Take Rome as Your Example

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From a Renaissance fresco, “Take Rome as your example if you wish to rule a thousand years; follow the common good, and not selfish ends; and give just counsel like these men.”

The Roman republic lasted several hundred years because it kept corruption of its institutions at bay. Its fall into empire and despotism began when the tribunate succumbed to corruption and no longer served to check the consuls. Once the senate was tamed through threats and promises of enrichment at public expense, there was no turning back. It happened quickly. Sulla marched on Rome in 82 BC and Julius Caesar’s grand-nephew Octavian assumed the Principate as Caesar Augustus in 27 BC.

America isn’t the first country to suffer secular effects from shunning its religious foundation. I was surprised to learn that a decline in Roman religious observance played a leading role in Rome’s corruption and fall. In 715 BC, the Roman senate appointed Numa to succeed Rome’s founder, Romulus. He turned to religion to tame a fierce people and bring about civilized society. Perhaps not until the rise of the United States was there more fear of God than of the law. This greatly facilitated every public undertaking. Machiavelli wrote, “Anyone who examines the countless deeds of Roman citizens will see that they feared breaking an oath more than breaking the law.” Appeal to religious standards was essential in controlling armies, giving courage to plebeians, keeping men good, and shaming the wicked.

Numa knew that without religious underpinnings, his plan to create new institutions would be a tough sell. “In truth,” wrote Machiavelli, in his Discourses on Livy, “no maker of extraordinary laws who did not have recourse to God has ever existed in any society, because these laws would not otherwise be accepted.” He concluded that religious adherence produced good institutions. Good institutions created good fortune, and from good fortune arose a happy people.

Shared religious beliefs minimize the need for statutory law. From Justice Hugo Black’s “wall of separation” nonsense in Everson v. Board of Education (1947), to Engel v. Vitale (1962) which outlawed state sponsored prayer, the Left’s jihad against Christianity proceeds without relent, so much so that display of the Ten Commandments on public property is deemed unconstitutional, and The Little Sisters of the Poor must pay for abortions. Shared religious traditions are an essential social glue, so much so that disregard of divine worship is the ruin of republics, because where fear of God is absent, government must substitute coercion for cooperation. Scotus’ corruption of the establishment clause has done, and is doing, enormous damage to society. From necessity, when men do not control themselves, Godless states are soon authoritarian. In its efforts to replace God with Social Justice Tyranny, the Left resists the slightest breach of Hugo Black’s wall. It is why they went nuts when the First Lady, Melania Trump, recently opened a rally with The Lord’s Prayer.

The lessons and warnings of history scream at our nation to return to first principles. There is precious little time to turn back the statists’ assault on society and free government. We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Now, it is our turn. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.

2 thoughts on “Take Rome as Your Example

  1. Sharon Correll

    This reminds me of Os Guiness’s “Golden Triangle of Freedom:” freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, faith requires freedom. Take any one out of the cycle, you get disintegration.

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