Having attended two public protests (for the first time ever!) and helping organize the Kansas City Tax Day Tea Party, I have been somewhat amused at what the media and punditocracy on both left and right have been saying about the upcoming events. Some dismiss the whole movement out of hand as “Astroturf” (not real grassroots) publicity stunt organized by the Republican brain trust, which may be an oxymoron if you think about it. Others see it as an impotent sputtering from a ragtag collection of malcontents. Yet others see it as the beginnings of a second revolution which will topple the existing power structure. It is apparent that somebody's wrong. In this case, I have the benefit of firsthand experience to guide me in sorting through the contradictory reporting out there. However, none of us have that luxury in evaluating the many important issues and events happening in America today.
So what is the truth? How do you recognize it and separate it from the howl of voices assaulting you from all angles? And is there even such a thing as ulitmate truth, and can you ever really know it? Ah, that's the defining question, and also the most critical divide between those who would be free and those who would control every detail of our lives if left unchecked.
It's really quite a simple question. You get two choices, and they cannot coexist or be reconciled.
Do you believe that humanity is capable of evolving, becoming more “enlightened”, and able through the strength of intellect and good intentions to create Utopia?
Or do you believe that we are created, fallen and imperfect creatures who none the less have access to the eternal and divine that rules the universe?
Put another way, would you rather have knowledge or wisdom?
America's founding fathers certainly knew their answer. They realized that though they could take all their accumulated intellectual power to create a “perfect” government, their genius could not overcome man's basic nature. They knew that only a reliance on a higher power would allow the republic to endure. Indeed, consider the words of a true lover of learning and education, George Washington:
The blessed Religion revealed in the word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institution may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting an inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchm[en]t can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.
Or the words of John Adams:
Human government is more or less perfect as it approaches nearer or diverges farther from the imitation of this perfect plan of divine and moral government.
Wisdom and knowledge are not at odds, but I'll take wisdom every time. It has been said that the saint learns more on his knees in one day than the philosopher in a lifetime of study. On the day after Easter, in this turbulent time for our country, I'll leave you with some practical advice from the One who said:
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free”.
Look to that which is eternal and unchanging for guidance and discernment, and you shall be free indeed. May God bless you all, and may God bless America!