The United States has extra-protection from this because it’s not a pure or direct democracy, but a constitutional republic, based upon the rule of law. Yet the recent attack against religious liberty shows that America is not immune from the danger; and it isn’t the first time the nation has lost its footing. Writing about the 1830’s, historian John B. McMaster wrote:
The decade covered by the ”˜thirties’ is unique in our history. Fifty years of life at high pressure had brought the people to a state of excitement, of lawlessness, of mob-rule, such as had never before existed. Intolerance, turbulence, riot became the order of the day. Differences of opinion ceased to be respected. Appeals were made not to reason but to force; reforms, ideals, institutions that were not liked were attacked and put down by violence; and one of the least liked and first to be assaulted was the Church of Rome.
We recovered from that delirium, and””God willing””can recover from today’s serious troubles, too, whoever wins on Tuesday. But in order to do so, Christians need to be a leaven on America’s democratic enterprise, and not shrink from our role in the public square.