A Judeo-Christian Manifesto: Christians Confronting the Culture in America’s Twilight of Truth

A Judeo-Christian Manifesto: Christians Confronting the Culture in America’s Twilight of Truth

Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D.**

I. Purposes
In the early 1980s, a national columnist declared that Christians are losing the new political battles emerging with the inauguration of the Reagan Presidency, “not because they are wrong, but because they are philosophically incompetent and intellectually unsophisticated.” Not intended as an insult but as a statement of fact, this unfortunate description still characterizes too much of the Judeo-Christian community across America today. Approximately 50 years ago, one of the most brilliant and influential Judeo-Christian scholars in America and Western Europe, Francis Schaeffer, declared, “The basic problem of the Christians in this country [in the Twentieth Century] in regard to society and . . . government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals. [But] nowhere have the divergent results of the two total concepts of reality, the Judeo-Christian and the [H]umanistic [worldviews] been more open to observation than in [American] government and law.” The solution? According to Schaeffer, “ . . . now, more than ever before, a presuppositional apologetic is imperative (italics added).*”

       “Presuppositional apologetics” refers to a total worldview – a perspective that enables us to overcome our “bits and pieces” mentality and understand the whole structure and nature of the Culture War – the War of the Worldviews to which Schaeffer refers. Only from that perspective can we confront our opponents in this War in the effective – and necessary - manner to which Schaeffer refers. Thus, the development of this perspective in all its aspects, and the ability to implement it in the “real-world legal and political life of America,” are the central purposes of our “Christians Confronting the Culture Initiative.”

 This necessity is greatly intensified in Twenty-First Century America by a “twilight” enshrouding “true truth” (Francis Schaeffer) in America as militant Humanistic power has engulfed more and more of our culture. The necessity of a soundly educated Judeo- Christian community in America has been recognized by our leaders from the beginning of the republic. President James Madison, also the “Father of the Constitution,” declared that, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.*” Even in the First Century Church, the necessity of Christians’ arming themselves for confronting the culture was mandated by apostolic leaders. The Apostle Peter instructed the Church to “be ready always to defend to anyone who asks the reason for the Biblical beliefs you hold (italics added).*” Thus, we Judeo- Christian advocates today face as our most imperative task the full development of our ability to declare and defend the Judeo-Christian principles of our Constitution and culture.

The course of Western history supports with glaring clarity the accuracy of Schaeffer’s analysis and Madison’s declaration concerning the disastrous results of the two opposing worldviews, the Judeo-Christian and the Humanistic. As proof, we need to look back no farther than the massive revolutions of the late Eighteenth Century - the American and the French. Occurring in the same historical period, they were nevertheless dramatically different in nature and outcome – because they were drastically different in their worldview foundations. The American Revolution occurred solidly within the Judeo-Christian structure based on Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. Uncompromising in his commitment to Christian law, Blackstone remained the foundation of American law until well into the Twentieth Century. But the French Revolution with its violent nature, excessively brutal course, and radical results was rooted in the Humanistic philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau. It is to our peril to ignore the fact, increasingly obvious, that America’s contemporary radicalized Left is acting out this same Rousseauian philosophy.

In addition to understanding these vital facts, we of the Judeo-Christian community also face the imperative task, sometimes most difficult, of defending and defining our principles in a manner of deference toward those who oppose us now as never before in a most shockingly hateful and bigoted manner (e.g., the radicalized Leftist women of the Democrat Party who rose to national power in the 2018 elections). The instructions given us across the centuries by the Apostle Peter cited above also include the mandate that we defend our positions “courteously and respectfully” (Amp. Bible version, but very similar to other translations of this passage). The second of the First Century Church’s boldest advocates, the Apostle Paul, likewise instructs us to “be tough, but never rough, in unswervingly standing our ground.*” That is, we are to conduct ourselves in a “deferential” manner toward our opponents.

 In summary, then, the purposes/mission of America’s Judeo-Christian community in our own culture today can be characterized by three words – “definition, defense, and deference.” There remains, however, a question that has become far more critical in very recent times – the question of the specific definition and application of the underlying principles of this worldview, and of vital components of the body of Judeo-Christian principles upon which the Constitution is based. Thus we, the Judeo-Christian community, face another imperative – that of defining specifically which principles simultaneously underlie the Constitution and which are being targeted by the ferocious Humanistic attack that has generated the basic schisms of America’s Culture War.

Our understanding of these constitutional guarantees is informed by the Declaration of Independence, which, despite current arguments to the contrary, directly relates to the Constitution through, at the least, the Subscription Clause of Article VII, with which the Constitution concludes. We, therefore, list and define in the following section those values that are inherent and predominant in the Judeo-Christian worldview and are the principles and public policies to which we must be uncompromisingly and unshakably committed.

