Energion Publications has been very good to me. They have sent me several free books that I was interested in reading in exchange for posting a review on my blog. Note, they never asked me to post a good review, only a review.
So, a few weeks ago, when Aaron asked me to review another book for them, I could not refuse, even though the topic is not one that I normally read or write about. He soon sent me a free review copy of Preserving Democracy by Elgin L. Hushbeck, Jr. Since I was preparing for my trip to Ethiopia, I did not have time to read it. So, I took the book with me, and I read it on the flights to and from Ethiopia.
I’ll be honest. This book was difficult for me to read. The difficulty does not stem from Hushbeck’s writing at all. I found the book to be easy to read and easy to understand. The difficulty arose simply because the topic was not one that interested me greatly.
However, I have to say that Hushbeck convinced me that for Americans interested in “preserving democracy” there are many indicators that something must change in this country and in the way the government operates.
The subtitle of this book explains Hushbeck’s purpose in writing: What the Founding Fathers Knew, What We Have Forgotten, and How It Threatens Democracy.
Throughout the book Hushbeck demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of democracy, and the eventual decline of democracy into a totalitarian system as more and more rights are relinquished to the government in exchange for added programs. He demonstrates this using historical and modern examples.
Perhaps the most startling revelation (at least to me) is how the Supreme Court of the United States shifted in the mid twentieth century from interpreting the law as stated (in the Constitution for example) to legislating new laws. In effect, this shift has placed the Supreme Court and other justices above the Constitution, voiding the Rule of Law for the United States. Americans can no longer look to the Constitution to determine what is legal, but must now wait for the Supreme Court to rule on what is lawful and what is not lawful. Hushbeck demonstrates how this is similar to medieval kings who passed judgment based on their whims, and thus, their subjects never knew what was lawful or not.
As I read this book, I had to continually remind myself that I am not a citizen of this democracy. Yes, physically I reside in the United States, and (like Paul) I have been granted citizenship and make use of that citizenship. However, my real citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven (God). My law is not the law of this world but the law of Christ, and I must live as a citizen of his kingdom regardless of my earthly location or government.
Thus, if the United States remains a democracy, then I must live as a citizen of God’s kingdom in that democracy. If the United States becomes a totalitarian government (with either a single ruler or group of rulers), my purpose does not change. I must continue to live as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven within that totalitarian government.
If you are interested in democracy, politics, government, economics, etc. then I would recommend Preserving Democracy. However, for those who are following Jesus, never assume that your ability to follow Jesus and live in his kingdom is dependent upon America being or remaining a democracy.