“That day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God …. You know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2:3-4,6-7)
The massacre on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas, is the second deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 children and adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and it was at least the 30th shooting at a K-12 school so far in 2022. Our hearts and prayers break for the families and friends of the victims of this horrible, beastly tragedy.
The growing frequency and scale of mass public shootings since the watershed 1999 Columbine High School Massacre is genuinely alarming.
The solutions have only become more divided. The left demands gun control and gun confiscation—even repealing the Second Amendment. The right wants to increase school security, increase social media surveillance, enact red flag laws and reopen state wards for mental health.
Liberals: Gun Control
Liberals have one answer to gun violence: beware of the NRA. They believe that a bogeyman called the gun lobby is to blame for all gun violence. In responding to the Uvalde shootings, President Biden began his speech with what appeared to be genuine compassion for the parents who had lost their children. Having lost two children himself, he knows the feeling of loss. However, Biden stuck to the line for about two minutes, then devoted the rest of his speech to political potshots.
“As a nation we have to ask, ‘When in God’s name are we gonna stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?’ …. I spent my career as a senator and as a vice president working to pass common sense gun laws. We can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have positive impact …. The idea that an eighteen-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? …. And the gun manufacturers [have] spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit. For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.” -President Joe Biden
The rest of his political party wasted no time before falling into line and dutifully reading the talking points.
“Stop saying, ‘It’s not guns that kill people; it’s people that kill people.’ It’s guns that kill people! Okay?” -Joy Behar
“I want them to show the same energy for banning guns. There is no reason why an eighteen-year-old should have access to weapons of war that can kill children in a matter of seconds.” -Ana Navarro
“They’re gonna come for those AR-15’s, and you better get ready to give them up because this is America. We were supposed to be able to do things and be the people we wanted to be, and now we are in a crazy place.” -Whoopi Goldberg
“…background checks, red flag laws, the Charleston loophole, assault weapons, and other ideas…” -Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
“I think that we need some really drastic action here. We need a moratorium, perhaps, on gun sales …. Who will say—on this network, or any other network in the next few days—‘It’s time to repeal the Second Amendment’? Oh, you can’t say that! Well, why not? Why not? I truly believe that if Jefferson and Washington and Madison—if they all knew that the bullet would be invented some fifty years after our Revolution, I don’t know if they would’ve written it that way. They didn’t even know what a bullet was! It didn’t exist until the 1830’s. And if they had any idea that there would be this kind of carnage, you would have to believe that the founders of this country wouldn’t support it …. Look, I support all gun control legislation—not sensible gun control. We don’t need the sensible stuff; we need the hardcore stuff that’s going to protect ourselves and our children. I don’t know if we’re willing to do that, but I will say that I do have thoughts and prayers, and those thoughts and prayers are to remove as many Republicans—as many people as support this evil policy—this coming November.” -Michael Moore
Would mass shootings stop if the left had their way and guns were banned or confiscated?
Blame the Gun?
Since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, the number of individual guns has increased, yet the number or percentage of people who own guns has decreased. If we’ve had the Second Amendment for almost 250 years and are only now seeing the rise in mass public gun violence, is it fair or reasonable or even accurate to blame an inanimate object—the gun—for the problem?
It’s been said that the way liberals talk about gun possession, you’d think they believe that the gun itself is possessed by some unknown evil spirit that can be terminated by destroying the weapon. They seem to forget that an actual criminal is using the firearm. If criminals lose access to guns, will they not find another method? The terrorists who crashed the hijacked planes into the Twin Towers on 9/11 gained access to the cockpits not with a gun but with a box blade. Is the solution to stopping terrorism merely banning box blades? The Boston Marathon bomb was made out of a pressure cooker. Do we go after Bed, Bath & Beyond and the sale of pressure cookers? The argument for gun control is like assuming that if we ban forks and spoons, people will no longer be obese! Yet illicit weapons always find their way to the wrong hands, just as illicit drugs do.
This truth was tragically demonstrated on the same day as the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. On that same day, a deranged man entered an older woman’s home in central China. He robbed her and then attacked her with a kitchen knife. After wounding the woman, the attacker went across the street to an elementary school where he slashed 23 children before being detained. The school officials only had brooms and rakes as defense against the criminal. The obvious irony here is that criminals will find a replacement whenever one weapon is no longer available.
