Freedom. That’s why. But freedom is a bit of a conundrum.
Until the millennial reign of Jesus, there will be no universal morality on earth.
God gave mankind free will from the very beginning. Why did God give man free will? Because God created mankind so that He could Love us, and so that we could love Him. But the law of love is such that Love cannot be compelled. God could not force mankind to love him or even to obey him. If he did, that “love” would not have been genuine. Being coerced, it would have been disingenuous. You can make a robot that does whatever you tell it to do, but it will never love you… not even with the most advanced AI, unless it can also choose to *not* love you, but does so of it’s own free will. So because God is Love and made us to love Him, free will came into existence and begat disobedience, which begat sin, which begat the perpetual struggle of mankind as a creation in rebellion against God.
No form of government will ever eliminate vice or sin. No rule of law will ever change the sin nature of the human heart. Governments don’t fundamentally change people’s hearts when they make a law. People don’t even fundamentally change on their own, but it is Jesus that changes people.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4)
Attempting to change the sin nature by force of law is impossible. So the focus for christians seeking an equitable kind of government that allows room for the expression of the Gospel and it’s redemptive power, is that we should move away from the moralizing “rules” and pay closer attention to the relationship between God and his creation.
But this can’t be done righteously by a religiously-directed civil government, because any theocracy would inherently become pharisaical and full of unrighteous condemnation. Imagine a national theocracy run by the Roman Catholic Church. That was the world in 1000 AD, and it was a terrible thing for non-catholic Christians. Imagine an Islamic theocracy with sharia law. While moralistic and rigid, it would also mean death to infidels who didn’t obey the Islamic authorities. Imagine an evangelical christian government run by Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and Paula White… with a 10% national “sales tithe” that went to the “Lord’s anointed” (themselves). Imagine that Mormons ran the country and required 2 years of national service as a missionary baptizing the dead. Imagine a rainbow flag-waving theocracy run by Lesbian Liberal Methodists… or don’t… that’s a terrible thought.
The crucial point is that no theocratic government would govern righteously. A liberal, (liberal meaning “free and open”, vs. “Liberal” as in “Michael Moore: Liberal”) democratic, representative republic that provides a secular civil government which protects the rights of any and all religions to freely exercise their faith is what the founding fathers envisioned, having had just enough of King George III and his predilection under the Church of England to claim the mantle of God’s chosen rule-maker in all things about his earthly realm. Religious freedom from theocratic rule was the abiding hope that launched the Puritans of the Mayflower in 1620 among so many other English Dissenters who desperately wanted liberation from the tyranny of State Religion.
So, suffer as we must with the institutional weakness of a limited, secular, civil government to regulate and punish the vices of unbelievers, it is that same liberty… the same freedom… that allows non-conforming religious people to worship as they feel best. Freedom is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. God knew this when he instilled it in us by giving us free will. So it makes sense that we should tolerate the blessings and the curses of liberty together as one.
The universal moral principle that even non-religious people can agree with, is the “Non-Aggression Principle”. You ought to be free to do as you please, so long as you do not aggress against the person or property of another. It’s hard for most moralizing religious folks to mind their own business, but if this was really the highest principle of law in the land, there wouldn’t be a need for morality laws… just laws against aggression. No drug war. No helmet laws. No gun restrictions. The state would merely administer criminal law in the case where there were a victim of personal injury and/or a loss of property due to aggression by another. The state would also arbitrate contracts between parties who voluntarily entered into an agreement (such as a cohabitation, property management, and child-rearing agreement), eliminating such state-sanctioned institutions like “marriage” and relegating the moral and ethical responsibilities for such institutions to the churches, where they belong. In short, the government that governs best is the government that governs least, and when it does so… it preserves freedom, both religious freedom and even anti-religious freedom, while protecting individual members of society from aggression and holding them to their own voluntary standards when it comes to contracts and agreements.
The biggest problem that we have today, is that Statism is the new national religion, and it’s steeped in Secular Humanism and political correctness. Statism has taken over education from K-12+4, ensuring that most of the State’s own indoctrinated horde have been bathed in non-stop anti-theistic, secular humanist, progressive propaganda for 17 years of their lives before entering the worker class and being asked to submit their own progeny to a 17 year commitment to learning how to worship the State and all it’s bureaucratically liturgical requirements.