Thursday, December 1, 2016
I’m both an idealist and a literalist, at least in terms of my views of the origins of our Universe and our Nation. The two sources that best inform my views are the Bible and the U.S. Constitution. I love both documents, although I admit that both can be difficult to interpret and/or understand. But when in doubt, I believe that the Framers of the Constitution and the 40 or so human authors of the Bible largely wrote for the Common Man to understand and apply their wisdom for human flourishing. We stray from such timeless wisdom at our peril; peace is at stake, both personally and nationally.
This column wraps up my 2016 series on how our country’s ideals are reflected in this company. At the risk of sounding predictable or cliche, the topic this month (planned about 11 months ago) seems uncanny in its timing: domestic tranquility. A parallel phrase could be “peace on Earth,” but for the purpose of focus, I’ll just comment on peace in America and in JUGHEADS, LLC.
Our Founders wrote in the Preamble their aim to “insure domestic Tranquility,” meaning that the central government has the right to intervene to protect its citizens against riots, localized tyrants, wars between the states, etc. Of course, it’s still ideal to solve our societal woes on a local level as often as possible (e.g., via the city police and county judges rather than the National Guard and Supreme Court), but the Framers wrote that the federal level may enter state and local crises when absolutely necessary.
My simple parallel to JH this month is that I’m careful to not hastily assert my authority to break up small squabbles among the Jugheads, including annoying disruptions that may affect our subculture any given day. One strategy is to encourage the kids to self-monitor their own behavior (aka positive peer pressure); another is for student leaders to use their own styles of keeping the peace on a more grass roots level then me having to step in. For more on this topic, see my column on “Liberty” (paulsplatform.blogspot.com/2016/02/).
Far before election protests & recounts (even in 2000), and before the recent trend trying to redefine “freedom of religion” to the rights-strangling and unconstitutional “freedom of worship,” I’ve tried to run JH (our microcosm of America) with peace as the goal through my Christian worldview, even if I personally disagree with any given issue, attitude, or action among our constituents. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18, ESV).
I’ll end this series crediting the deepest and dearest of our American ideals, and therefore our JH ideals, to the “Holy infant so tender and mild” who entered the world in the form of a helpless baby in order to begin ushering in the ultimate form of domestic tranquility: Heavenly peace. May the God of peace bless your families this Advent season and in 2017.