Duty vs. Right – Building on the American Heritage Series Civil Stewardship: We all love our freedom. We love enjoying the blessings of liberty. But with those blessings there also comes a burden or a responsibility to do something about it to preserve it. Join us as we head to the set of the Building on the American Heritage Series with David Barton and discuss the topic of civil stewardship!

Air Date: 09/11/2018

On-air Personalities: David Barton and Rick Green


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and politics. WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. Today’s program is Civil Stewardship: Duties vs. Rights. Going to learn a lot today as we go to the set with David Barton and the Building on the American Heritage Series.

Well, David, we all love our freedom, we love enjoying the blessings of liberty, but with those blessings there also comes a burden or a responsibility to do something about it. Kind of a–oh– a playing your role to make sure that that freedom’s–

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

–not only something I enjoy, but you get to enjoy it and our next generation gets to enjoy it as well.

David:

Our founding fathers who gave us these rights, or at least secure them to us – they were rights given by God–

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

–and our founding fathers secured them. They said, “To every right, there is a commensurate duty.” So, if we have a right to free speech, which we do, we also have the duty to be honest in what we say, and be truthful, and be accurate. We’ve got a right to free speech, but there’s a duty that goes with it.

We enjoy liberty. We’ve got a duty to be involved in government, to choose the right kind of leaders, to find out the right things about leaders when we go to vote, so that we can cast an informed vote.

With Rights Come Duties

Rick:

So, if you have the freedom to vote, if you have the freedom to choose your leaders, that means–

David:

You’ve got a duty.

Rick:

–you have a duty to go be informed while you do it.

David:

That’s exactly right. So, with every single right that’s out there there’s a duty. And if you don’t take the duty side of it you cannot preserve the rights, it will deteriorate into, really, anarchy. And what happens is it becomes a licentious kind of a thing.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

“I have the right to do whatever I want.” No, you don’t. There’s a great passage in the Bible where twice we’re told that we have the law of liberty. Those two things seem oxymoronic. Liberty, that’s freedom from law, isn’t it? No, it is law that provides you liberty. When you have the standards and the rule of law, you have freedom in so many ways.

And it’s the same way with duty and rights. We have rights – those rights are given us by God. And that’s really what made America different from other places and that’s why we had so much more self-government because we govern ourselves. If we have a right to be a self-governing nation, we have a duty to be self-governing citizens.

Rick:

So, in other words, it’s not, then, just like you said, licentiousness, it’s not just a freedom to do whatever feels good. Sort of this libertarian view that says, “Just get government out of my life–”

David:

Yeah.

There are Parameters

Rick:

“–I can make all my own decisions and do whatever feels good to me.” There are parameters, there’s boundaries there.

David:

Absolutely. And we’re told in the Bible about government. Government’s instituted and created by God. We’re told in 1 Timothy that God has given laws to regulate the bad guys. And by the way, a lot of the laws that help our society are moral laws. That’s why in the common law, which we’ve had for hundreds of years, the common law lists all these moral behaviors. If you take the logic that if it’s done in private just between me and whoever, if it’s consenting kind of stuff, then it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Really?mWell, I think embezzlement can be done in private.

Rick:

That’s right.

David:

There’s no crime that is limited just to you individually – it affects everyone else.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

So, the libertarian viewpoint– now, there’s some some basis for saying a libertarian view of government is that government should be limited.

Rick:

Sure. Sure.

David:

But you can’t exist without government. So, you have government, you have the right to have government, but you have a duty to have a restrained limited government – not a tyrannical government, not an overbearing government. So, every right still has a duty that goes with this. Those two things cannot be separated. And when you separate them you turn from freedom to anarchy. Whether it’s individual anarchy or anything else. And that’s really what we’ve seen the rise of in America. We now have all these anarchist groups that show up to protest whenever there’s economic conferences or whatever.

When We Abandon the Standard

David:

We’ve seen the rise of things that we haven’t seen in America in a long time. And part of that is we’ve abandoned moral standards, we have a duty to uphold what God has told us we’re to do – whether it’s the Ten Commandment or anything else. But when we abandon that standard or anything else, we really force ourselves to have more government.

