In the last post in this series (here), we introduced Robert G. “Delegate Bob” Marshall new book, Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America. Here we will start reviewing the book.
What will we cover in this post? Marshall book is not difficult to read, but it requires courage and commitment to use. Therefore, Marshall’s book includes four sections before we get to Chapter 1 in Part 1.
- What Is At Stake
- Foreword: “Ordinary” Americans and the “Politics of Power”
- Preface: The Present Circumstance
What is Marshall trying to do with these sections? Before he gets into his book and explains what we must do and how we can do it, Marshall wants us to understand why we need to read his book. Marshall wants us to understand why doing nothing is not an option.
What Is At Stake
Imagine you are Bob Marshall, Catholic and Conservative. You have a long, respected, and successful record of fighting for both social and fiscally Conservative causes in the Virginia House of Delegates. In 2017 election you get a surprise. Who do Democrats decide to run against you? A male who claims to be a female after taking female hormones. Weirdly, even though he clearly has a radical agenda, your competitor receives lots of money and volunteers (from outside Virginia) in support of his campaign. Therefore, in spite of the fact you receive plenty of votes, your opponent wins by turning out more votes. “What Is At Stake” explains what happened and why.
Foreword: “Ordinary” Americans and the “Politics of Power”
Professor Robert A. Destro wrote the Foreword to Marshall’s book. Destro summarizes what Marshall’s book is about in the title of the Foreword ““Ordinary” Americans and the “Politics of Power”.“ How must “Ordinary” Americans practice the “Politics of Power”? What must we do?
Destro begins the Foreward with the observation “that America’s cultural elites do, in fact, think the rest of us are either too dumb, racist, self-centered, homophobic, xenophobic, or devoted to our respective faith traditions to be trusted with actual the levers of power.” Destro ends the Foreward with a hope.
My hope, of course, is that “deplorables” like me will read Bob Marshall’s book, adjust their conduct, and develop long- and short-term strategies that aim at the court and the “establishment” politicians who gerrymander their way into safe congressional or state legislative seats and then strive to avoid any vote that will make them take sides on hotly disputed issues. American voters need to understand that the Founders put the “right to petition for a redress of grievances” into the First Amendment because they knew from bitter experience that “politics ain’t beanbag.”
Preface: The Present Circumstance
When Marshall writes, he does not offer us an emotional diatribe. Instead, he lays out compelling facts often missing from the news. Here Marshall describes what our cultural elites have been doing to undermine our economy, promote moral decay, and corrupt our nation’s legal system. Because Marshall wants us to understand just how dire the situation has become, he does not hesitate to compare the efforts of our elites to turn our youth from the Christian faith to the efforts of the Nazis to divert the youth of Germany from the Faith.
Marshall ends this section with a condemnation of apathy.
Government “of, by, and for the people” does not run on autopilot. We can never have the attitude of despair that “one vote doesn’t count” or “it’s impossible to change the system!” Prayer and action can turn our country around! The Founders thought so. They appealed to heaven in the Declaration of Independence to the “Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,” and they petitioned God and sought “the protection of divine providence.” We should do no less!
What is the focus of the Introduction? Marshall hearkens back to our nation’s founding and the form of government the Founders created. Here he brings an unusual insight. Since Marshal is a Catholic and not shy about it, he quotes several popes to lend credence to the words and work of our nation’s predominantly Protestant Founders.
What Marshall recognizes — what the words he quotes both from the Founders and several popes support — is that while the government the Founders created was not perfect, it was appropriately limited. The government the Founders created — the government we still have — does not pressure us to disobey the words of Christ.
Matthew 22:15-22 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not [a]regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
18 But Jesus [b]perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.”
So they brought Him a denarius.
20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He said to them, “Render[c] therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
Because we were made in the image of God, we owe ourselves to God, not Caesar. What Marshall advocates — what we all have an obligation to protect — is a government that allows us to render what is needful to Caesar without pressuring us to render to Caesar what belongs only to God.
If you value the right to refuse Caesar what only belongs to God, please read Marshall’s book.