The Conservative Response: Increased School Security and Red Flag Laws
Since the Uvalde shooting, conservatives have pretty uniformly stuck to two primary talking points as the answer for preventing a tragedy like this from happening again. One, harden soft targets (increase school security); and two, create an early warning system to catch a would-be murderer before he commits the crime. Here is the conservative response from Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton:
“In 2013 I introduced legislation that would spend $300 million on federal grants to harden schools, to make them safer, to make them more protected … to harden their security, to put in bulletproof doors, bulletproof glass, to put in armed police officers to protect kids.” -Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
“…we just spent $40 billion on the Ukraine to help protect another nation. It seems like the least we could do is fund a police officer, or at least a program—because obviously there are thousands and thousands of schools in this country—a program that trains people in the school so that when this does happen—‘cause it will happen again; we know it’s going to happen—so if we know it’s going to happen, let’s do everything we can to prevent it from turning into the situation we just had yesterday.” -Ken Paxton (R-TX)
Fox News Prime Time hosts, Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity, summed up the right’s agenda succinctly:
“Here’s the prime time plan: first, we need to harden our schools. They’re soft targets for killers like Ramos …. We also need to get to the bottom of the mental health crisis in schools. There need to be counselors in every school paying attention to students—flagging odd behavior, noting who’s having a hard time at home—and get the kids the help they need …. But if we’re really going to make a bit of difference on the inside of schools, we need to pay closer attention to what’s happening on the outside of school. I’m talking about social media. How many times have we heard that these crazy shooters left online footprints? Tech companies need to come up with a system, an algorithm that could easily detect and flag when somebody posts homicidal threats like, ‘I’m gonna shoot up an elementary school’. And the community has to get more involved—parents, friends, pastors, neighbors. If you see something, say something.” -Jesse Watters
“Maybe we should save a few of those billions of dollars and send them to every school in the country, so they can hire well-trained, well-qualified, armed guards—particularly retired police officers, retired military.” -Sean Hannity
More Government Control
I don’t disagree with this first proposal: increasing security at schools. If we put a good cop in every building and street corner, we would probably prevent most violence. But let’s not fool ourselves: this solution is a call for more government, more surveillance, more scrutiny over private citizens’ lives. And it doesn’t change the internal motivation of the shooter. It simply increases the reach of the State and its retributive justice and discourages a would-be criminal from perpetrating his crime in a particular place.
It also shouldn’t be lost on parents that the State’s compulsory education system is the place where these crimes are taking place. In short, they force you to send your kids to the schools, but then when the kids are harmed at the schools, they’re going to take away the rights of private citizens as a result.
More Government Surveillance
The second solution, so-called “red-flag” laws, also doesn’t address the reason shooters are prone to commit violence in the first place. A sort of benign-sounding “neighborhood crime watch” system attempts to profile potential perpetrators of gun violence if they show enough disturbing signs and either prevents them from purchasing a gun or attempts to seize their weapons before they can commit a crime. This is done through increased social media and other surveillance.
This not only infringes on our Constitution’s fundamental principles of the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof-of-criminal behavior before liberty can be violated, but it also creates a neighbor-reporting-neighbor profiling mechanism that could be turned against any segment of society that government wishes to profile, surveil or control. If Constitutional liberty such as the Second Amendment can be taken away based on something the government believes I might do, where does this end? Which right will they infringe upon next? Religious freedom under the First Amendment is one right that has certainly been infringed upon in other nations.
Mental Health Profiling
One more solution that conservatives talk about is at least an attempt to provide some answer for the internal motivation of a mass public shooter (liberals don’t even try). Conservatives say that the underlying problem producing mass shootings is mental illness. They urge that if we could analyze past mass public shootings and find the element of mental disorder that plagues the shooter, we could then address those issues through mental health laws.
The mental health argument is a broad diagnosis that doesn’t tell us a lot. There’s not much evidence to back up the claim that mental health issues predict violent outbursts. Even though as many as one in five people in the U.S. experiences a supposed mental illness event every year, people with severe mental health problems account for only three percent of violent crimes.
Additionally, between 1991 and 2018, the use of antidepressants spiked by three thousand percent. Remember, these drugs are supposed to help with mental illness. During COVID lockdowns, the use of these drugs increased by another twenty percent. Again, antidepressants are supposed to help curb violent and suicidal tendencies, yet both of these things have only increased.
And just what are the common factors to pinpoint that would indicate a “mental health” condition predictive of violence? Is this not the start of a slide down a slippery slope—asking the government to guess at our potential mental health problems? In Soviet Russia, as well as present-day China, devoted Christians were classified as “mentally unstable.” Even though Joy Behar later apologized, this current co-host of ABC’s The View once defined former Vice-President Mike Pence as mentally deranged because of his Pentecostal faith!