I love the way that Robert Winthrop described this back in the 1840s. And Robert Winthrop was a speaker of the House. He’s actually a great historian, the founder of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He is the guy that gave the speech when they laid the cornerstone at the Washington Monument. And he talked about how that every society must be governed in some way or the other. And he talked about you can be governed either by the Bible or by the bayonet. You can force people do what’s right, you can choose to do what’s right. If you cannot regulate yourself, government will regulate you. So, if you want liberty, you have to be restrained.

Rick:

Is that why did the difference really between how the French went with the French Revolution and the Americans with the American Revolution?

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

Because they really did do the kind of total libertarian idea of everybody just do whatever feels good. That’s really where they went. Where with us there was a biblical foundation–

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

–that said, “Yes, you have freedom, but it’s not to do anything you want. You’ve got to govern yourself.”, as you said.

The Difference Between the French and American Revolutions

David:

Well, you take the French example where the French did have a very licentious view. And theirs was a secular view of liberty as well. You look at their motto, it doesn’t involve God, it doesn’t involve individual rights. They’ve got fraternity and all these other things, but there’s no God anywhere in there. We had God in ours from the center and that was our paradigm.

It was significant that we’ve got a Constitution in America, but the French Revolution is going on. French Revolution – they had three revolutions. They had one in 1789, they had one in 1793, 1796, ended up having 15 total since we’ve had our first.

But Washington is president of the United States and he’s watched France go through three revolutions and we’re stable over here. We have come out of instability, we’ve now been stable. He gives his third and fourth annual addresses talking about the unprecedented stability and prosperity in America. And here’s France – turmoil after turmoil, turnover after turnover. And he, in his farewell address which were used to study in school for generations, gave the warning and distinction of, “Do not let that French mentality come here.”

The French say you can be moral through education, that we can just teach you what’s right and wrong and you’ll be great. Over here we know that morality comes only through religion. And what Washington said, he said, “Let us with caution–” be really careful, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” In other words, French are saying, “Hey, you can be moral without religion.” He says, “You be really, really, careful. That’s a dangerous philosophy.” He said, “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure–” whatever you think the power of education is to change the minds of kids. He said, “–reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality will prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Rick:

So, he’s saying if you go that direction, if you leave the religious principle out, you’re not going to get the morality just from teaching.

Never National Stability Without Morality

David:

You will not get it. And if you don’t get the morality you will never have national stability. You will only have a stable nation when you have a moral nation. And morality only comes from not education, it comes from religion. And that’s why Washington was very explicit.

John Adams two years later, same thing. John Adams is now in what’s called the Quasi War with France. 1798 we’re in the middle of this Quasi War with France and he is speaking to the military of the state of Massachusetts. And in talking to them he basically sums it up and says, “Listen, guys, you’re great, you beat the British, you’re really good. But you’re not strong enough for what it would take to make people do what’s right.”

He said, “We have no government capable of restraining human passions that are not controlled by religion and morality. If you can’t control yourself by religion and morality, you guys and military aren’t tough enough to make everybody do what’s right. You can never beat people into doing what’s right if they won’t choose to do it themselves.  

So, that was the way we understood it and that was our duty. If we want to live in a free nation we have a duty to be moral, we have a duty to be God fearing. That’s why we acknowledge God in the Declaration four times. We acknowledge our rights, individual rights, but they come from God. And if you lose that progression – from God, to us, to my responsibility to be moral – both for my society and for God – then you lose all your freedom.

Can You be a Patriot Without Having God in the Equation?

Rick:

So, what do you do about that? A lot of people today would say, “Hey, I love freedom. I’m all for freedom, and liberty, and those things, but I don’t want God in the equation. I can be a patriot without having God in the equation.”

David:

You can’t be. George Washington specifically dealt with that in the 1796 address. Now, you may think you can, but it doesn’t prove out that way historically. 1796, in his address, he looked at the prosperity America had. And Washington was present in what was called the Age of Revolution. So, he not only had the French Revolution, he had the Russian Revolution, the Greek Revolution, the Italian Revolution–

Rick:

So, he’s witnessing this firsthand. He’s seeing this happen.

David:

The whole world is in turmoil and he’s over here saying, “Of all the habits and dispositions that lead to political prosperity, of everything that makes our politics prosper,–” He said, “–religion and morality are indispensable supports. Religion and morality is what makes us different.” He said, “In vain would that man claim the tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.

