The puerility of the freethinkers consists in believing that a free society can maintain itself and keep itself together without a common faith. *** If liberty is to be saved, it will not be by the doubters, the men of science, or the materialists; it will be by religious conviction, by the faith of individuals who believe that God wills man to be free.
— Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, 9 May 1870, Journal Intime (Amiel’s Journal)
By Franklin Sanders
More than usual, the airwaves and the Internet lately are filled with vain repetitions about “liberty,” but here Amiel hits the bull’s eye. If human liberty is not rooted transcendently, outside space and time in the will and person of the Creator, then it will wither without fruit. Those who believe otherwise cannot save it.
I read people squawking and whining about Obama’s gun grab, I watch as a police state is built all around us, the one the Republicans started decades ago, I listen as the courts overthrow rights with childless and superficial reasoning and the rule of law is destroyed, but all the complaining is no more than vain repetition.
A harsh judgment, I confess, but the truth is wrapped up in the New Hampshire motto, “Live free or die.” Those who are not willing to die for their liberty will not fight for their liberty.
Where will that resolve to die come from? Not from fear of others’ disapproval, not from reason or logic, not from philosophy, and certainly not from selfishness, although surely here and there a man might be found who might die for those things. But he would only be the exception that proves the rule.
Attempts to build a case for human liberty based on reason or science bemuse me. If there is no God whose character gives existence to justice and truth, then neither is there justice or truth or rights. If only the material exists, if all happens by random chance, then values and ethics cannot exist because there is nothing to enforce them and no standard to judge them by. “Good” and “evil” have no meaning.
Outside of God, no liberty is possible
Thus the reasoning of atheists and materialists unravels when you ask them one simple question: “What is good, and how do you know it is good?” No matter how they dodge, the final answer is, “Good is what I choose,” because no standard exists outside themselves, and chance rules all. Therefore, who can say that the “good” I choose is worse or better than some other good? And if choice is the only criterion, then Joseph Stalin who chose to exterminate 60 million people who disagreed with him is just as “good” and right as Albert Schweitzer. After all, Stalin was brave enough to choose genocide over charity.
So I watch, nonplussed, while Christian groups jump into the fray to protect “liberty” under a state that denies God. Upon what basis will they make good their claim for “rights” against a state that claims the right to do anything without reference to any morality outside itself? Upon a long dead constitution that never was able to enforce itself? Upon a constitution, and not God?
Upon what basis will Libertarians make their claim? That liberty is somehow more efficient? Nicer? More rational? What they want, as opposed to state oppression? What society wants, or what benefits society? What does a state claiming absolute power care about such pipedreams? All too often these are the ones whose solipsistic answer is to flee to another country and set up shop there — all by themselves.
Living free or dying — in your local community
In the end it always comes down to this: Live free or die. Where you are, or nowhere.
In community with others. To establish or maintain liberty, men must be willing not to go overseas and die for the American empire, but to stay right here and fight native American totalitarianism. I don’t mean taking up arms, at first, I mean saying NO to the police state apparatus, personally, being willing to object to unjustified searches and seizures and forced identification and if need be to go to jail to fight it. I mean that when your liberty is violated, you become a “belligerent claimant in person” and refuse to acquiesce. Not violence, but stubborn, reasoned resistance knowing that whether you win or lose, God requires you to fight for the liberty he has given you, with the courage born of his willing you to be free.
It wouldn’t take many of these porcupines to save liberty.
Until I see some of those vocal “activists” risking life and liberty to protect liberty, I say that the Internet chatter & the talk show posturing is all vain repetition. They are only virtual activists fighting a virtual war for virtual liberty in the phantom world of radio waves and electrons. In the real world, they put on the yoke and pull their master’s harness as they’re told.
Because in the end, liberty isn’t that important to them.
From the January 2013 Moneychanger. Used by permission. Franklin Sanders is publisher of The Moneychanger, a privately circulated monthly newsletter that focuses on gold and silver and the application of Christianity to economics, culture and family life. We have subscribed to this newsletter for more than 20 years, and consider it a must read. F$99 a year. Franklin is an active trader in gold and silver (he’ll swap your green Federal Reserve rectangles and give you real money in return). He trades with savers and investors outside Tennessee. Subscribe to his daily price report and market commentary on the website. F. Sanders, The Moneychanger, P.O. Box 178, Westpoint, Tenn. 38486 Tel. 888-218-9226.