“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus; it’s another thing when Jesus talks to you …. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices.” -Joy Behar
In the view of this TV host, hearing from God is mental illness—“hearing voices!” Conservatives need to be careful about opening “Pandora’s box” in their attempt to blame anything but guns for the problem.
More Problems than Solutions
So which scenario is better? The model proposed by conservatives invites government surveillance and control of mental health matters, monitoring social media, receiving reports from neighbors, adding armed guards to schools and more big government. (Sounds very conservative, right?)
On the other hand, if you take the liberal side and ban guns, it makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain weapons, but criminals will continue to obtain them illegally and will then use them with impudence on a now-disarmed population. What do you do then? The almighty government will have to step in to protect with more law enforcement, installing a deputy on every corner and a cop in every building: more big government.
Both roads ultimately lead to the same destination: the open arms of a savior federal government. Neither solution provides a cure to the underlying core issue that caused the violent tendencies in the first place.
Since You Mentioned Asia…
Back to Joe Biden’s speech after the Uvalde shooting, when he brought up another talking point that is both curious and terrifying.
“I just got off a trip from Asia meeting with Asian leaders, and I learned of this while I was on the aircraft. And what struck me on that seventeen-hour flight—what struck me was [that] these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world …. Why? …. They have mental health problems. They have domestic experience in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen [with] in America. Why?” -President Joe Biden
Is he saying that his vision for America is the regimes of Asia?
“America’s gun epidemic is unmatched by any of our peer nations in the world.” -Sen. Chuck Shumer (D-NY)
“This only happens in this country, and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day.” -Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
This is almost a compelling argument. But there’s something else that’s never happened in America, yet has tragically occurred in Europe, Asia and everywhere else in the world. What are we talking about? Totalitarianism. Naziism happened in Europe. The Khmer Rouge happened in Asia. Mao’s China happened in Asia. The Kamikaze culture happened in Asia. But none of those expressions of run-amok, runaway government have ever happened in America.
Hillary Clinton once said, “People suffer from mental illness in every other country on earth; people play video games in virtually every other country on earth. The difference is the guns.”
It’s not. The difference is the degree of government control. What if the only difference between America and the peer nations that these liberals are referring to is that they are only managing the violent tendencies of their subjects through increased, total State control? I will submit to you that this is a welcome solution to most liberals.
We have to ask a question, a frightening question: what if a people’s own government is more dangerous and lethal than the all-terrifying AR-15, even in the hands of a deranged killer?
A Greater Threat than AR-15’s
“Democide” is a term coined by American political scientist Rudolph Rummel to describe “the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command.” In the twentieth century alone, 262 million people were killed outside of war by their own governments. Just to give perspective on this incredible murder by government, democide murdered six times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the twentieth century. Rummel coined what he called the Power Principle: “Power kills, absolute power kills absolutely.” He argued that “concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth.”
So while we’re eager to stamp out the lone gunman with a big long gun, the only solution is to turn to the safe arms of what this political scientist calls the most dangerous threat to human life on earth: big government. That is what Europe has that we have never had; that is what Asia has that we have never had. Let’s just be clear that that’s the choice we make when we surrender liberty in exchange for security.
Even when government takes away all rights that could have belonged to responsible citizens, the violence does not stop. Banning guns and creating red flag laws don’t work because countries with the tightest gun laws and liberal surveillance still see horrible gun violence, and they are now seeing criminals use alternative weapons that are at least as deadly as guns. These alternate weapons are now being used in the United States, too.
Some control is needed — most agree on that! But what is the nature of that control? A few people are talking about it, and they may be getting closer to the answer.
“Every time one of these tragedies occurs, I think we for far too long just failed to look back at the root causes of rampant violence … questions involving things like, why is our culture suddenly producing so many young men who want to murder innocent people? Or [it] raises questions like, could things like fatherlessness, the breakdown of families, isolation from civil society, or the glorification of violence be contributing factors?” -Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
“These are crimes that get to the very core of who we are as people. And I think as people we have to look internally, and how did we get here? This was an evil act; there’s a lot that we’re gonna learn and that’s gonna unfold in the days and weeks ahead about this shooter. But tonight, we’ve got to unify in prayer, we have to unify in faith, we have to unify in who [we are]. Tucker, when I grew up, and most of the people watching grew up, and you, we didn’t have these situations. We didn’t have mass shooters in our schools; we didn’t have this evil. And so we really have to look at us as a people, as a country, because we can do a lot of things, and Texas has done a lot of things after the Santa Fe shooting. Obviously we have to do more; we have to harden these targets so no one can get in ever except through one entrance. Maybe that would help; maybe that would stop someone. But it’s really bigger than that, Tucker.”
-Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R-TX)
“There are things we can do, but the most important thing, Tucker, is figuring out what’s going on culturally with this country. We are callous, we are partisan, we are not spiritual, and we have lost meaning.” -Will Cain
“The problem is that the human mind is much more complex and harder to control than we like to admit. A person who is intent on committing violence is very hard to stop under any circumstances. An act of Congress isn’t gonna do it; neither will gun control …. The only way to stop these killings is to figure out why American society is producing so many violent young men. There is a reason they are acting this way; what is that reason? And it’s not just mass shooters, by the way, the ones you see on television; it’s gang bangers and car jackers and armed robbers and indiscriminate haters who push strangers in front of subway trains. We have a lot of people like that in this country all of a sudden, more than you like to think about. Why are they acting this way? That’s the only question that matters …. It didn’t use to happen; it’s happening now. Why? It’s not guns; it’s not the “gun lobby.” More American families had guns at home fifty years ago than they do now. According to the Rand corporation which studied this, 45 percent of American homes had a gun in 1980. In 2016, that had dropped to 32 percent. So the problem is not that we’re more armed than we were; the problem is that people have changed. Young men have changed; they’re more violent. Why?” -Tucker Carlson
We’ve been involved in a cultural experiment that has systematically removed the restraint of Judeo-Christian culture from our lives, and now—when that experiment is backfiring horribly—we want to blame the tool instead of the source of the problem.
“From the Heart…”
I have to look at this as a Christian and as a minister. In Matthew 15:19, Jesus answered the question of where violence comes from. He said, “Out of the heart comes…murder….” What’s needed is not more State control over the murderer’s weapon; what’s needed is for Someone greater to control the heart that produced the violence in the first place. That Someone can only be God.
The Founders of our country believed that people must be controlled by their conscience and by the invisible moral fabric of a shared community ethic. They understood that this underlying morality was necessary if the unique experiment of limited government they had created in the American Constitution stood any chance of success. Ronald Reagan echoed this sentiment when he remarked:
“The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom, personal liberty, that itself is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our founding fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said, ‘If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.’ Explaining the inalienable rights of men, Jefferson said, ‘The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.’ And it was George Washington who said that ‘of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.’” -Ronald Reagan
John Adams, speaking to the Massachusetts militia, said the following: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
He also wrote in 1785: “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”
The framers of the Constitution and those who contributed to its underlying principles understood that subjection to God and the moral code embedded in creation itself were prerequisites to the freedoms afforded under the limited government they created. Responsibility must come before liberty. You can only be afforded liberty in proportion to the internal restraint you have. Men always become unbridled and ultimately degenerate into their worst tendencies without subjection to a power higher than themselves. The bridle comes from the “Governor of the Universe” or the State. With the moral restraints that existed in early America, its citizens could enjoy the freedoms and privileges of living under a limited government, the likes of which the world had never seen.
Subjection to the “Governor of the Universe”
In 1831, just about forty years after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French diplomat, was commissioned to examine prisons and penitentiaries in the United States. On his trip, he wrote extensively on the morality of the general American population in this relatively new democratic republic and its effects on crime. In the extensive notes which later became his book Democracy in America, he observed: “Nothing is more striking to a European traveler in the United States than the absence of what we term the Government or the Administration. Written laws exist in America, and one sees that they are daily executed; but although everything is in motion, the hand which gives the impulse to the social machine can nowhere be discovered.”
Alexis de Tocqueville was astonished to see something different in America than he had experienced in Europe. There were no government agents on every corner, yet law and order were being observed.
What was the unseen hand which held the social order together in 1830’s America? Alexis de Tocqueville continued: “…All communities are obliged to secure their existence by submitting to a certain dose of authority, without which they fall prey to anarchy. This authority may be distributed in several ways, but it must always exist somewhere.”
In other words, citizens would have to choose whether they would submit to the unseen and noncoercive hand internally restraining their baser tendencies or submit to the iron yoke of tyranny. If they did not choose the former, the latter would result by default.
De Tocqueville continued further: “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith …. 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.”