Rick:

So, he’s saying you cannot be a patriot.

David:

He saying, “I won’t even let you call yourself a patriot if you try to separate religion and morality.”

Rick:

Wow.

David:

That’s what he’s saying. John Witherspoon, president of Princeton, founding father signer of the Declaration, trained so many of the founding fathers – James Madison, said that, “He is the best friend to America who is most sincere in promoting pure and undefiled religion.” He said, “Whoever is an enemy of God I hesitate not to call him an enemy to his country.”

Part of Our Duty is Being Moral and Religious

David:

The Founding Fathers said there’s no way you can be called patriotic if you’re going to be anti-God or secular. You have to at least be God fearing – that doesn’t mean you have to be a Christian, it doesn’t mean you have to go to church–

Rick:

Right.

David:

–but you’ve got to accept God’s moral law and God’s standards. You have to be God fearing. Which is why we acknowledge God on our currency. So, we’ve understood that all along and if we want those freedoms we just cannot be a secular nation. If we enjoy our freedoms we have duties we have to perform and part of those duties are being moral and religious.

Rick:

Alright, David, let’s go to the audience for question on this issue of duty.

Unknown Speaker:

Why does it seem that so many more Americans were willing to sacrifice in earlier generations?

Rick:

Well, that’s true you think about the founders’ “lives, fortunes, sacred honor”, you think about the World War II generation, those that served in Korea, Vietnam, right on down the line. It does seem like prior generations gave more.

David:

At the risk of sounding simplistic, it’s because we were a lot more biblical in those times. We really have some strong Bible teachings on the concept of duty and sacrifice above all cost. Keeping your word no matter what it costs. And we’ve moved into, in some ways, really shallow, really lazy form of Christianity. “Oh duty- I’m not into the law anymore I’m free, I’m under grace.” And we’ve separated duty out.

Sheep – No Easy Day at the Office

David:

Now, I want to read a little passage from Luke 17. In verse 5, the apostles are saying, “Lord, increase our faith. We want to what you do. Increase our faith.” And Jesus’ answer is really pretty remarkable. He says, “Well, if you’ve got faith as a mustard seed, you can do stuff, but here’s the rest of the story.” So, He starts in verse 7 he says, “And which of you having a servant plowing or tending sheep–” Wait, what was the question? I thought the question was “increase our faith” and now He’s taken them to an agricultural setting of plowing and tending sheep.

Now, I’ve got to stop right there for a minute because having grown up farming, and ranching, and being a cowboy myself, plowing and tending sheep is pretty significant stuff. We still raise sheep. Right now to this day we raise sheep. And anyone who thinks it’s a compliment that we’re called sheep in the Bible, they don’t know a thing about sheep. That is the most ignorant animal that’s ever existed, the most stubborn animal.

Rick:

So, that’s not an easy day at the office to go take care of sheep.

David:

No easy day at the office.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

If I want them to go into this pen, they’re going to go into this. I actually have to use sheep psychology on them. I try to get them to go in the wrong pen so they’ll go in the right pen. They’re rebellious, everything is wrong about sheep. So, what it says a whole lot about the shepherd, but not a lot about the sheep. When it says that He is the Great Shepherd, that’s significant.

If you can put up with sheep 12-14 hours a day in a farming or ranching life, as we said, you can you work from can see to can’t see – from time light comes up to the time it goes down. If you have to trail those sheep around all day and they’re wanting to go off on their own, you’ve got to get them back, that is exhausting work – psychologically exhausting, it’s physically exhausting. And if you’ve got to fight off the bears and the lions or whatever’s coming after them, it’s dangerous work. So, it’s not easy.

Hard Work

David:

So, suppose one of you was tending sheep all day, or by the way, suppose one of you is ploughing. I’ve done my share applying, but always on a tractor. I’ve never had to plough with a wooden plough following behind oxen, or behind mules, or anything else. You do that all day long, you’re worn out because you physically have to hold that plow. It’s not the animal doing all it, you’re having to do a lot of keeping a balance.

Rick:

Like you said, it’s all day.

David:

It’s all day.

Rick:

This is sun up-sun down.

