Why the State should thank the Church

You hear it after every election, particularly one as close and divided as this past election was.  You hear that if this were any other country, there would be tanks in the streets trying to maintain order as people rioted and burned down anything and everything in their path; all because their candidate lost.

The reason so many assume is that the constitution has laid out a peaceful transition of power from one person to the next; that it is all thanks to George Washington for not declaring himself to be king and walking away from power all the way back in the 1790’s.  It is all thanks to 200+ years of tradition.

I do not doubt that the constitution and the precedent set by George Washington have some role in all of this.  The founding fathers knew what they were doing and laid out precise details for even the closest and most complicated of election scenarios.  And to date, riots have not occurred following an election; the county has not been divided in an effort to install one man as president over another. (The 1860 election and the ensuing Civil War would be an exception to this, but the circumstances surrounding that are based more in the history and circumstances leading up to the election as opposed to the actual election.)

I would doubt however that there is not another reason, a reason that those on media outlets would never dare mention, but it is one which can hardly be ignored.

The reason that there are not riots in the street, is not because the constitution guarantees a peaceful transition of power.  At its heart, the constitution is a piece of paper.  The reason is that the country is based on Judeo-Christian principles, and the county is largely Judeo-Christian in nature, if not practice, and people are therefore very mindful of the Fourth Commandment.

The Fourth Commandment tells us to honor those who have been placed over us.  The Fourth Commandment tells us that rioting in the streets because we do not like who won the election is wrong, just as a child knows that tearing apart the living room because they have to go to bed is wrong.

Countries where you do see riots and tanks after an election, regardless of who won, are countries that are not based on Judeo-Christian principles, and countries that have rejected those principles in favor of secular views.  In short, the US constitution is only valid if the population views it as such, and the only reason they would view it as valid is if they have the Fourth Commandment written on their hearts, telling them that these authorities have been raised to power by God.

The State thereby owes a great deal of gratitude to the Church; for the job of the Church is to raise up a citizenry that has these values and principles instilled in them; and when the Church does its job, then the job of the State to reward righteousness and hinder and punish wickedness is that much easier.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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