Some lawmakers across North Carolina are reminding us today is the National Day of Prayer. The National Day of Prayer Task Force lists 112 events across the state. U.S. Rep. Walter Jones sent this message out on Twitter:
#NationalDayOfPrayer, my biggest concern is that America needs to come back to the word of God. Today we reaffirm the important role that prayer has in this country. Not just today, but every day I will pray for our men & women in uniform & the future of this country.
A good word. When we pray for our nation it should remind us too of the limits of what government can accomplish. Most Americans believe, in some fashion, that they have a destiny and transcendent purpose beyond the state. The very way we might petition the state is very different than how we petition a transcendent power, reminding us that government can only do so much.
At the Conservative Leadership Conference in April, several speakers I heard there touched on the topic of the rising tide of secularism in the nation. Their fear is that secularism causes many to look to government first to solve their shortcomings and ills. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest touched on this is his remarks.
Christopher Scalia talked about how his late father Justice Scalia often used his speeches to inform citizens that virtue was required for a free republic to flourish. The American Framers, even those who weren’t Orthodox in their Christianity, believed that a religious ethic or influence is a must for sustaining freedom. In many of his legal opinions, Justice Scalia wrote about how the American Constitution is unique because it placed structural limits on the power of government. Lots of collectivist and totalitarian nations throughout history have offered up a long list of rights and protections for its citizens without offering essential limits to the power of government or the state. That is key because without that the road to entrenched tyranny is a short one. In contrast, our system is unique, in part, because of its religious influence and a belief in the transcendent. That in itself played a monumental role in the separation of powers and limiting the power of government over the lives of the citizenry.
Dennis Prager expressed that at CLC with a simple yet profound line, saying the American framers had the audacity to claim “We are free because God wants us to be free.”