David:

So, the question is, “Lord, increase our faith.” So, He says, “Which one of you having a servant ploughing or tending sheep will say to him when he’s come in from the field, ‘Come at once to sit down to eat’? In other words, hey, servant, you’ve been working hard all day long. It’s been grueling work. I know you worn out, I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re tired of this. But why don’t you sit down and get something to eat’. Is that what happened when you have this? No. He says, “Will he not rather say to him, ‘Hey, prepare my supper, gird yourself for me, and serve me, and after I’ve eaten and drunk then maybe you can eat and drink.”

So, you’ve been doing a day long work. You’re out after dark. You come in, you’re worn out, and your master says, “Hey, you’re not done yet. You’ve got a second job going on here. You need to come take care of me. You wait on me, you feed me, you take care of what I want, and then maybe if there’s any time left over you can take care of yourself.” So, that’s the next step.

Then He says, “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him?” So, he’s been in the field all day, he’s now waiting on his master all night, and did the guy even tell him “thank you” for being in the field all day or “thank you” for taking care of me? He said, “No, he didn’t thank him.” He says, “Did he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.” He says, “So likewise, when you’ve done all the things which you’re commanded, you should say, “We’re unprofitable servants. We’ve done that which is our duty to do.”

Hard Teaching

David:

The answer is if you want to increase your faith, if you want to be spiritually mature, you’ve got to learn to work really hard, sometimes twice, have nobody thank you or appreciate what you do, and you still keep doing it, and you say, “Hey, here’s my duty.”

Rick:

That’s tough teaching there, David, I’ve got to admit, I’ll go out there and I’ll work hard – maybe I’m helping my dad or somebody in the field – but I’m kind of thinking about “Boy, they’re really going to be happy I’m doing this.”

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

I like that praise.

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

That’s just our natural inclination.

David:

It’s our natural inclination.

Rick:

He’s saying do your duty not looking for that praise, but just because it’s your duty.

What We Instilled in Previous Generations

David:

And you do all these things and don’t get thanked. And it’s really hard to keep your marriage off the rocks, and do all the things, and get the kids, and raise the kids, and keep the income, and take care of the family, and nobody says “thank you”. “Well, I’m quitting.” No, you still do your duty. Even if nobody appreciates it, nobody tells you, you still go out there and work your tail, and you work really, really, hard.

Now that’s the kind of biblical teaching that we instilled in previous generations. That’s why the word “duty” was a big thing in previous generations. If you read the founding fathers writings, you’ll find the word “duty” all over the place. Now, the military still teaches the concept of duty, but they’re probably about the only institution left in America that does it. We don’t teach in the family, we don’t– you can’t get involved in adultery – you have a duty to be faithful. We don’t teach that.

Rick:

Well, they must have also been really teaching that within the church and the family because we didn’t have a military.

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

Yet, when they were called upon, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, hey, people came out of the woodwork to say, “I’ll be part of it.”

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

They had a sense of duty.

David:

They had a sense of duty. And see, this as the other thing significant – even the political realm, we used to call them “public servants” we now call them “public officials”. And that’s a terrible thing. We don’t want officials – we want servants, public servants.

Join Us In Israel!

Hey guys what are you doing January 28th through February 7th? If you said you don’t know, let me give you an idea. We are going to Israel. Rick Green, my dad, David Barton, Tim Barton, our families are going and we would love for you to go with us. We are going to the Holy Land if you’ve ever been to Israel this is something as a Christian that will make you forever read your bible differently.

To see where Jesus walked, where He lived, where He did miracles, where so much of the Bible took place. If you’ve ever read through the Bible and you’ve given it a mental picture, the mental picture will not do justice of what happens when you’re actually on the ground. If you’ve ever thought about the story of David and Goliath and you’ve envisioned what it looks like, we’re going to go to the actual field where it took place.

There are so many things that you will see that literally makes the Bible come to life. In fact, that’s the name of the tour group we’re going with is The Bible Comes to Life. Go to CMJacksboro.com. You can click on the link, it has an Israel itinerary, all kinds of details. Hope to see you on this trip this coming year.

