Many of us like to blame God for our difficulties. The reason is that it absolves us of responsibility for our bad choices. It also ensures we won’t recover.

Nations are groups of individuals clumped together, primarily by geography. In a democratic nation, if a majority of the voting population chooses wisely, the entire nation will benefit from those choices (even those who oppose the choices).

In a democratic republic, such as the United States, we are one step removed from our responsibility. We don’t choose the policy directly; we choose the people who in turn choose the policies and make the laws we all have to live by.

In theory, choosing the people to govern us should yield greater consistency in laws with the long-term benefit. That was the intent of the Constitution in having each state legislature select their two senators to represent that state in the United States Senate. It added some stability to a House of Representatives that could change in its entirely in popular elections every two years. Again, stability. The 17th Amendment targeted that stability. Senatorial elections are now national funding targets, regardless of the state being represented.

But back to choice, everyone’s favorite word these days. “I have the right to …” and you can fill in the rest. Just how many people do you hear of today running around telling everyone else, “I have the responsibility to …”

Not very many.

At its most basic, choice boils down to what God offered the individuals that made up the nation Israel through Moses, very early in its history:

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).

That choice was echoed in our own Declaration of Independence from our ownership by the English king:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The pursuit of happiness by evil people, however, results neither in Life, Liberty or Happiness. It results in death. In a democracy, a majority of the voting public chooses life or death, and is responsible for blessings or cursings. In our democratic republic, we are one step removed from choosing life or death. We simply choose the representatives, executive and judges who choose life or death on our behalf.

How many of you think that absolves us, individually, for the decisions of those we elected to make those decisions? The picture in America of which political party has chosen life and which has chosen death has become very stark.

God wants people of all religious faiths, or even no faith at all, to choose life over death. But the choice for Jews and Christians is most stark. Do we somehow imagine that by choosing death we will receive the blessings associated with life? Our technology will not save us from the results of that decision. God is not fooled by our being one step removed from the decision. Neither should we be fooled. We are responsible.

Behind Enemy Lines, Vol. II

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