The Resulting Loss of Freedom
Tragically, the moral foundation that our country was built on has been ridiculed, undermined, eviscerated and destroyed. This has happened as the core institutions of America—media and entertainment, fashion, education, literature and so on—have become increasingly secularized and antithetical to the small religious communities that once instilled moral values in early America. The real genius of totalitarianism has been to minimize the place of religion and destroy community morals and ethics, all while knowing that by removing the invisible hand of God and conscience, the only hindrance to anarchy would be the unfettered State government.
Once the bonds of moral restraint on the country’s citizenry have been loosed, does it not become irresponsible to give the same freedoms afforded under moral restraint? In the case of a gun, I’d rightly be considered mentally insane to provide one to my five-year-old son. The freedom of the gun must be predicated on the responsibility of the one I’m giving it to, or else I’m complicit in the destruction that my five year old would no doubt unleash.
Religion, and the ethics and morality that it instilled, were not a peripheral afterthought, or a sidenote, to the America that the Founding Fathers framed. If they could have envisioned the evil taking place today without the restraint of religious morality, would they have granted us these rights in the first place? This raises serious questions about what our country may do to its Constitution to secure the “safety” of its citizens now that we have destroyed moral restraint. Many on the right cling to the Bill of Rights as to the Ten Commandments, yet they fail to see the incremental loss of freedom once the foundational moral restraint has been removed.
“You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody”
Millennia before the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence, the Apostle Paul laid out this principle in his epistles to the Roman and the Corinthian churches. Paul said, “All who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). And again he said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17). That’s the only place where liberty can truly be found—in subjection to the Governor of the Universe.
If man’s baser nature and ugly demons of violence and hate are not restrained by faith and God, only an all-encompassing totalitarian State will ultimately suffice.
What made the revolution that produced the Constitution of the United States of America so different from every other political revolution before is the premise that man—so long as he maintained his place before his Creator—could have the freedom to discover the path of destiny marked out for him. People would be constrained by one bridle or another—either the bridle of internal moral restraint or the iron bonds of statist control.
In Genesis, God called Abraham to an exodus from a totalitarian regime, Ur of Mesopotamia. Abraham fathered the most formative worldview in world history—the Judeo-Christian ethos—and its moral restraints and ethics would become the backbone for history’s most remarkable civilizations.
God said to Abraham, “Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him …. For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him” (Gen. 18:18-26).
The awe of freedom with a corresponding moral duty must be instilled in each generation, or the liberties we enjoy today will tomorrow be lost to tyranny.
“Our Founding Fathers, here in this country, brought about the only true revolution that has ever taken place in man’s history. Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers. But only here did that little band of men so advanced beyond their time that the world has never seen their like since, evolve the idea that you and I have within ourselves the God-given right and the ability to determine our own destiny. But freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” -President Ronald Reagan
We are now in the throes of yet another revolution. Those who promised America freedom from moral restraint through the sexual revolution, entertainment and materialistic hedonism, knew that this so-called “freedom” would cost the American people their liberty. And the church, called to be the energizing force holding family and community together and upholding the moral order of the Governor of the Universe, has been slowly dismantled and taken out of the way, becoming now a mere chaplaincy service to the world, blindly blessing everything the world wants to do and be.
Politics may promise to change people’s economic status, improve their health and secure physical safety, but only God can transform the human heart. In the scripture I read earlier from Matthew, Jesus told us that from within a man comes every kind of evil. Change the man, restore internal restraint, and transform the nation.
Americans enjoy more liberty than any other citizens of the world. There will be more danger and harm accompanying this liberty, now that liberty is divorced from moral restraint and responsibility in a religious society.
Guns are not the problem; evil is the problem. Guns are merely tools. Hatred, sectarianism, narcissism and violence are the problem.
We have erroneously made our moral decay a political question. The Second Amendment, which has remained constant since 1791, cannot be the cause of our current horrors. We must identify variables that have adjusted our society and created this present spectacle, never seen until the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. Why do we imagine that evil has a political solution?
The architects of tyranny were too shrewd to attack our political rights overtly. Instead, they systematically assaulted our moral fabric, and we became complicit in its dissolution—all in the name of so-called “freedom”. Now the political rights we once had will begin to fall like dominoes, having no moral basis of responsibility to support these weighty freedoms.
John Adams claimed that the Constitution was wholly inadequate for governing any but a moral, religious people. I repeat: tyranny’s agents left us an inheritance of totalitarianism by systematically removing–not initially, political rights–but society’s moral restraint that alone made our rare political rights possible and responsible.
A renaissance of Constitutional liberty can only follow a revival of spirituality, responsibility and family in society.