David:

This is probably shocking for a lot of folks, but the way we used to choose political officials was we went into the ballot– at the time of the founding fathers, we went into a ballot box with a blank piece of paper. And we would say, “Um, for Senator, I want Rick Green for senator.” I’d write that down. “For–”

Rick:

So, there weren’t names on the list. You went in and said, “These are the people I want.”

David:

“These are the people I want.” And then they would get all the ballots, count them all up, and say, “Oh look, Rick Green got more requests than anybody else. They want you to be our mayor.” And they go, “Rick, the people said they want you to be mayor. Will you be mayor?” They would not allow you to say “no” because of what we taught.

Romans 14:7

David:

And Benjamin Rush is a great example. Signer of the Declaration, he pointed out from Romans 14:7 that, “No man lives and dies unto himself.” If you said “no” it’s because you’re being selfish. You’re saying, “My life is mine. My life belongs to what I want to do.” If they have called you to serve them, you can’t say, “No, I’m not going to serve you.” And that was characteristic of so many founding fathers. They didn’t want to be in public life, but the people called them to it.

Rick:

They weren’t putting themselves out there. They weren’t saying, “Hey, hey, hey, I’ll be your leader.”

David:

As a matter of fact, Sam Adams, and Noah Webster, and so many others said, “If a person puts himself forward for office they’re instantly disqualified.”

Rick:

Wow.

David:

“If you try to put yourself in office, we don’t want you.”

Rick:

That may be why sometimes we hear where’s Washington, where’s Adams, where are the great leaders that we had of yesterday.

David:

You’ve got to go find them and shove them forward.

Rick:

Yeah. And you think of his humility, Washington, how many times he stepped down when he could have been king if he wanted to.

David:

That’s right. How many times did he resign?

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

He kept resigning and people kept sending him back saying, “We need you.”.

Rick:

He said, “It’s my duty. I’ll go do it.”

After the Fourth Time

David:

Well, Patrick Henry is a great example. Patrick Henry, great founding father, governor of Virginia, was elected governor four times. And every time, blank ballot kind of thing, and the people said, “We want Patrick Henry.” And after the fourth time, Henry said, “Everybody listen really, really, good. I don’t want to be governor again. I’ve got 19 kids, I’ve got 81 grand kids, I want to be home in Orange, Virginia, I want to be with the kids.”– because he loved to play the fiddle with the kids– “And I want to be home. Don’t do this again.” And they elected him for a fifth time for office and he went back.

Rick:

Wow.

David:

It was that kind of thing where if they call you, you can’t be selfish. So, that concept – if your country calls you, I’m going to World War II and it’s a tough thing. If I’m called in the Civil War, I’m going to bat. I have to sacrifice that and be a servant. And that’s what previous generations were so different from this generation is we had a concept of duty and we taught a concept that if you’re not doing your duty it’s because you’re selfish.

Rick:

Alright, David, let’s get another question from the audience.

Unknown Speaker:

A lot of schools today still encourage certain character traits, but are they the same character traits we have always taught in America?

Rick:

Well, duty would be one of those character traits, right?

David:

Duty is one of the character traits. And in a lot of ways the character traits have remained fairly constant. So, you look at character curriculums that are out there today they may have only seven or eight character traits in them and they may have as many as 70. So, there’s a lot of different character traits that are really necessary for development of character as well as society.

How the Founding Fathers Prioritized Character Traits

David:

But what I find intriguing is in the founding era they actually prioritized some of those traits. Good example is founding father Benjamin Rush. Signer of the Declaration, considered one of the three most notable founding fathers, that’s what John Adams called them. Benjamin Rush is a great educator, called The Father of Public Schools under the Constitution, he started five universities, three still go today, etc.. And in the curriculum that he would write he talked about–

Rick:

You say that like it’s easy – five universities–

David:

Five universities.

Rick:

These guys were busy. Sorry, that’s a lot of work.

David:

Which is pretty amazing. And the fact that three of them survived 200 and some odd years later is amazing. But he was really skilled in so many areas. He was in medicine, he was in chemistry, he was in so many things. But in talking about character traits he said that he believed that there was one character trait that came to the top. Matter of fact, he said that he believed that that one character trait was the best way of defining people – whether they were alive or dead. And he said it was integrity.

