Self-government is the first jurisdiction of government. To live in a free society, one must govern oneself. This involves self-control, maturity, and a set of values that respects the proper use of personal freedom as well as the freedom of others with whom you may disagree.
Where is self-government learned? Ultimately, it is the family structure that teaches a child to exercise self-control, own a set of values, and grow up to maturity. It is also the family that is responsible for the care of its own, including the infirmed, challenged, and elderly.
Where are values and morals reinforced? They are taught in the home but reinforced outside of the home, for example, in churches. Morality that was understood and adopted by a family member was taught in the home but reinforced at church from our earliest American beginnings. Now, I know that many have had less than stellar preachers and sat in pews with many sinners who offended them. The point is, a functional and lawful free society depends on values like putting others above self, service, honesty, charity, respect, honor, obedience, and love. Such ancient wisdom has traditionally been handed down generation to generation and reinforced by the church in order to support a society’s moral values.
What is the civil government’s function? Its first responsibility is to protect our God-given rights, e.g., life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For example, the civil government does this by enforcing the law, defending the people from foreign and domestic enemies, and conducting a fair trial with an impartial jury for the accused. The civil government is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in a representative republic. ( Note: Our representative republic requires that We the People elect the representatives of our choosing to do the business of legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government on our behalf. We are not a democracy. Our Founders referred to democracy as “mob rule).”
When this model of jurisdictions is followed, all earthly authority is under the Creator. “One nation, under God..” The idea here is that there is a Supreme Authority to which we are responsible and accountable. Our representatives take an oath to defend the Constitution with the words, “…so help me God.” If we fail to learn and exercise self, family, church, or civil government according to the laws of nature and nature’s God, another jurisdiction will do it for us. The truth remains that although we are free, we are accountable.
Question: Our young people who are engaging in acts of violence, theft, and destruction of private property against fellow citizens… what jurisdiction of government has failed them? And the police officers who mistreat and murder without provocation, what jurisdiction did they miss, misunderstand, or deny?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??