Home > Uncategorized > Can God Balance the U.S. Budget?

Can God Balance the U.S. Budget?

Can God balance the U.S. budget? Yes, He can do miracles. Then why hasn’t He? Considering the budget hasn’t been balanced since Andrew Jackson was president it seems that God sure is taking His time. Then again, His timeline is quite a bit longer than yours or mine. In actuality, the question of whether or not God can balance the U.S. budget is more rhetorical than serious. You see, yesterday I attended a meeting of the Cape Girardeau County Tea Party. The meeting, for the most part, was moving along quite smoothly until the question and answer session, where the matter of God came up. There was a man who wanted to know what the goal of the local tea party was, and whether people of differing religious viewpoints – including non-believers – were welcome. His question was never, in my opinion, answered to the man’s satisfaction. Which leads me to the larger question of what the appropriate role of religion is within the tea party, and whether or not focusing on religion enhances or detracts from the tea party’s political effectiveness.

One popular line of reasoning espoused by those who support a wider role for religion within the tea party is that the United States was founded by Christians. This line of reasoning would tend to support the idea that God intervened in creating this nation, allowing the United States a certain position of power and moral authority so long as we followed His will. However, I am not sure whether or not there is evidence for this or not. Moreover, I’m not sure, if upon close examination of the Bible, whether there exists evidence that God specifically favored any people or nation except for Israel. Even so, assuming that those who believe the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, upon a foundation of Judeo-Christian beliefs are correct, why then do the founding documents of our country speak in general terms of a Creator rather than God or Jesus? If, as many believe, a Christian nation is one, if not the only form of nation-state, tolerant of other religions, didn’t the Founders establish Christianity as the state religion?

Assuming, again, that the United States was indeed founded as a Christian nation, does that materially change the original intent of the Constitution in any way? Would, or should, our common understanding of what the Constitution means and how it is supposed to constrain the government change at all? If we all agreed that our nation was founded by Christians and as such was a Christian nation, would this change how the Supreme Court and lower courts rule on matters of constitutional law? Would this alter the behavior of Congress and the president? Would this change anything? 

Advancing this line of reasoning that our nation is a Christian nation a bit further – what about the fallen nature of man? Probably one of the best known stories in the Bible is that of Adam and Eve and how the Serpent tempted them with the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The story is indicative of the human condition. We are sinners. We tend to try and put ourselves on the same level as God, substituting our judgment for His. We are disobedient and so on. If, as Christians, we believe this story, then we would likely conclude that human beings are imperfect. We sin. God expects us to do certain things and has given us free will to obey or not. Quite often we choose to disobey. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the institutions that men create are filled with imperfect people. No matter how close to perfectly constructed our institutions are, imperfect humans will always find ways to circumvent the limits imposed by the Constitution, laws, regulations, oaths, etc. We started with paradise. We ended up with Washington, D.C.

Something interesting, and troubling, from the whole discussion of religion at the Cape Girardeau Tea Party, was than no one made any attempt (at least that I remember) to frame the issues of the day in terms of Christian morality. For instance, how is it moral for government to burden future generations with debt that effectively make them debt slaves? Not a single person who made the case for this being a Christian nation mentioned our debt-based monetary system and how it has not only undermined our constitutional system of government but how it also transfers vast sums of money from the people to banking interests. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but I hear few, if any, Christians argue that our current system of central banking under which we must pay interest for the privilege of banks issuing the peoples’ money is morally unjust and economically unfeasible. Andrew Jackson well understood that bank’s love of money was the root of much evil and did everything within his power to fight it. 

In the end, I believe it will be difficult – if not impossible – for the tea party to grow and achieve meaningful success if it doesn’t welcome people of differing religious beliefs. If the root cause of our nation’s problems is disobeying God’s will, then it would seem most fitting that churches and individuals reach out to their fellow man and attempt to bring those who stray back into the fold. I’m not sure that the tea party can, or should, be both a political organization and push forward a specific religious viewpoint at the same time. This doesn’t mean that anyone has to change their beliefs. However, promoting one religious point of view will result in many rejecting the tea party. There are many people currently unhappy with our current politics. Many progressives are extremely unhappy with the Federal Reserve specifically, and central banks in general, and could be political allies on the issue of monetary reform. However, this would require a tea party focused more on issues of political, monetary, and economic reform. God may well have established this government. But, it would seem that accepting that belief logically leads to the conclusion that He has established all of the rest. In the end, God’s plan is so vast that the mind of man may never comprehend it. In a time of past tax protests Jesus said:

Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s

We’re still debating exactly what Jesus meant today. We’ll probably be debating what He meant until the end of time. I think Jesus would want us to pay the debt that we owe. At the same time, I think He would not want us to incur further debt. Jesus had a penchant for hanging out with the “wrong crowd”. Jesus threw open the doors of the kingdom of Heaven. He answered many tough questions with questions of His own. Today, we are faced with a similar situation. We have many questions. What do we owe to the state? What kind of government do we want? Where does the authority for our government come from? Who deserves the protection of the state? What is the role of church in society? What is our moral obligation to others? These are the questions we continue to struggle with. Even within the Cape Girardeau Tea Party I would expect many different answer to those questions. That’s OK. I don’t expect we’ll know those answers for sure today or tomorrow – if ever in our lifetimes. However, I think the tea party can help bring those questions, and more, back to the center of public life. But associating only with like-minded individuals won’t yield results. Only by including many others, with different backgrounds and beliefs, will the effort bear fruit. I am not so arrogant as to claim I know the mind of God, but I think Jesus provided ample examples for us to follow if only we have the courage to do so.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rogerfields
    September 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Good comments. Right on.

  2. Terry Kinder
    September 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks @rogerfields. Appreciate your comment.

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