II. Principles and Public Policies
In pursuing our Purposes, we must understand six principles/guarantees central to Judeo-Christian thought and implement these principles in American law and culture today. We are thus additionally mandated to assume and promote certain public policy positions. These six principles/guarantees are expressly stated in the U. S. Constitution, Amendments 1, 5, 9, and 14. Each of these principles and the vital public policy positions they mandate are summarized below.

1. Sanctity of human life: Human life exists in a state of preeminent value from the moment of conception to natural death. This is the basic right without which all others cease to have meaning. This truth rests on the fact that every man is created by God, who endows [specially bestows, confers upon] man “certain unalienable rights,” the first of which is life itself. Indeed, the first purpose of human government is to protect human life. Current public policy concerning abortion and other life issues must, therefore, be reversed. Abortion and similar illegal acts that take human life deserve no legal or constitutional protections, especially recognition as a “fundamental constitutional right”; and the law must become the protector, not the destroyer, of human life in the face of all the various threats against it today.

We must deny to all courts any jurisdiction over challenges to these values/guarantees.

2. Dignity of each person as an individual: In addition to the facts of the Declaration just stated, each person as an individual is created equal to every other person before God and receives the same endowment of inalienable rights as every other person. One’s station in life is not determined by class, race, etc. into which he is born, the groups he joins, or any other factor external to the individual person himself. These first two Judeo-Christian principles/Constitutional guarantees are unique to our worldview and are central to American exceptionalism.

Because evolutionism degrades man to the level of an animal, law and public policy must, at the very least, provide to creationism all the protections currently given to evolutionism. Only then can the public square become a place of more fair and objective thought and discourse – not a monopolistic center for propagating exclusivist evolutionism, which has been characteristic of the public square for decades.

Additionally, the rise of the Transhumanism movement (“Artificial Intelligence” being a more visible component) must be regarded with great alarm. This phenomenon upends traditional evolutionary theory and makes man the creator of additional “evolution” from the human race’s current status/condition to a “higher level of intelligence and altered type of being.” An active and adequate response must be made to the threats posed by this movement.

 We must deny to all courts any jurisdiction over challenges to these values/guarantees.

3. Justice of ordered liberty: Individual liberty and societal order, often argued through Western history to be antithetical, are, in reality, mutually necessary.

 Liberty is not license or licentiousness, but freedom of self-determination, movement, etc. A “first liberty” is religious liberty, which requires (1 ) the most vigilant protection today for Judeo-Christian believers (a) in the exercise their religious beliefs both privately and in the public square; (b) to live unburdened by government favoritism for Humanistic religious beliefs/movements; (2) the liberty of our Judeo-Christian culture to display, verbalize, and/or otherwise acknowledge on property owned or administered by governments the theistic God of the Old and New Testaments in such venerated and traditional forms as Ten Commandments displays, the public recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as amended by Congress in 1954, and the recognition of “In God We Trust” as our national motto.

A second “vital value” is the group of freedoms of expression specifically listed in the First Amendment. Verbal expression is an ability uniquely built into man by God and is a crucial characteristic of His image which God created man to reflect. This freedom is also necessary for man to function both individually and as a member of the societal institutions which God also built into human life. Public policy must be converted from a Humanistic tool for attacking Judeo-Christian beliefs and believers into an instrument for the protection of these beliefs and believers consistent with “liberty” as defined here.

   Order in/of society, which is inherently necessary for liberty to survive and thrive, requires the proper establishment, definition, and balancing of basic societal institutions – individual, marriage/family, church/religion, and civil law/government. The institutions of the individual and church/religion are addressed immediately above. A third institution under fierce attach today is marriage/family, based on the principle of the sacredness of marriage. 

Both officially and unofficially, marriage must be defined and protected in the manner prescribed by the Judeo-Christian worldview - the union of one man and one woman. No public policy can recognize and/or protect any other form of relationship or behavior as a “marriage,” or require that the rights of traditional marriage be conferred on any other relationship or behavior, however, it might be labeled. Similarly, same-sex behavior that is sensual/sexual in nature and/or tone and/or is typical or inherent only in traditional marriage is not valid, and certainly not constitutionally protected, in the public square. “Sex” is binary in nature, as ordained by God and is to be defined as biological in nature.ricaNo other terms, such as the humanly-created concept of “gender,” are to be employed in American law and policy. Furthermore, the rights and responsibilities of parents vis-à-vis the rearing of their children must be protected. Education, health care, etc. are internal family matters with civil law/government validly intervening in only the most extreme circumstances.

No liberty is absolute. Rather, each liberty is to be exercised (1) within the order prescribed by God, who is the author of all liberties; and (2) consistently with other rights and the rights and interests of other people in mind. Justice, then, requires and can exist in our society only when liberty and order are properly defined and balanced in public policy. Absent such balance, society will suffer anarchy, or autocracy, or some contorted combination of these two evils.

