I’m not saying conservatism has gone in Washington DC, but I’d say the assault on our shared values has qualified us for inclusion on the endangered species list, or at least “threatened” status.
It’s unfortunate that many of the people who serve in our nation’s capitol ran for office as conservatives then got to Washington and started spending and legislating like liberals. Thanks to a ruling party that is publicly confirming everything about their ideology that we have long known to be true, conservatives across the country are getting back onto the same page and returning to the first principles of our nation.
Contrary to what the liberal establishment might say about those of us to their right, we are not preaching rebellion, subversion or insurrection, but expressing our love for the greatest country on earth, and the God-ordained principles on which it was founded.
"Unfortunately, the federal government has its hand too far into our pockets, its nose too far into our business, and its fingers too deep into its own ears to hear what sensible people like us are saying."
There is a growing consensus in this nation, of sensible people from every race, creed and political persuasion, who cannot abide the ongoing assault on the values that made our nation great, and the freedoms that set us apart from the rest of the world. Our voices are becoming more audible every day.
Unfortunately, the federal government has its hand too far into our pockets, its nose too far into our business, and its fingers too deep into its own ears to hear what sensible people like us are saying.
It is no secret that too many of our fellow Americans are struggling in this current economy, and that these financial problems aren’t going to fix themselves. However, Washington’s approach is accelerating our country in the wrong direction.
Somehow, our elected leaders have concluded that America can borrow its way out of debt, and spend its way to prosperity. Their approach would leave our Founding Fathers scratching their heads.
With Britain’s oppressive example fresh in their minds, the visionaries who laid the framework for our nation put limits on the federal government for a reason. In memory of their wisdom, it is well past time to halt the endless intrusions into our lives, put a stop to the out-of-control spending, and restore our commitment to a shared set of values.
We know that the route to success is lower taxes, smaller government and freedom for every individual. I know that because I’ve seen that approach work in Texas. By keeping our taxes low, our regulations predictable, our legal system fair and our education system accountable, we have created an environment that has generated more than 166,000 jobs since the beginning of the year, more than any other state.
I believe that our economy would be even stronger if the federal government were genuinely heedful of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which clearly states the preeminence of states’ rights. In layman’s terms, it reminds us that the federal government was created to serve the states and their citizens, not the other way around.
As our nation endures the turmoil of colliding value systems, Americans should not only return to the words of our Founding Fathers, but also to the faith that guided their lives. Of course, people of faith and their ideas are not exactly welcomed with open arms into the arena of public discourse.
We are told that our deeply-held beliefs, the core principles that shaped our nation, are merely outdated notions, irrelevant to clear-thinking members of an enlightened society.
"Given the high stakes of the current debates, people of faith need to be more vocal than ever, as our culture and our government wrestle with the essential questions of the human experience, and place further limits on the exercise of our God-given freedoms."
Given the high stakes of the current debates, people of faith need to be more vocal than ever, as our culture and our government wrestle with the essential questions of the human experience, and place further limits on the exercise of our God-given freedoms.
Whether that’s forcing us to violate the conditions of Proverbs 22 by putting up our security for others’ debts, or using our federal tax dollars for abortion, people of conscience have real problems with how our country is being led.
As we watch the explosion of self-interest that is poisoning Washington, I’m reminded of a quote from the city’s namesake, George Washington. “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports, and let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”
In that spirit, I would pose a question to the elected leaders and their supporters in the mainstream press who essentially claim religious expression has no place in the civic discourse, labeling expressions of faith as acts of intolerance. Isn’t the very act of shutting people of faith out of the public square the definition of intolerance?
We are a free, pluralistic society and I agree government should not endorse a particular religious view. However, it is quite different, and I would argue extreme, to say that our laws should not be inspired, and informed by the views of the faithful. To put it another way, freedom religion is not to be confused with freedom religion.
Therefore, people of faith must not be lulled into complacency, browbeaten into silence, or frustrated into inaction. Instead, we must heed the calling of our faith to recapture the soul of our nation.
As we take the risk of speaking the truth. defending the defenseless, and standing fast on our values, we can never forget that it is about us. It’s about the God who made us.
We owe it to ourselves, our children and our nation to continue exercising our 1st amendment rights, and shining the bright light of truth on our leaders, so that the truth will set us all free. As far as the values gap that continues to divide our nation, we must trust God to bridge it and heal our nation.
Rick Perry is Governor of the Great State of Texas