He says, “I think I’ve observed that integrity takes a stronger hold of the human heart than any other virtue.” Now, he said by integrity, “I mean a strict coincidence between thoughts, and words, and actions.” In other words, integrity is when what I think, what I say, and what I do, are all the same. You can have political people who will say and do the right thing, but they don’t think it. That’s not integrity. Integrity at all levels is when I think, when I say, when I do, the same thing. That integrity is very, very, significant.

Tying it Back to the Psalms

David:

I love the way that you tie it back to Psalms 15:1 and 4. In that particular passage, Psalm 15:1 and 4, there’s a question asked by David. It says, “Lord, who will abide in Thy holy hill? Who will dwell in Thy tabernacle?” “God, who’s going to be with you?” Answer in Verse 4 – “He that keeps his oath, even to his own hurt.” In other words, when you give your word you’ll keep your word no matter how much it hurts you.

Now, that trait of integrity is what we see throughout the founding fathers. These 56 guys signed the Declaration, signed on the dotted line, if you will.

Rick:

It was an oath.

David:

It was an oath. They said, “We give our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor, to see America be an independent nation.” Well, that’s okay if you have the world’s greatest military, but they don’t. They don’t have an army, they don’t have a navy, they do not have economic resources, they are taking on the world’s most powerful military.

What’s significant about the founders – 56 founding fathers – you cannot find one example of any of them breaking their word- never once. Seven of these guys never lived to see what they wanted us to enjoy. 17 of them lost all of their fortunes in the states keeping their word. Three lost their wives, three lost their kids.

Abraham Clark, New Jersey, great example. Here he is in Congress, member of Congress, founding father. The British capture his two sons. The two sons were put in the British prison ship Jersey and that’s a death camp. Nobody came out of that place alive and everybody knew that. There were three prisoners the British had that were death camps.

So, here’s Abraham Clark sitting in Congress, the British get word to him and say, “Hey, we’ve got your two sons. Here’s the deal. If you’ll renounce your signature on the Declaration, we’ll let your two boys back because you know what’s going to happen to them. So, if you renounce your signature we’ll–”. Abraham Clark thought about it about that long and said, “No, I gave my word. I can’t go back on my word.”

Rick:

Wow.

David:

Not even to save the life of his sons.

A Character Trait of God

Rick:

David, I don’t know if I could do that. These guys understood that when they made that sacrifice, when they made that promise, it wasn’t just showing up at a rally, and signing a petition, and going home and forgetting about it. They knew they were going to have to follow through. That’s huge.

David:

And by the way, that’s a character trait of God. God keeps His word no matter what. He keeps His word if it cost the life of His own son.

Rick:

That’s right.

David:

And aren’t we glad that God keeps His word.  

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

Even if it costs the life of His Son. So, keeping your ward at all cost – whether it’s marital fidelity, whether it’s in business, whether it’s an agreement or a contract, whatever it is – you give your word you keep your word. That is the number one character trait. That’s the trait that made America strong. That’s a trait we’re going to have to have to keep America strong.

Rick:

Okay, David, we’re going to have time for one more question on duty.

Unknown Speaker:

“Aside from voting, how else can I be involved in the civil arena?”

Rick:

Sometimes it’s a challenge just to get people to vote. Now we’re getting people asking, “Okay, I can vote. What else can I do?”

Politics and Policy

David:

Well, probably the answer to that is a twofold approach. Sometimes it’s both, but you have to understand there’s a difference between politics and policy. Politics is the means whereby to elect someone to office. Policy is the process whereby you make the laws and make the policies after that person is elected. And a lot of times the two things do not touch.

Like a congressional guy, we’ll have two separate staffs. If you’re elected to the House or the Senate you’ll have a policy staff and you’ll have a politics staff. So, on the one hand you can get involved on the politics side. You can work in a campaign, you can vote, you can find a good God-fearing person and say, “Hey, they need help to get elected, so we’re going to work.”

There were campaigns that we ran where we would actually find Christian kids, homeschool, kids from Christian universities, or Christian schools, whatever. And in the last 14 days, 10 days, of a campaign we specifically looked at national races where someone would be one point up to one point down, really close, and we’d take 100 Christian kids and would bus them into that campaign and then spend two weeks there, maybe a week there. And they would work, they’d pass out literature, they’d make calls, they would stand on the corners with signs, whatever.

