The apostle Paul prophesied the time would come when man’s “conscience [would be] seared with a hot iron.” (1)
Part of that searing, sad to say, has come in the form of a modern secular state that has, plain as day, utilized curriculum mandates, accreditation standards, and block grants to impose one standard, and one standard alone in this thing: the social ‘sciences’ and natural ‘sciences’ must deny the true nature of man, deny that man is something more than a mere compilation of biological processes.
In 1790, English statesmen Edmund Burke, in his famous denunciation of the atheist run, socialist inspired French Revolution, declared “We know, and it is our pride to know, that man is by his constitution a religious animal; that atheism is against, not only our reason, but our instincts.” (2)
Burke knew, what every honest, reflective man must know, that man is not just a physical being, but a spiritual being, and as such, that man is not just blessed with a collection of ‘common’ physical senses, but endowed by his Maker with a collection of uncommon Higher senses – among them, reason and conscience.
Twenty nine years earlier, ‘A Well-Wisher to Mankind’ (Massachusetts born, John Perkins), wrote in his 1771, Essay on the Nature, Source and Extent of Moral Freedom:
Every human creature has a sense of right and wrong, ought and ought not, which are evidently intended to remind him of duty and obligation; and without which he could have no idea of it. It is as really a natural sense, as the external ones of sight, feeling, tasting &c. As constitutional as the other internal ones of honor, harmony, benevolence, &c. (3)
A “natural,” “constitutional” sense that reminds of us “right and wrong, ought and out not,” “duty and obligation;” could it be?
Founder Thomas Jefferson thought so. While mentoring his nephew Peter Carr as regards his education, he noted in a letter dated August 10, 1787:
He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if he had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science. For one man of science, there are thousands who are not. What would have become of them? Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong, merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality. … The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted, indeed, in some degree, to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. (4)
Jefferson was counseling his nephew about what two prophets of God once charged, as the necessity of “circumscribing all truth into one great whole.” (5) If you are studying man and daring to call it science while denying the reality of man’s spiritual nature and the existence of a conscience, such a science is artificial indeed.
But it’s more than that. There is a danger involved. When Jefferson spoke of artificiality in learning circles, his voice was a voice of testimony against a history of state imposed educational establishments that had stifled freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly, and with them, the march of truth, so as to hold the masses in darkness by design—for this cause: despots have always known that disconnecting man from his kinship with the King of the Universe, the Great and Eternal Sovereign of all men, and with that spirit God put in man, is vital to any plan to hold man down. Why? For no man who truly understands his pedigree and his potentiality as a joint heir with Christ is a prime candidate to be a slave to any man or any state. And that’s the point.
Atheism, then, or the separation of science from any possible connection, however remote, to the Christian faith, and men of faith, becomes part of the modus operandi in despotic states, or for states heading in that direction.
Burke knew all about this agenda. He observed: “[T]he mind will not endure a void”; and so the intent is to empty it, and then fill it up again with “some uncouth, pernicious, and degrading superstition.” (6)
The “uncouth, pernicious, and degrading superstition” was the byproduct of political ambition. It was Europe’s first leap into the arms of a new revolutionary order—socialism—which imposes a top down control on all things, especially education, in order to usher in its Utopian or godless version of Heaven on Earth. “Uncouth, pernicious and degrading,” because the truth of the matter—in practice—was that this new religion resembled something more like a “riot,” a “drunken delirium,” a “hot spirit drawn out of the alembic of hell,” and always will. (7)
It is a point of interest, if not confusion for many, how it is that there is absolute freedom in the halls of academia for some lines of thought, and certainly for those who would defend every sort of debauchery, and yet a fierce intolerance for the things of God, for appeals to man’s moral conscience, or even to the existence of a conscience.
Burke provides a frank answer, as disconcerting as it may be. Pulling a lesson from history about how the aristocracy of Venice got away with imposing “so heavy … [a] yoke” on her subjects, he observed:
[T]he nobles have been obliged to enervate the spirit of their subjects by every sort of debauchery; they have denied them the liberty of reason, and they have made them amends by what a base soul will think a more valuable liberty, by not only allowing, but encouraging them to corrupt themselves in the most scandalous manner. They consider their subjects as the farmer does the hog he keeps to feast upon. He holds him fast in his sty, but allows him to wallow as much as he pleases in his beloved filth and gluttony.
The ruling nobility are no less afraid of one another than they are of the people; and, for that reason, politically enervate their own body by the same effeminate luxury by which they corrupt their subjects. They are impoverished by every means which can be invented; and they are kept in a perpetual terror by the horrors of a state inquisition. (8)
Sounds like University 101 to me. Unlimited freedom to debauch, to promote the false and unseemly, side by side with “perpetual terror by the horrors of a state inquisition” for stating, teaching, or discussing that which is politically incorrect.
Think about it. It is happening here. History is repeating itself. Conscience is being suppressed, religion crushed, the true nature of man denied in almost every academic circle, and all of this in the name of a “more valuable liberty.”
The questions we ought to be asking ourselves are: Why have we agreed to this? Why are we playing along? What has been the price of our negligence to our children, our neighbor’s children, to truth, and to the nation at large? And what will yet be the price if we fail to be men and women of virtue and turn the tide now, today?
The good news is, such a denial of the true nature of man “cannot prevail long.” (9) Burke taught that too. I agree.
Steve Farrell is one of the original pundits at Silver Eddy Award Winner, NewsMax.com (1999–2008), the author of the highly praised inspirational novel “Dark Rose,” and Founder and Editor in Chief of The Moral Liberal.
Copyright © 2010 Steve Farrell.
1. 1 Timothy 4:2
2. Kramnick, Isaac, editor. The Portable Edmund Burke, Penguin Books, New York, New York, 1999, from Burke’s essay, Reflections on the Revolution in France, p. 453.
3. Hyneman, Charles S., and Lutz, Donald S. American Political Writing during the Founding Era: 1760-1805, Volume I, Liberty Press, Indianapolis, 1983, p. 149.
4. Cousin, Norman, editor. In God We Trust: The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers, Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York, 1958, p. 127.
5. Ludlow, Victor L. Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1992 (statement attributed to Presidents Joseph Smith and Joseph F. Smith) p. 139.
6. Kramnick, p. 453.
8. Ibid., p. 45, from Burke’s 1756 essay, A Vindication of Natural Society.
9. Kramnick, p. 453.