 We must deny to all courts any jurisdiction over challenges to these values/guarantees.

4. Inviolability of the Rule of Law: The Constitution and the Declaration both clearly recognize that there are different levels of law, with greater weight and authority accruing to each level as society moves up the scale of the legal hierarchy. The Constitution clearly designates itself as the “Supreme law of the land” at the human level in America (Article VI). The Declaration goes much further, recognizing the “Law of Nature” and “Nature’s God” to which all human law (including our Constitution) must conform.

Sir William Blackstone sets forth the clearest exposition of “law/laws,” recognizing six different types of law in the universe. But the two weightiest forms are “the Law of Nature” and “Revealed Law” (i.e., the Scriptures). He declares that “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these (italics added).” But here there is also a prioritizing: “. . . undoubtedly the revealed law is of infinitely more authenticity than that moral system,... [known as] the natural law [italics added).”*

Contemporary public policy in America does not just ignore Blackstone; it can well be described as “bashing Blackstone.” Not only must this bashing stop, but the Blackstonian perspective on law must be restored to its position of centrality to all American law and public policy as is demanded by America’s Judeo-Christian worldview. “American law for American courts” must be again the only standard the courts can employ. And we must soundly reject the “National Popular Vote” movement which would, for all practical purposes, abolish our Constitution-mandated Electoral College system. The NPV would severely erode federalism and republicanism, morphing America into much more of a direct democracy, which the Framers feared. History teaches that pure democracies can be just as dictatorial as other despotisms and just as destructive of individual rights. We would then truly have “the rule of men, not of law.”

Furthermore, of obvious, immediate, and supreme importance in American law/public policy is the elimination of the hegemony of the Humanistic-driven system of judicial supremacy which has prevailed in America for decades. Constitutional supremacy must be restored as required by Judeo-Christian principles. No American court may exercise jurisdiction over challenges to this principle/guarantee or the three preceding ones. Since American judges are the single greatest immediate cause of the anti-Judeo Christian nature of current public policy described above, the resurrection of Constitutional supremacy would go far in shifting American public policy as described above in the Judeo-Christian direction.

We must deny to all courts any jurisdiction over challenges to these values/guarantees.

5. Indispensability of the Right to Private Property: This right, like others already discussed, is specifically protected by Amendments 5 and 14, which recognize that private ownership of property and free enterprise are central features of the Judeo- Christian worldview. The principles of good stewardship and responsible ownership are equal dimensions of the “right to private property.” Public policy must recognize this right by preventing, not creating, excessive taxation, excessive regulation of business, etc. and by otherwise countering the spread of socialism in whatever form in America today.

With the increasing size and complexity of this public policy platform, the government must protect and promote many objectives that were not even an issue until fairly recently. These include creation of a safe and adequate infrastructure, security against cyber-terrorism, development of American energy independence, and reversal of land-grabbing by governments under the guise of “environmental protection” (private stewardship of property is NOT negated by protections against such land-grabbing). We also must vigilantly restrict government to its legitimate role in the economic aspects of such vital concerns as education and health care (including such highly inflammatory questions as the legalization of marijuana).

6. Inherence of National Sovereignty: Any nation which is an independent nation inherently possesses the right to/power of controlling its own affairs – exercising and protecting its national sovereignty. Restoration of this principle in American public policy would extend the reach of the Judeo-Christian worldview beyond the limits already discussed and would have immense practical effects. These include the rebuilding of the strongest military defense system American safety demands, truly securing our borders from illegal entry, prohibiting any and all elements of foreign law from American courts, and forming foreign alliances as demanded by wisdom and our national interests, e.g., a continued strong friendship between America and Israel, to mention some of the more obvious examples. If America ceases to be “truly American,” all of other discussions of the Judeo-Christian worldview and constitutional guarantees become meaningless.

We must deny to all courts any jurisdiction over challenges to these values/guarantees.

In conclusion: America’s Judeo-Christian community must heed and act upon the call issued by Professor Oliver O’Donovan of the University of Edinburgh, “A Christianity which will bear witness to God’s Word in Jesus will be a speaking, thinking, arguing, debating Christianity, which will not be afraid to engage in an intellectual and philosophical contest with the prevailing dogmas of its day (italics added).*” Only such a Judeo-Christian response today will meet the challenge of Francis Schaeffer and James Madison and preserve and protect our precious republic.

* For a citation to source, contact: blackstone@BlackstoneInstitute.org
**Virginia Armstrong, Ph.D., President, Blackstone Institute; National Chairman, Eagle Forum’s Court Watch; Designer/Director, Christians Confronting the Culture Initiative
Copyright © 2020 by V. C. Armstrong

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