It is the difference between "a subject" and "a citizen."
A king has "subjects," but a republic has "citizens." The term "citizen" implies a "co-regent" or "co-ruler."
"Subjects" exist for the benefit of a king. A republic exists for the benefit of the "citizens."
W.D. Ross wrote in
Aristotle (London, Methuen, 1937, p. 247):
"Aristotle's ... citizen is not content to have a say in the choosing of his rulers; every citizen is actually to rule ... not merely in the sense of being a member of the executive, but in the sense ... of helping to make the laws of his state."
The next question that needs to be answered is, if the PEOPLE are the KING,, who are the COUNSELORS to the KING?
In 374 AD, the Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I went to church in Milan, Italy, where the pastor was the Bishop St. Ambrose.
Imagine what it must have been like to be Bishop St. Ambrose with the Emperor sitting in your church pew. Yet that is exactly what is the case in America.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian, according to
The Pew Religious Landscape Survey
They are mostly in church on Sundays listening to their pastors.
The pastors in America are, in a sense, counselors to the KING.
With that in mind, a scene from the movie
The Lord of the Rings
King Theodon's kingdom was on the verge of destruction as he had been asleep - under a spell.
A wicked counselor to the King was Wormtongue, who whispers in the King's ear to stay asleep even though his kingdom is being overrun.
Another counselor to the King is Gandalf, who breaks the evil spell and wakes the king up.
King Theodon dramatically comes to his senses and takes his sword.
This scene demonstrates two different kinds of Pastors:
-one kind are those who whisper in the ears of the "KING-PEOPLE" to stay asleep even though their kingdom faces destruction;
-the other kind of Pastors are those who want the "KING PEOPLE" to wake up and take responsibility to rule - a responsibility for which they will be held accountable before God.
Consider an illustration:
Imagine traveling through a kingdom to visit a KING, and on the way, you witness the KING's servants committing crime and corruption.
As you enter the KING's chamber, he reluctantly asks you, "Did you see all the crime and corruption as you came in here ... I wish someone would fix this mess."
You tap the KING on shoulder and remind him that HE is the KING, that it is HIS servants who are creating the problems, and that HE is the one responsible to fix the mess.
This is like someone in America watching television, seeing politicians committing crime and corruption, and saying "I wish someone would fix this mess."
A finger should reach through the TV screen and tap them on the shoulder reminding them, "In America, you are the KING. You are responsible to fix this mess."
Voting is not just a privilege, but a responsibility for which every American will be held accountable to God.
James Wilson wrote in his Lectures on Law, 1790-91:
"In a free country, EVERY CITIZEN forms a part of the SOVEREIGN POWER: he possesses a vote."
Not to VOTE is to
abdicate the throne!
Some say, "Don't Vote, just trust God!"
During the Revolution, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull wrote:
"To trust altogether to the justice of our cause, without our utmost exertion, would be tempting Providence."
Billy Graham stated:
"Bad politicians are elected by good people who don't vote."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated:
"The Church is the conscience of the State."
One of the very first instances in history of people choosing their leaders was ancient Israel.
When they came out of Egypt, Moses' father-in-law Jethro gave advice to Moses. Exodus 18:21 states:
"Moreover thou shalt provide OUT OF ALL THE PEOPLE able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens."
"Moses spake unto the children of Israel ... How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance ... TAKE YOU wise men, and understanding, and KNOWN AMONG YOUR TRIBES, and I will make them rulers over you."
"Judges and officers SHALT THOU MAKE THEE IN ALL THY GATES which the Lord thy God giveth thee throughout thy tribes ..."
One of America's first elections occurred in Woburn, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1642 by Captain Edward Johnson, a contemporary of Governor John Winthrop.
Captain Edward Johnson described the town's original election in
Wonder-Working Providences of Sion's Saviour in New England
"The number of faithful people of Christ...gather into a church ...
Having fasted and prayed ... they joined together in a holy Covenant with the Lord and with one another ...
Those who are chosen to a place in government, must be men truly fearing God, wise and learned in the truths of Christ ...
Neither will any Christian of a sound judgment vote for any, but those who earnestly contend for the faith."
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of elections in
Democracy in America
"If a political character attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him;
but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone ...
all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity."
President Calvin Coolidge commented on elections in a Radio Address, NOVEMBER 3, 1924:
"I therefore urge upon
all the voters of our country,
without reference to party,
that they assemble ... at their respective
in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship,
approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament,
and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country ..."
Calvin Coolidge ended:
"When an election is so held, it ... sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God."
On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed Congress after the 911 Islamic terrorist attack:
"Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists... They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, OUR FREEDOM TO VOTE."
President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924:
"The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely ... rule of force held in the HANDS OF A FEW.
Under our Constitution, America committed itself to power in the HANDS OF THE PEOPLE."
John Adams wrote:
"Thirteen (State) governments thus founded on the natural authority of THE PEOPLE alone."
President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1903:
"In NO other place and at NO other time has the experiment of government
of the PEOPLE,
by the PEOPLE,
for the PEOPLE,
been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country."
Ronald Reagan stated in 1961:
"In this country of ours took place the GREATEST REVOLUTION that has ever taken place IN THE WORLD'S HISTORY ...
Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another ...
Here for the first time in all the THOUSANDS OF YEARS of man's relation to man ...
the founding fathers established the idea that YOU and I had WITHIN OURSELVES the GOD-GIVEN RIGHT and ABILITY TO DETERMINE OUR OWN DESTINY."
On November 6, 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in Hyde Park, NY:
"Tomorrow ... the people of the United States again
as free men and women, with full freedom of choice -
with no secret police watching over your shoulders.
And for generations to come Americans will continue to prove their faith in free elections ..."
"In the midst of fighting ... our soldiers and sailors and airmen will not forget election day back home.
Millions of these men have already
cast their own ballots,
and they will be wondering about the outcome of the election, and what it will mean to them in their future lives ... for the cause of decency and freedom and civilization ..."
"We need strength and wisdom which is greater than is bequeathed to mere mortals.
We need Divine help and guidance ...
People of America have ever had a deep well of religious strength, far back to the days of the Pilgrim Fathers.
You will find it fitting that I read a prayer..
'Almighty God ... Thou hast gathered our people out of many lands and races into a great Nation. We commend to Thy overruling providence the men and women of our forces by sea, by land, and in the air ...
Enable us to guard for the least among us the freedom we covet for ourselves ... Preserve our union against all the divisions of race and class which threaten it ...
May the blessing of God Almighty rest upon this whole land; May He give us light to guide us, courage to support us, charity to unite us.'"