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The Problem with American Democracy that No One Wants to Talk About

When we listen to Americans argue with one another about politics, different groups usually argue as through their opponents are wrong. Christians argue that non-Christians are breaking God’s commandments. Catholics argue that non-Catholics are acting contrary to natural law. Modernists are arguing that Americans are acting contrary to the “scientific consensus”. Blacks are arguing that whites are acting contrary to principles of equality. Women are arguing that men are denying them benefits enjoyed be men.

These arguments go on but, in reality, none of them matter.

America is not ruled by Christian morals, natural law, scientific research, racial quotas or gender expectations. America is not ruled by morals. American is not ruled by ideas. America is not ruled by truth. America is not, technically, ruled by law.

America is ruled by the will of the people.

America is and will be whatever the people wish it to be. America can do whatever the people wish it to do. It doesn’t matter if that is good or true or fair.

When the founding fathers declared independence from the king of England, they did not subject the American people to abstract ideas instead. They did not subject the American people to any institutions above or outside of the American people. They established a representative system of government with checks and balances that would allow the American people to do whatever they please.

More importantly, the Constitution was established by the consent of the American people and can be thrown out by the American people, just as they threw out the first system of government–the Articles of Confederation–when the Constitution was approved in 1789.

The idea that the American people are subject to something is a common theme in arguments made by Americans against their political opponents, but it’s’ false.

Can America legalize abortion? Yes.

Can America grant government funding to provide minors with sex change surgeries? Yes.

Can America leave the southern border open? Yes.

Can America choose to become a socialist state that denies its citizens the right to private property? Yes.

America can do whatever the American people want to do, and the American people are subject to no high laws or principles than their own will. That is what “democracy” means.

Therefore, for Christian Americans to be arguing with non-Christian Americans that they cannot do this or that is not “American” at all. They are certainly free to do what they want to do.

Worse, for Christian Americans to be arguing with non-Christian Americans that they cannot do this or that is not Christian at all. Our neighbors are not supposed to be forced to live as Christians while not actually being Christians. That was certainly not the intention of the founding fathers. nor is it the will of the Church, or is it the will of God.

Jesus said, “Go into the world and make disciples; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Christian morals assume the presence of grace in the soul. Christian morals are supernatural and impossible for “natural man” to understand or appreciate. They depend on theological virtues being infused into the soul–the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity–and are expected of no one who has not been “born again”.

The mission of the Christian Church is to make disciples of Christ, and this is not done by political means. This is done by means of the Gospel and the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Christians should be working to make disciples and, if this is done, the effects will be seen in democratic society when these redeemed and renewed people begin to vote.

Any Christians attempting to argue that Americans should be forced to live according to Christian moral principles are wrong. In America, the people are the law and if the people are left to be evil, the law will be evil.

In the Great Commission, Christ already taught us how to bring about the renewal of society and there is nothing more foolish than to attempt to do it by forcing people to act (as actors indeed) in a certain way in a democratic society.

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