Rick:

Because that’s one that’s close enough where a big push like that–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

Could get your campaign over a hump.

David:

That’s right. A hundred Christian kids. And we won five out of every six races doing that.

Rick:

Wow.

Even if You’re Not Old Enough to Vote

David:

So, it was enough to push it– that’s a really big deal. If you’ve got a godly person who will go into the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives, get involved in their campaign.

Rick:

And that’s sometimes young people that aren’t even old enough to vote yet–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

–you’re talking about. They can still influence it.

David:

You betcha. They can be 12 years old and be sticking stamps on envelopes. Everybody can get trained for that really early.

Rick:

But sometimes we think that’s the end of it for us as citizens – if I vote or influence the election, once the election is over, now there’s nothing I can do–

David:

Right.

Rick:

–because they’re in session. Is that true?

David:

That’s where you go down to your local state rep or state senator, you go down to your congressional office, and say, “Hey, I’ve got an hour a week I’d love to give you guys.” It’s unbelievable–

Rick:

Yeah.

The Response is Amazing

David:

–how they’ll respond to that, how pressed they are. “Oh man, yeah, if you’ll take this mail, or look at this, or look at these phone calls, or maybe call this guy back and tell him this.”

Rick:

That’s right.

David:

It makes a– and then what it does is it creates a relationship with you and that member. And when you have a relationship you have a louder voice than when you don’t have a relationship.

Rick:

That’s right.  

David:

So, that’s an easy thing to do on the policy side. So, you can get involved the politics side or the policy side. Or you can do something like recruit someone to run for office.  

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

You know, that school board’s got to change and I know a guy I go to church with that’d be really cool on the school board. He’d be the deciding vote or whatever. Recruit someone for school board, or for state rep, or for mayor, or city council, or Public Utility District. You recognize the potential to be a great leader and say, “You’ve got to do this. We need you. You’re exactly what we want on city council, or whatever.”

Rick:

Or you may be the one that they’re coming to, right?

David:

Exactly.

Rick:

You said earlier we were talking about how the founding fathers were willing to go, they were willing to sacrifice–

David:

That’s right.

Your Life Doesn’t Belong to Yourself

Rick:

–when called upon. So, if somebody’s watching right now is the one that others are coming to saying, “Hey, you’d be really good at school board or whatever”, be willing to say “yes”.

David:

Don’t blow it off and say, “Oh, no.” Don’t be selfish – your life doesn’t belong to yourself. If you can serve your community, if you can serve constituents, and be a servant, and be a God-minded servant, that’s exactly what you want to do.

So, there’s a lot of ways to be involved. Sometimes it’s a matter of looking at legislation and letting people in your church know, “Hey, you need to call about this bill–”

Rick:

That’s right.

David:

“–and about the issue.” Sometimes it’s creating voter guides. I know people that live in a community and they will look at everybody on the ballot and they’ll go down and say, “I’m going to vote for these guys.” And then they’ll copy that and they’ll pass it out to every neighbor and say, “You may not know who’s in this election, but I’ve really studied all these guys. Let me show you who I’m going to vote for.” And people, neighbors, love *things like that.

Christian Voter Guide

Rick:

They do. And, David, we should share with our viewers ChristianVoterGuide.com is a great resource for people–

David:

That’s true.

Rick:

–if they want to fulfill that role–

David:

Whatever state you’re in.

Rick:

–if you want to be the ones sharing it–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

–you can go to that particular website and click on your state.

David:

You get a voter’s guide for your state and you can pass that out to all your neighbors, which is good information. It’s like rebuilding the wall with Nehemiah.

Rick:

Yeah.

Duty vs. Right – Building on the American Heritage Series Civil Stewardship

David:

There’s a lot of places on that wall. Not everyone is the same and you don’t have to look like everybody else that does it. You’re not rebuilding the same part, but find a place on the wall. Get involved and do something to rebuild the country.

Rick:

Well, thanks for joining us today, folks. That was a special episode from Building on the American Heritage series called Civil Stewardship: Duty vs. Rights. You can get the entire Building on the American Heritage Series program in a box set with all 13 programs by going to our website at WallBuilders.com. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live.