New Thought Editorials > New Thought and American Freedom

 

Summer 2009

New Thought and American Freedom

We on Planet Earth are presently living in what the ancient Chinese curse called "interesting times". Fortunately, New Thoughters know from our Judeo-Christian tradition that we are blessed and cannot be cursed, for God turns curses into blessings (De 23:5, Ne 13:2). The United States of America may have contributed to much of this present challenge, and it is America that will lead the rest of the world out again, especially with the help of New Thoughters everywhere.

New Thought is one of a handful of religions or religious movements born in America, for it could only have come into existence under the conditions of freedom to be found here, guaranteed by our Constitution. New Thought author Emmet Fox, who was born in Ireland and lived in London for many years, wrote a pair of articles titled "The American Spirit" and "The Historical Destiny of the United States", both included in his book Alter Your Life, which every New Thoughter around the world should read. They explain with the enthusiasm of someone newly arrived in America just what makes it the greatest country in the history of the world: the greatest thinkers of all time have contributed to its system of government, and people from other lands have helped to develop its resources. America in turn has been generous with both ideas and material wealth to the rest of the world, although its generosity has often not been recognized.

Fox states:

The Constitution is not an experiment. . . . So far from being an experiment, the Constitution has justified itself completely. It has been an unqualified success. Any real difficulty that this country has had will be found upon analysis always to have originated in some departure from the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution. . . . It has given the people the highest standard of living in the world. The poorest people in the United States are still better off than the poor in any other country. . . . It is in the countries where freedom and the rights of the individual have been trampled under foot that the lowest general standard of living prevails.

Fox notes that the Constitution takes into account human foibles:

The framers of the Constitution well knew that no human being is ever fit to have absolute power over his fellowmen. . . . They knew the results of most of the experiments that had already been made in the world. Above all, they knew . . . that man is here on earth to develop his soul, to become self-reliant, self-expressive, and self-determined, in order . . . to glorify God. . . . So they carefully framed the Constitution so that it would prevent any repetition in America of the sort of tyranny which has come about in Europe so many times. . . .

Many well-meaning people believe that the Constitution needs to be overhauled, but as Fox understood, this is never necessary. Many politicians from both major parties have disturbed its carefully constructed balance of powers, and it has now become clear that this has been happening since early in the twentieth century. Lately, hundreds of thousands of people of all races and creeds and from both political parties have been gathering in tea parties, named after the famous 1773 Boston Tea Party in which colonists dressed as Indians (Native Americans) tossed tea off an English ship into the harbor to protest the fact that they had not been represented in Parliament’s decision to tax it. Today’s tea party attendees, having just as much fun as the masquerading colonists, are making use of free speech to protest the various ways in which America has departed from the principles that the Founders worked so carefully to create, principles that have been tested over time in America and its predecessors on the path to freedom. In New Thought fashion, the tea party attendees are optimistic that we can return to the traditional values that have allowed us to thrive and prosper, values outlined in the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. They seek to restore, not to further dilute, the Constitution.

Despite what you may have heard, the Founders were deeply religious people. Their words attesting to this are literally carved in stone in the monuments and public buildings in Washington, D.C. They had experienced the problems resulting from established churches in some of the original thirteen colonies, so the Constitution forbids that. They had also experienced the problems when one religion does not tolerate another, so they made equally clear that there would be freedom of religion. This is not freedom from religion: Their words in the Constitution and other writings prove that the Founders expected people to practice their Judeo-Christian religion freely and openly as well as being tolerant of minority religions. W. Cleon Skousen’s book, The 5000 Year Leap: The 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World, originally published in 1981, is back in print just in time to inform us in clear, easily read detail just how the Constitution was put together. Check it out.