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The United States of America is a great country. I came to this country more than forty years ago to study. When I came to America, I had all the intentions of returning to Brazil, but circumstances in my country changed and for reasons that were contrary to my will, I had to remain in this country. And I am glad I did.
While I was in college, I took a class in American government. During that semester I had to study the basic documents that serve as the ideological foundation of this great country. I had to read about the founding leaders of this country and our system of government and in the process, I learned what makes the United States a great country.
Our nation is changing and not for the better. Today there is an assault on the basic values that affect the lives of all Americans, young and old. This abandonment of Constitutional values corrodes the principles that have kept our country strong and prosperous.
Recently, someone urged me to read a book that describes the problems our country is facing today. The book, Liberty and Tyranny, was written by Mark Levin, a radio talk-show host who espouses and teaches conservative values on his program.
At first I was skeptical about the book and its content. However, after I finished reading Liberty and Tyranny, I was glad I took the times to read the book. In his book, Levin focuses on the principles and values established in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution and the present-day assault on these Constitutional-based values that are undermining the basic principles established in these documents.
The title of his book, Liberty and Tyranny, comes from a speech that Abraham Lincoln gave in 1864:
“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name–liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names–liberty and tyranny.”
Levin concludes his book with the following remarks:
“So distant is America today from its founding principles that it is difficult to precisely describe the nature of American government. It is not strictly a constitutional republic, because the Constitution has been and continues to be easily altered by a judicial oligarchy that mostly enforces, if not expands, the Statist’s agenda. It is not strictly a representative republic, because so many edicts are produced by a maze of administrative departments that are unknown to the public and detached from its sentiment. It is not strictly a federal republic, because the states that gave the central government life now live at its behest. What, then, is it? It is a society steadily transitioning toward statism.”
The purpose of Liberty and Tyranny is to help readers gain a better appreciation for the wisdom of the founders of this country. The book presents some of the reasons behind the words and the intent of the Declaration and of the Constitution and shows how far our society has departed from some of the principles found in these documents.
You may not agree with everything written in the book. However, even when one disagrees, one learns in the process. I recommend this book to all people who love liberty and oppose tyranny.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary