Robert Knight

WALNUT CREEK, Ohio-Out here in Amish country, an island of tranquility amid America’s frenetic culture, news of the titanic power struggle over ObamaCare in Washington seeps in like unwanted flotsam. You catch glimpses of it when tourists check their iPhones or overhear people talking about it over their shoofly pie and coffee.

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to rule on the law’s constitutionality, and it’s far more important than it should be. That’s because Americans already have ceded too much power to government at all levels.

Think about it. A nation of more than 310 million people is waiting with bated breath on nine people in black robes. How did this happen? Well, long ago, America made a deal with the devil. Here’s how it works.

“I’ll give you free rein to engage in any vice you want, from illicit sex to drug abuse,” the devil said. “All you have to do in return is allow government to grow exponentially to run every other aspect of your lives. And I mean every aspect, right down to which light bulbs you can buy and who makes life and death medical decisions.”

So, over the last half century, Americans took the bait. In the name of individual freedom, people who knew better shed the Christian-inspired restraints that allowed civil society to flourish. And government grew.

Activist courts took a wrecking ball to laws that discouraged divorce, bankruptcy, adultery, homosexuality and pornography. Americans also had been softened up for more big government by the Depression and two world wars.

Another big factor was the decline of the influence of churches, as Darwinians mistook science for religion, assailed the notion of a Creator, and made sure that institutions – especially schools – adopted this view. Many churches retreated from the culture in the face of the modernist assault.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?” Jesus asked in Matthew 5:13. “It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

It was not for nothing that several of the Founders said that constitutional liberty is possible only for people with a biblical worldview that respects human life and fosters personal responsibility.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.