“If Men Were Angels…”

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          October 27, 2016


The time in American History around and after the American Revolution fascinates me. The founding fathers, often portrayed in our time as a harmonious patriotic rowing team, synchronized in all of their thoughts and actions, were often at odds with one another. There was dislike and animosity that had to be contended with. Several of them had their quirks. Alexander Hamilton, a part of George Washington’s cabinet at the age of 25, was a genius and also hard to live with. John Adams was the first Vice-President, not because he was Washington’s running mate, but rather because he finished second on the electoral votes of the United States Senate. The assortment of personalities and backgrounds made this first group of leaders resemble the diversity amongst Jesus’ disciples.

And this group had the important and difficult task of devising the government that would bring unity and direction to the new nation! They came from British backgrounds. It was what they knew, and for some the first president was to be like the English monarch. For others there was great fear that the new president would simply be another king, just like the one they had just gotten unchained from! Every legislation, every proposal was scrutinized. Even the design of the presidential residence and the Congressional building were subjects of debate. There were fears that the size of the president’s residence would convey royalty. It was not to be to big or to small. Like the chairs of the three bears, it had to be just right! The same thought went into the size of the property around the Congressional building. It needed to be at a distance from the residence and an appropriate amount of land around it. In other words, our founding fathers were just as concerned about looks as they were about principles and structure. They believed that they had to get it right the first time!

James Madison made the comment repeated often, “If men were angels there would be no need for government!”  But, of course, men were not angels and therefore there was an urgency for a government of the people by the people for the people.

It is obviously no different today than it was 230 years ago. As time has gone on the Constitution and government system of checks and balances has often been blurred by political interests and power hungry politicians. Getting our government to put all the oars in the water at the same time, rowing in the same direction, is now more of a coincidence than it is a strategy.

“If men were angels…” Well, our cynicism scoffs at that statement as we enter the last week and a half of the present election. Some of us remember that there are the heavenly hosts and there are the fallen angels, and we’re leaning towards the second type becoming a little more visible these last few months.

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Community, Freedom, Nation, Story, Teamwork, Uncategorized

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