reason makes sense of the assertion on which America’s founding generation relied, that the state of nature has a law to govern it, which is natural reason. What domineering tyrant, in command of armies, ever got such service from his minions as a child gets from parents, committed to act by reason of their natural good will? Beyond the proof that all humanity is equal in the humble character of their beginnings, this also points to the fact that all are equally authorized to choose the course of action that is right for their offspring, but also right for the common good of humanity. This endowment of right allows for the fact that, by God’s provision, all human beings may choose to represent His good will as their Creator, by which He provides for and respects the requirements of the whole. Thus whenever they are willing to act as His agents, this good will brings His sovereignty within reach of all those it moves to right action, not just those who possess greater material power.
So, America’s Founders understood and were willing to act upon the implications of God’s righteous endowment of humanity, which belies the notion that sovereignty is the exclusive possession of the materially powerful. It opens the eyes of all, so that they understand that the power of their good will, proven by actions in accord with the provisions of God’s will to preserve and perpetuate humankind, entitles them to share in that sovereignty. In this respect, their reverence for God becomes a source of power, which entitles them to claim, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them.
It is not a coincidence that the words the Mother of Christ spoke in thanks and praise to God express this consequence of the willingness to act according to God’s will:
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Because he has regarded the humility of his servant: …He has shown the might in his arm: he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their seat and has exalted the humble.
The spirit which thus exalts in service to God’s will largely inspired the good people of the United States, as they claimed and instituted their national self-government, and as they strove, sometimes at the cost of treasure, blood and life itself, to align it ever more properly with the justice, according to God, that spirit requires.
This came to mind today as I pondered the situation of the people of Alabama. I will never forget the visit I paid to Huntsville after the speech I gave in New Hampshire was broadcast nationwide on James Dobson’s popular radio program. On short notice, people moved by what I had said had gathered a standing room only crowd. I will never forget their enthusiasm for the articulation of the principles of the Declaration I had championed in my speech. I will never forget the love they showed for the premises of justice they rely upon. I couldn’t help thinking about the fact that, not so long before, Alabama was the Jim Crow riddled state in which George Wallace sought to fight against the that justice when it demanded an end to racial discrimination, segregation and other such injustices.
My experience with Alabamians during the ’96 campaign convinced me that, for many, the imperatives of their love of God and Jesus Christ had informed and, where needed, changed their hearts, so that a campaign to restore our nation’s respect for God’s mandate of equal justice for humanity pushed aside the influence of a heritage that denied equality as a matter of racial pride. Some years later I would find in then Chief Justice Roy Moore a champion of that same respect for God’s information of humanity’s good will — one willing to stand, whatever the cost, for the standard of right action given in the Ten Commandments, a standard that must inform the heart of the American people if our rightful liberty is to survive.
I was proud to stand with him again during the recent special election to choose Alabama’s U.S. senator. The ruthless campaign of calumny and slander waged against him betokened that fact that the existential crisis of character I spoke of in 1995 is approaching its decisive stage. America’s anti-Christ elitist faction is hurling all its power against the nation’s Christian roots and conscience, seeking to discard, once and for all, the understanding of justice that, as never before in human experience, recognizes the God-endowed sovereign capacity of people who have no claim to power but the power of their commitment to do right, according to God’s will.
As things stand, it seems that the good will of Alabamians is beset, like that of the nation at large, by elitist powers determined to confuse, shame and thwart their good intention. Roy Moore’s faithful witness to God’s provisions for humanity’s good may again deserve the name of martyrdom. But this is no more discouraging than the passion and death of Christ, who forewarned us that those who despise him would also despise people who strive to follow his way.
There is no shame in being despise by them. Rather shame be upon them, who are like those the Psalmist harshly depicted (Psalm 52), when he sang:
Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
What Christian heart is truly discouraged by the razor-sharp hiss of such tongues of deceit? With the cross of Christ in our remembrance, and the presence of Christ in our hearts, we live in hope, not just for ourselves, or even our country, but for all humanity — so long as Christ in us bears witness to God’s truth. Our Christ-filled hearts endure, knowing that he endured worse before, and yet he still lives in us, proclaiming the kingdom of God, and inviting all nations, including our own, to return His ways.
Alan Keyes is a political activist, a prolific writer and a former diplomat.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.