The Case For Voters Informed With the Judeo-Christian Worldview

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Voters in Canberra, voting for the 45th parliament of Australia in 2016.
Voters in Canberra voting for the 45th parliament of Australia in 2016. (AFP)

 

The alternative to the system built on the opposite of the Judeo-Christian worldview can be the only one. The tyranny.


But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths.

Edmund Burke

 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln 

 

Editors

 

The right wing of the White House is occupied by the family of the President of the United States. The parlors which are used are entered from a corridor behind the screen which forms one side of the main hall of entrance. There three in number, historically, being called severally the blue, green and crimson drawing rooms, from the color of the upholstery and fittings. In the 1980s the chief of ushers had chose the modest name of sitting room for the last room.

But the President and his close friend used only two letters “P.R.” whenever they wanted to meet in that room. In their mini code system, the abbreviation stood for “prayer room”.

On Tuesday, March 15, 1983, a few minutes before 10.00 a.m., President concluded the talks with the top White House officials and the two high-ranking Republican senators. Before the end of the briefing, President’s National Security Advisor William P. Clark walked to his boss. He placed a page of a briefing document next to the President. Reagan opened his notebook and looked at Clark. On the bottom, next to the page number President wrote with small print P.R. . Clark smiled and almost invisibly nodded with his head.  

About fifteen minutes later, Reagan and Clark in the chairs of the sitting room on the first floor of White House turned their minds to God. President told his staff that he was taking a rest. A few hours later the news was leaked to the press that Reagan was again taking a nap in the morning [1].

During the presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan avoided being called a Christian candidate. His political rival an incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter liked to emphasise that he was born again church-goer.

On Election Day, the overwhelming majority of American voters recognised not Carter but Reagan a politician, who could govern with policies informed by the Judeo-Christian worldview.

Sovereignty of a voter over the government

As California governor, Reagan reduced public financing for abortion and sex education services. These policies contributed to fatherless families, sexual promiscuity, and increased poverty margins. But the value and dignity of human life for Reagan transcended its economic dimension. It was always a compass in politics.

On January 11, 1973 Gov. Ronald Reagan told the California Legislature that the state had an $850‐million surplus and that it should be returned “to the people who paid it in the first place.” Government must realise that it cannot indefinitely tax the people at constantly increasing levels without destroying the people's ability to support themselves and their families, Governor stated. In the end, they will wind up defenseless, at the mercy of a vast special interest-oriented government bureaucracy they unwittingly helped to create, he concluded. Reagan fulfilled the promise. First time in the history of the United States, California taxpayers received their surplus checks.

These reforms emphasised the sovereignty of a human person, who together with others, owns the government and is not being lorded by it.


Government must provide opportunity, otherwise it is the problem

In his first inaugural address, the Ronald Reagan broke sharply with the progressive reliance on government and boldly declared, “In this present crisis, the government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” He also said that “it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work-work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.”

In this statement, the audience could hear the echo of the Reformation particularly the Calvinistic idea of opening their path to God by redefining the church and returning freedom to the believer.


Government, the historical creation

According to the Judeo-Christian view, the government is the historical creation of humanity carrying within themselves the mistakes of history. Such institutions are continually in need of reform, adjustment, and perfecting.

If people established a government as a form, they can also remould and de-scale it, Reagan reasoned.



The government is the historical creation of humanity that can be remoulded and de-scaled.

 

Nearly four decades after these policies were introduced, the United States and the world have enjoyed a sense of relative peace and prosperity.  

But had the voters not rejected “Christian” Jimmy Carter with his view of the omnipotent government, Reagan policies would have never be introduced.

 

The Judeo-Christian worldview built prosperous West

For generations, voters informed by Judeo-Christian view have been beating the heart of the mature political system that can generate a balanced and prosperous economy.  

In the late nineteenth century, Prime Minister of The Netherlands thinker and journalist Abraham Kuyper formulated basic tenets of this specific worldview.

