No. 979



There is a verse in the Bible found in James 1:5 that says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” To my way of thinking it is not a weakness but strength and a privilege to seek wisdom from on high when confronted with making important choices and decisions. Such is the case today as I want to talk with you about an important concept that is at the very heart of why the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth.
This concept has to do with something we call the “Rule of Law,” which means that all government officers of the United States, including the President, the Justices of the Supreme Court, state judges and legislators, and all members of Congress, pledge first and foremost to uphold the Constitution. These oaths affirm that the rule of law is superior to the rule of any human leader. The development of the legal concept of the “Rule of Law” can be traced through history to many ancient civilizations, including ancient Greece, China, Mesopotamia, India and Rome.
However, as this relates to our country it goes back to England, our mother country, and the Magna Carta that King John was forced to sign by English barons at Runnymede on June 15, 1215. The Magna Carta guaranteed certain civil and political liberties to the English people. Now fast forward to 1776 when Thomas Paine wrote in his pamphlet “Common Sense” that “In America the law is King, for in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be none other.” Now you may ask, what is the foundation for our personal freedoms in America? It is none other than the Holy Bible, as it has been historically recognized as the most important book in the development of both the rule of law and democratic institutions in the Western world.
Furthermore, the modern roots of our individual rights and freedoms in the Western world are found in Christianity. The recognition by law of the intrinsic value of each human being did not exist in ancient times. For example, among the Romans law protected social institutions such as the patriarchal family but it did not safeguard the basic rights of the individual, such as personal security, freedom of conscience, of speech, of assembly, of association and so forth.
Now, please allow me to bring this closer to home, because this background history affects every single individual in our nation. In August 2014 we watched in horror as riots, violence and looting broke out following the shooting of an unarmed young man by a local police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Before it was over, the President, Attorney General, the Governor, other state and other local officials all got involved in trying to resolve and quell the disturbance. The thing they all relied on most of all was the concept to the “Rule of Law.” The one reason this concept works is because the vast majority of the American people are taught Christian values and principles at home -- to love, respect and protect the rights of others.
When we don’t teach these values to our children when they are young, we are undermining the very foundation that sustains our society. The truth is, without this, we can’t have enough police to protect you or me. You can’t have the “Rule of Law” when citizens do not respect the individual person, property and rights of others.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)