I'm reading the April issue of Chronicles. The major articles focus on Appomattox because April 9th was the 150th anniversary of Lee's surrender there. Editor Thomas Fleming makes this sobering point about the outcome in his commentary, Why They Fought:
The Theory of Democracy, which is in principle the right of a majority to strip a minority of its rights, was used to destroy the republic 150 years ago, and it is in the name of democratic equality that all the fundamental institutions of human life are now under attack. Once this principle is invoked, there are no barriers to the growth of government and its invasion of private life. We once had a constitution to defend us from the tyranny of the majority, but the Constitution of the United States, while it can still provide excellent talking points for conservatives, has been nullified by the Supreme Court. We once had states, whose power to resist the national government was guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment, but Appomattox put an end to states' rights along with every other right protected by the Constitution.
The only question on the table these days is the Machiavellian question of power. Edward McCrady understood this well. In 1899, when his niece asked him how she should go about studying the Constitution, the great conservative historian responded, "If you want to know the Constitution, at present, you need not hear lectures. It can be written in one word: "force." His insight only gained strength in the course of the 20th century.When the states signed the Declaration of Independence and voted to ratify the Constitution they acted as autonomous and equal states joined in a loose confederation where no state had binding power over another. The confederation exemplified the Catholic principle of subsidiarity that a lower level of authority takes precedence over a higher level. The voters of each state held the power over what happened in their geographical area. The ranchers of Texas have different needs from the farmers of the prairies and the mercantile communities of New England. That was reflected in their individual governments. Today, however, governors are often little more than pawns of the federal government, beholden through their acceptance of federal grants and burdened with unfunded mandates issued from on high. Imposition of one-size-fits-all education with No Child Left Behind is just one example. Others include the old 55 mph mandate and a national drinking age of 21. All these mandates are tied to loss of federal funds which effectively bribes state into compliance.
As for the Supreme Court, it is a tyrannical oligarch that willy-nilly issues rulings that make law rather than interpret the Constitution as the founders wrote it. None of the founders would have thrown prayer out of the schools. None of the founders would have discovered a right to kill America's progeny in the "penumbra" of the Constitution. None of the founders would have defended pornography as "free speech." And they certainly would never even consider the possibility that two men or two women could engage in mutual masturbation and call it marriage.
The tyranny of political correctness is on the rise as free speech wanes. I have no doubt that one day, perhaps soon, an article like this that dares to question Big Brother's wisdom and his tyrannical laws will land the writer in jail. It seems inevitable to me from a secular viewpoint. But with God all things are possible, even the conversion of America.
Yesterday, about 75 Woodstock citizens gathered in front of the courthouse to join in solidarity with people all over the country participating in the National Day of Prayer. We lifted up our political leaders at all levels, our families, our communities, all those who serve us at home and abroad. We prayed for unity and for conversion. May God hear our prayers and bring this once great and moral nation to its knees. Come, Lord Jesus.