The Judeo-Christian worldview provides us with a unity of life-system, an all-embracing system of principles rooted in the past, that can strengthen us in the present and fill us with confidence for the future.

The tenets of that general system of life are three relations of all life of a human person: a person’s relation to God, a person’s relation to the other person, and our relation to the world.

What is the Judeo-Christian view that emphasises not only that God is relevant to politics? But that his precepts must inform all policies that constitute a healthy political system? It is not accidental that this worldview requires to begin from a person’s relation to God.


Abraham Kuyper born in The Netherlands, theologian, pastor, professor, journalist, and politician.
Abraham Kuyper born in The Netherlands, theologian, pastor, professor, journalist, and politician. (Archives)


A person's relation to God

Establishing God in the centre of his or her life, a person realises that there is a conflict between what is finite and infinite in life. The infinite lies beyond human life. Within human life, there is only one place where a person can find harmony in these spheres. It is in the depth of a human person’s heart, where he or she discloses themselves to the Almighty. There, He as a prism converges, as in one focus, all rays of their life.

In prayer, lies not only the unity of a person’s life with God but also the unity of his or her personal life.


There alone their life regains that harmony, which they so often and so painfully lost in the stress of daily duty. In prayer, lies not only the unity of a person’s life with God but also the unity of his or her personal life. Only those historical actions which arose from these lowest depths of man's existence embrace the whole of life and possess the required permanence, Dr. Kuyper emphasised.

A person's relation to the neighbour

Prayer when a person learns God’s perspective convinces there is no uniformity among men, but endless multiformity. Not only creation established the difference, but physical and spiritual gifts and talents cause one person to differ from the other. However, the Judeo-Christian worldview questions exploitation of differences for the accentuation of higher social status, deprivation of rights, or even exclusion from society.

A permanent hierarchy based on these differences is also not acceptable. Such an approach is the only one that enabled a prosperous and peaceful society. It places the lives of all people, whether woman or man, Coloured or White, rich and poor before God. It reminds them they are creatures standing as equals before Creator without a right to lord over each other. Consequently, it is not allowed to recognise any distinction among men and women, except such as has been imposed by God Himself.

 

The Judeo-Christian worldview is a democratic interpretation of life that emphasises the dignity of a human person and his or her liberties.

 

In that, He gave one authority over the other, or enriched one with more talents than the other, so that the man of more talents or wealth should serve the human person with less, and in them serve his God. Therefore, the Judeo-Christian worldview condemns not merely all open slavery and systems of caste, but also all covert slavery of women and the poor. It is opposed to all hierarchy among men. It is a democratic interpretation of life that emphasises the dignity of a human person and his or her liberties.

The difference between other systems promising equalities and Judeo-Christian worldview is that while these systems are pursuing their actions against God, the voters informed with God’s perspective, rich and poor are on their knees before God.


A person's relation to the world

The logical result of such an attitude is demonstrated in the understanding of the third tenet of this worldview - relations of the human person to the world. Placing oneself before the face of God, a person informed by Judeo-Christian values honors the world as His Creation. Remembering the original suggestion: have dominion over them, a person being aware of what is sinful, serves God in the world, in every position in life.

Unlike Anabaptists, voters informed by the Judeo-Christian worldview do not evade the world, do not place the kingdom of God in the building of the Church, or create two moral standards one for the clergy and the other for the laity.

The central value in a person’s relation to the world is everyone’s liberties that are unalienable rights. In consequence, it is also an attitude of a sovereign voter, who delegates their representatives and agrees to limit some of their freedoms for a time of achieving certain goals. But the accountability of the government before every person is a practical application of the principle of the dignity of a human person.


Abraham Lincoln delivering his address at the Gettysburg National Cemetery, November 19, 1863.
Abraham Lincoln delivering his address at the Gettysburg National Cemetery, November 19, 1863. (Sherwood Lithograph Co., Chicago/Smithsonian)


A person's relation to God

Establishing God in the centre of his or her life, a person realises that there is a conflict between what is finite and infinite in life. The infinite lies beyond human life. Within human life, there is only one place where a person can find harmony in these spheres. It is in the depth of a human person’s heart, where he or she discloses themselves to the Almighty. There, He as a prism converges, as in one focus, all rays of their life.

