“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” The Declaration of Independence (emphasis BBB)
Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God (LONANG is an acronym for the Laws of Nature and (of) Nature’s God)
One of the exemplary phrases in the founding documents of the United States of America establishes the order necessary for civil society to exist and flourish. We need to apprehend this understanding once again if we’re to regain our Liberty and sustain it for our posterity.
Our Founders apprehended the Source of Order and the Source of Liberty to be one and the same, as witnessed in the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. “There is no infallible Oracle to say which declaration or interpretation of God’s law is authentic. There is, however, evidence which provides a sufficient indication of the general requirements and prohibitions of God’s law. These expressions provide reliable standards of right and wrong. The first expression of law is God’s physical creation – the universe. A second expression resides within all people, namely, conscience and reason. A third expression of God’s law is found in His written revelation, the Bible. These are concurrent expressions of God’s law which we may consider in our effort to adequately determine what the law prohibits, allows and commands.”
Anyone who has studied physics knows there are certain laws of the physical world that are concrete. The Law of gravity, for example, says what goes up must come down, or every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Another example is the Law of Reciprocity: what you sow, you will reap. If an elm tree is planted, an orchid will not grow in its place.
The Founders understood the power and authority in the Laws of Nature and they recognized – each of them – the Source in many different ways, but to each, the Source was a Supreme Providential Designer. Whatever else they believed concerning God, that much they unanimously agreed upon as declared in the opening words of the Declaration. They also accepted that for any civil or political authority to succeed, it must cooperate with these same Laws of Nature. Any laws created in contradiction would mean decay.Our Founders, we must realize, had all studied many political theories, and philosophical and scientific thinkers. One of the most prominent, was Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) Cicero defines Natural Law as “true law.”
“True law” is right reason in agreement with Nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Great Political Thinkers, p. 133.)
“In these few lines the student encounters concepts which were repeated by the American Founders a thousand times. The Law of Nature or Nature’s God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application. It is a code of “right reason” from the Creator himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves even though they may pretend to do so. In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality. It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, an totally correct and morally right in its general operation.” (W. Cleon Skousen ~ The 5000 Year Leap)
This is Principle 1 – The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.
Natural law is God’s law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”