Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

April 6, 2013

Heartsill Report: An Easter lesson for Government

(Continued)

Des Moines —

However, the people did something totally unexpected as far as Pilate was concerned.  They chose the murderer, Barabbas, over the guiltless Man, Jesus.  Now what would Pilate do?!  Should he do what he knew was right by setting Jesus free?  Or should he give the people what they wanted by freeing the notorious Barabbas?

We know how the story goes and the significance of how the results of this trial played out for the benefit of mankind.  The point of this article is not to question the wisdom of God’s providence.  My goal is to point out that there was another trial going on that day between two principles of government: a republic and a democracy.

The principles of a republic would demand that Pilate set the innocent man free regardless of how unpopular it was with the people.

The principles of a democracy would demand that Pilate give the people what they wanted, even if it meant putting an innocent man to death.

The reason I chose to draw this distinction is that we are at a critical crossroads in our nation’s history.  A large portion of our citizenry incorrectly identifies our government as a democracy.  This is not only inaccurate but also incongruent with the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.  They rightly understood that democracy has no safeguards to ensure that our liberties would be protected against the passions of mob rule.  That is why they chose a republic and even codified it in our United States Constitution:

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government…” Article IV, Section 4

Of course, this does NOT mean that only Republicans can be elected to government.  It means that we have a representative form of government where we are ruled by law.

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