Common sense is defined as the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions. Published in 1776, “Common Sense” challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy.
The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain. You may remember the author of said writings, Thomas Paine, who memorably said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” An appropriate line for our day, don’t you think?
In his “Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs” he writes, “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments and common sense: and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day… The Almighty hath implanted in us these un-extinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the guardians of his image in our hearts. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals.”
One of my favorite cartoon characters is Calvin and Hobbes and in a classic sketch, you see Calvin’s poor mom confronting him with the question, “did you break this dish?” Calvin responds, “I was carrying too much, and I dropped it.” She then told him his problem was a lack of common sense to which he replied, “I’ve got plenty of common sense, I just choose to ignore it!” An astute and timely observation if I ever heard one.
There is a concentrated effort in America today via mainstream media, social media and public educational entities to name a few, seeking to shape the worldview of the innocent and the purest among us... our children and our grandchildren. This setting is reminiscent of Peter’s letter to the early church when confronting the trending opinion that God no longer involves himself with mankind — “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget.’” I really like the King James wording here, “For this they willingly are ignorant”
Which brings me to the heart of the issue. It matters not what trends on social media, what popular media talking heads and so-called experts declare or for that matter what governments may legislate or decree. What matters is what’s true. What matters is what we do with the God-given common sense each of us possesses and whether we employ it or not. As I have said often, this is not a right or left battle we are in today, this is about good and evil and the intent of the enemy of mankind’s soul is to sow chaos and discord with such veracity that the only right answer to the problem mankind faces is hidden from view.
I happen to believe that there are enough Americans who possess this common sense we speak of who love God and love this nation that can and will make the difference!
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council, who writes a weekly column published in The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.