By Mr. Curmudgeon:
“I will walk in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”
– Psalms 119:45
In December of 1773, hotheaded revolutionary Samuel Adams attended a meeting of 7,000 American colonials at the Old South Church in Boston. They were angry over the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament. The tea tax raised revenue used to pay colonial governors and judges, which London viewed as the best means to control them. When Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson issued a statement making clear his support for king and country, Samuel Adams announced, “This meeting can do nothing further to save the country.”
According to legend, Adams’ statement was a prearranged signal for the Sons of Liberty to don their Mohawk Indian costumes and head to Boston Harbor – into which they dumped a sizable quantity of Tea. The Tea Party was a harbinger of things to come.
Coincidently, Old South Church possesses two copies of the first book published in America – 1640 editions of the Old Testament’s book of Psalms. According to the Boston Globe, one copy will be auctioned to “help the church pay for needed repairs to its building and set the congregation on firmer financial ground as it pursues plans to grow its membership and mission.” The Globe estimates the sale will fetch between $10 million and $20 million.
The decay of the Old South Church, sadly, is more than physical. Today’s United Church of Christ (UCC), its clergy and congregation, have little in common with Samuel Adams or the 7,000 Bostonians outraged that Britain would bribe colonial officials with their tax dollars.
The following are positions taken by the UCC:
ObamaCare: “… We believe that the law itself and the expansion of Medicaid included in the Affordable Care Act both speak to the moral and justice imperatives of equal access for all.”
Economic Justice: “Our laws and public policy are the blueprints by which we set up the institutions that allocate people’s chances in life.”
Nuclear disarmament: “Local churches are encouraged to offer prayers and times of reflection on the significance of the past sixty years, and to pray and offer witness for peace in the world and the elimination of all stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Another world is possible. It must be possible – a world void of nuclear weapons with their devastating and long lasting effects on the peoples of this world, and on the earth.”
Abortion: “After the Supreme Court decision in 1972, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the U.S., the UCC has joined with other faith groups to protect women’s equal and fair access to abortion and family planning which have been under attack consistently.”
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” asks Psalms 8 “… For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet …”
The clear implication in that statement is that Mankind is unique among the pantheon of creatures populating the Earth, and Man’s God-given uniqueness, his nature, makes him equal with his fellow man.
“The state of nature has a law … to govern it, which obliges every one,” wrote John Locke in 1690, “… being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions …”
Thomas Jefferson obviously loved Locke. He fashioned his epic Declaration on Locke’s ideals, stating that the people of America should “assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,” that the highest, God-given qualities bound to Man’s nature are expressed through Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Preserving these spiritual endowments, Jefferson declared, is the only legitimate purpose governments serve.
The Old South Church has changed … as has Boston … Massachusetts … and the nation.
The doctrines of today’s Old South Church (supporting dictatorial ObamaCare, wealth redistribution, disarming America and abortion) sound familiar because they are ideological and not theological. Their “faith-based” politics elevates government a little above the angels and demotes free men to the status of single-cell ameba.
It’s therefore understandable that a church which dehumanizes Mankind as mere servants of the state would willingly sell a treasured book that cautions the reader, “Put not your trust in princes.”
I can almost hear Sam Adams shout, “This meeting can do nothing further to save the country!”