Book review–“The Rise of America”

“You say you want a revolution? Well, we all want to change the world” is the famous line from the Beatles’ hit “Revolution”. It also seems to be the underlying theme of the book by author John D. Diamond entitled “The Rise of America: Fighting the Next American Revolution and the Constitutional Crisis” (Dryden, New York, Authors and Artists Publishers, 2006).

The book, the first in a proposed three volume series, is another in a long line of tomes to say that the responsibility for America’s moral decline sits squarely on the shoulders of 9 people in black robes, and that if we just go back to the social mores of the 1940’s, we will engender God’s favor again. However, “Rise” posits something unique: America is in both a Constitutional and a moral crisis, and “the former has created the latter”(pg.xii)! Really? America’s moral crisis is because Americans don’t know the Constitution? Hardly.

I will be the first to agree that a large majority of Americans have virtually no idea of what the Constitution actually says versus what they have been trained to believe it says, and less idea of why knowing this “organic law” of the land is vitally important. America’s moral crisis has less to do with ignorance of the 1789 document than it does with ignorance of the Bible.

I have met the author of this work, and believe that he is truly, sincerely, concerned about the future of our Constitutional republic, our families and the free exercise of our faith. Those concerns are commendable. Sadly, to come to the conclusion that “if we just get OUR guys in the black robes on the bench everything will be hunky dorey” is too simplistic a solution to be legitimate. I may be being somewhat trenchant in this summary, so I will save further comments until I see whether future volumes dig any deeper than this current work.

All one has to do is to look at the multiple times that folks who consider themselves to be Christians, conservatives, etc. have been led down the primrose path by savvy political handlers and corrupt candidates with the lure of appointing the “right” judges to the bench to see that more of the same won’t produce a better outcome. Think O’Connor, Souter, and yes, Roberts and Alito (and yes, I am being predictive with these last two). It has become such a neat formula that political parties, when presenting voters with a presidential choice that is, to be charitable, unpalatable, often try to sell the candidate as “the only one who will guarantee the “right” kind of justices on the bench.

That would be great, only if that president didn’t have to go through the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to get such a nominee seated. It would be great that, even if the “right” justices were picked, they didn’t immediately fall to the tradition of “stare decisis” or believe that something is “settled law”, especially if that law violates the US Constitution. It would be great, if truly all that was need to turn America’s moral compass back to true north was the overturning of a few pernicious rulings.

The truth is, the work to bring this nation to a position of acknowledging and submitting to God’s rule will be messier than nominating fights in the US Senate, and those engaging in the work will have to dig to the root of the problem: antinomianism and apostacy in the Church. Culture, as one insightful historian was noted as saying, is religion externalized. Worshipping at the altar of the nine black robes won’t bring a moral revival in America; it will bring wholesale judgment on us that much more rapidly.