 

In prayer, lies not only the unity of a person’s life with God but also the unity of his or her personal life.

There alone their life regains that harmony, which they so often and so painfully lost in the stress of daily duty. In prayer, lies not only the unity of a person’s life with God but also the unity of his or her personal life. Only those historical actions which arose from these lowest depths of man's existence embrace the whole of life and possess the required permanence, Dr. Kuyper emphasised.


A person's relation to the neighbour

Prayer when a person learns God’s perspective convinces there is no uniformity among men, but endless multiformity. Not only creation established the difference, but physical and spiritual gifts and talents cause one person to differ from the other. However, the Judeo-Christian worldview questions exploitation of differences for the accentuation of higher social status, deprivation of rights, or even exclusion from society.

A permanent hierarchy based on these differences is also not acceptable. Such an approach is the only one that enabled a prosperous and peaceful society. It places the lives of all people, whether woman or man, Coloured or White, rich and poor before God. It reminds them they are creatures standing as equals before Creator without a right to lord over each other. Consequently, it is not allowed to recognise any distinction among men and women, except such as has been imposed by God Himself.

 

The Judeo-Christian worldview is a democratic interpretation of life that emphasises the dignity of a human person and his or her liberties.

 

In that, He gave one authority over the other, or enriched one with more talents than the other, so that the man of more talents or wealth should serve the human person with less, and in them serve his God. Therefore, the Judeo-Christian worldview condemns not merely all open slavery and systems of caste, but also all covert slavery of women and the poor. It is opposed to all hierarchy among men. It is a democratic interpretation of life that emphasises the dignity of a human person and his or her liberties.

The difference between other systems promising equalities and Judeo-Christian worldview is that while these systems are pursuing their actions against God, the voters informed with God’s perspective, rich and poor are on their knees before God.

 

A person's relation to the world

The logical result of such an attitude is demonstrated in the understanding of the third tenet of this worldview - relations of the human person to the world. Placing oneself before the face of God, a person informed by Judeo-Christian values honors the world as His Creation. Remembering the original suggestion: have dominion over them, a person being aware of what is sinful, serves God in the world, in every position in life.

Unlike Anabaptists, voters informed by the Judeo-Christian worldview do not evade the world, do not place the kingdom of God in the building of the Church, or create two moral standards one for the clergy and the other for the laity.

The central value in a person’s relation to the world is everyone’s liberties that are unalienable rights. In consequence, it is also an attitude of a sovereign voter, who delegates their representatives and agrees to limit some of their freedoms for a time of achieving certain goals. But the accountability of the government before every person is a practical application of the principle of the dignity of a human person.


President Reagan's Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally at Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills, California during 1984 Re-election Campaign.
President Reagan's Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally at Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills, California during 1984 Re-election Campaign. (RL)


Government by the people for the people

This great Calvinistic thought reverberates in the Gettysburg Address delivered by Abraham Lincoln. This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth, he emphasised.

The alternative to the system built on the opposite of the Judeo-Christian worldview can be the only one. The tyranny.

As French classicist once observed, when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.

 

The tyranny is the only alternative to the system built on the opposite of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

 

The proponent of that worldview understands it perfectly well.

The voters whose electoral choice is informed by the Judeo-Christian worldview are roots of the stable political system, which utilises federalism and democracy.

They understand that the equal right to be an owner of new productive capital will unleash free-market forces for every person. While minimum guaranteed wage would become another instrument of control. An instrument in the hands of those, who would decide when and how to administer this new welfare program.

Most importantly, the voters informed with Judeo-Christian values will contribute to the moral renewal of constituencies.

And one day, they will choose from among themselves representatives who share these indispensable values.







[1] Authors' interview with Mr. William P. Clark.

 


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