Suffrage As Sacrament: Counting Every Vote
Voting has become a national sacrament in the brutally Humanistic culture of present day America. Issues and candidates aside, the physical act is considered a hallowed and generating event. The media dwells on getting out the vote as though mass, in itself, were the principal goal, as though the slipping of the ballot through the slot straight away sanctifies the voter. The system proceeds ex opere operato. 1
Officials now are seen to hold consecrated ballots up to light, staring upon them as if examining the shroud of Turin. Ballots that have only been “dimpled” are cherished by the Smithsonian as relics of the cry for justice. The twisted vision being foisted upon us by a frenzied few is that of a social paradise, accessible only on the basis of a one hundred per-cent turnout.
Humanism and the Popular Vote
Voting rights are now conjured into one of the equalizers of the population. The homeless man, having abandoned hope and out of work, is able to cancel the vote of the faithful, steady, hardhat laborer who does a twelve hour shift and then donates time and money to church and charity. Responsibility and faithfulness have no meaning. Diligence and learning count for zero.
Some Votes More Equal Than Others
The framers of our constitutional government never intended that everyone should vote. This privilege and responsibility was given to those with proven accomplishment. Original requirements included ownership of land, church membership and being a male at least twenty years of age. The framers used a biblical framework for the working machinery of the republic.
Our wise, political forefathers, clearly understanding the self-centered nature of man, knew that giving the vote to every warm body was the quickest means to destroying the nation. James Madison, in lengthy and frank discussions on the subject said, “ . . . the freeholders of the country would be the safest depositories of republican liberty.”2 The likelihood of abuse was perceived as absolute, voting one’s self the largesse a certainty. The wonder today is that we, as a people, have endured so long and so amazingly well. The moral deterioration of the nation having been in decline for so long, we should be thankful that the fathers foresaw the temptation for “property-less” men to “unite against the rest of society.”3 Their foresight has provided a safety zone if Americans were wise enough to use it.
Spawning Foreign Democracies
The United States has, too frequently, coerced other peoples into the “democratic mold.” Plain people whose world is no larger than, perhaps, a few hundred acres have been cajoled into voting for strongmen, from rival tribes, hundreds of miles away. Oppression and killing often have been the recurrent fruit. Lives and economies have not been improved, nor has this practice encouraged cultural progress. The structuring and maintenance of a truly representative civil government requires more than American dollars and a U.N. declaration.
The hasty formation of text-book democracies produces a foolish glee in the breasts of some American politicians. The mere picture of the illiterate, indigenous person making an “x” on a sheet of paper is accomplishment enough to salve their consciences, but there is seldom any lasting development in such third world countries.
One of the genuine answers to this problem is a unified law structure, the legal and physical guarantees that used to flow from colonial rule. Hernando De Soto, in his The Mystery of Capital, says “Any asset whose economic and social aspects are not fixed in a formal property system is extremely hard to move in the market.”4 Thus, his point is that all of these efforts at democratization fail because of the lack of dependable order, not because the people aren’t afforded the Western concept of suffrage. They fail as well because there is no spiritual base from which the people can formulate a concept of governance.
The Majority, Its Own Tyranny
The privilege of voting comes from God and assumes the complementary responsibility of making conscientious preparation. Selfish interests and personal taste are not sufficient grounds. Instead, a reliable standard by which candidates and issues can be evaluated and determined must be in place.
From colonial times in America the original and primary standard was the law of God. This absolute provided a dependable criterion for evaluating character, ability and experience. It also was the means by which men could determine the suitability and rightness of any political or social issue. The people who established and built this great nation did so by using this perfect measure.
Apart from the guidance of a reliable standard men make their judgments on the basis of sheer caprice, simple conjecture, personal taste and cynical opinion. The sovereignty of man comes aggressively to the fore, a dangerous and unwise consequence, because a thing is no more accurate or appropriate because of the number of people who hold to it, nor by the same token, is something wrong and improper because of how few believe in it.
A thousand fools voting for a front seat in hell doesn’t make it into a good idea. Ideas can only be accurately evaluated by the absolute standard of divine law.
Suffrage And Impotence
One person voting in a large constituency may feel that his mark has little or no significance. Election returns often confirm this sense of personal impotence. The outcome, of course, is in the hand of God. He is the One who “raises up one and puts down another,” the One who “holds all things in the palm of His hand.”
The informed voter knows that his ballot is, after all, an expression of faith in God’s sovereignty. Man proposes, but God disposes. The vote is cast in obedience, a responsibility discharged in accordance with revealed models and lawful requirement.
Humanism, on the other hand, desires with its whole being, not to conform, but instead to generate anew. Its philosophy elects man as source and basis. Every life is precious, not because it is created in God’s image, but because it may reveal the spark that will light the flame of world peace and plenty. Thus, the voting act is made the duty sacrament, the assertion of humanity and its holy right.
Good men must redouble their efforts to employ the rightful dominion God has given. Wise as serpents and harmless as doves, we work diligently and trust Him who rules all things.
Rev. Dale K. Dykema
- Latin ref. to an objective efficacy, the idea that a sacrament generates blessing regardless of the circumstances.
- Charles C. Tansill, ed.; Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States, p.489ff. 69th Congress, 1st Session, House Doc. No.398. Washington: G.P.O., 1927.
- Tansill, quoted by R.J.Rushdoony in This Independent Republic. Thoburn Press, Fairfax, VA, 1978, p.56.
- H.DeSoto, The Mystery of Capital, Basis Books, New York, 2000, p.47.