I can tell you that the nation that I was born in, grew up in, and what I envisioned it would be, is unrecognizable from the one that I am currently domicile. It is said that history is written by the victors. But it can be added that history is written by those with an extraordinary will to rewrite one’s history and the have balls to do it in plain sight while making everyone believe that it is not being rewritten – most everyone.
One of my favorite quotes regarding America is by Alexis de Tocqueville, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good it will cease to be great.” I have to keep in mind that he did not say that America was perfect. Cause it was, and is not. But I do believe in his reference to America being good he meant morally. Though we are not perfect people, we have always sought to be a moral people. Every American and U.S President sought to exhibit strong moral character. From Washington to at least G.W Bush a strong moral code was a dominant part of their character, posture, and persona. And so too as Tocqueville prophetically stated, “In the end, the state of the Union comes down to the character of the people”. The government is a direct reflection of the governed in America.
The last two U.S presidential elections the American people and Citizens of the U.S chose a virtual unknown persona who promised “hope and change” and to “fundamentally transform” America. And true to his word, America has undergone the most dramatic social and moral transformation that anyone could have possibly imagined could have been achieved in such a short span of time. The open expression of Christendom has been blatantly and virtually made vulgar and repulsive by the current U.S Administration from the military, through the religious-based businesses, to the government schools’ bathrooms. All of the while there has been deliberate silence from the majority of American people. The measures that have been imposed upon the American people by the U.S government such as, redefining “marriage” to include same sex people, the forced inclusion of contraception pills in medical benefits of private businesses, and the liberation of transgender individuals into gender specific bathrooms would have been strongly and demonstratively rebuffed by the American people of some 40 years ago. Today, too many Americans praise the Lord on Sunday and consciously deny and or ignore His tenets during the rest of the week. For a nation that was purposefully established on Judeo-Christian principles one would not know that looking at was happening on its streets today.
So the U.S voters find themselves today faced with choosing one of the two presumptive winners of the dominant political Parties, Democrat and Republican, who are both amoralist, whose principles are on the moon, and have exhibited little or no bounds of conscious in order to get what they wanted. And who would be better suited for a drama TV show than the Presidency of the United States. Neither holds the Constitution as anything more than a minor nuisance.
In the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, we have someone who openly stated that he has NEVER saw a need to ask for forgiveness, i.e., to repent. Even though just a passive view of his past shows instances when he has attempted to have an old lady evicted from her home, in order to build a car garage. He has gone to Ireland to attempt to have people removed from their homes by force, so that he could build a golf course. So long as there can be a dollar made, he sees nothing wrong in his actions, even if it’s via the police powers of the government. It has been exhibited during his run for the Office his propensity to stretch the truth would make Pinocchio blush. And his grotesque narcissistic personality leaves little room for humility nor grace– as though this nation hasn’t had enough of this type of person these past 7 years.
And as for the presumptive Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton, from the start of her political existence she has left a trail of torched Commandments, in particular the one referring to baring false witness. Truth can be no greater stranger to this lady if it were never created such a word. Mrs. Clinton blatantly lied to the U.S Senate regarding the whereabouts of the Rose Law Firm’s documents during the 1996 Whitewater investigation She lied to the parents and family members of those slain during an attack on the U.S Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as well as to the American people, when she perpetrated the fraudulent tale of the assault and unrest throughout the Mid-East during that time was all due to an obscure video on You-Tube – as though people in the Mid-East set around watching You-Tube all day. And let’s not forget that she is currently under investigation for lying about having a private email server while she was the nation’s Secretary of State. If she were to become the president, she would be the first to be under federal investigation as she takes to the oath to faithfully enforce the laws of the nation. But hey, what truly matters is that my guy or gal wins. Right?
Back in 2011, the New York Times had an opinion article, If It Feels Right. It referred to a ’08 study of some 240 youths, between 18-24 y/o, 2 out of 3 could not describe a moral dilemma. And outside of extreme cases of murder and rape, the youths had no concept of morality. These are the people who are driving the political and social movement today. And with scant push back by those 40 y/o and up along with those grounded in social and moral absolutism that is more identifiable to the founding principles of this great nation the future for us remaining free and prosperous is very bleak.
Lets not blame the politicians for being who and what they are. The magnifying glass needs to be aimed at those who put them into office and allow them to behave without bounds. When one sees a child utterly misbehaving and ill-mannered you don’t necessarily solely condemn the child without also looking at the parents. Thomas Jefferson’s prophetic plea for us to be eternally vigilant over the government has been long dispatched to the waste can. Too many Americans can better recite the members of the Championship Chicago Bulls Basketball Team than can name 6 Founding Fathers. So today we have politicians and those seeking the highest public office in the nation openingly demonstrating severe absence of moral integrity and ethical restraints with impunity. This can only be the result of a voting populous, and the society as a whole, whose moral integrity have been greatly compromised.
I do not mean to imply the nation’s moral decay started in 2008. But the moral decay certainly produced it’s outcome. History tell us that there is a life cycle for empires. America’s age of moral decline can be measured by the decline in religious affiliation, particularly amongst the nation’s youth and those under 40 y/o. According to a Pew Research Study, since 2007 those who describe themselves as not belonging to any religious philosophy[the unaffiliated] has jumped to nearly 20%. Over 80% of them are not seeking religious guidance. Nearly 50% of the “unaffiliated” are under the age of 40. What maybe most interesting, more of the “unaffiliated” lean heavily democrat. The disconnection from religion has been growing since the 1970’s, but has accelerated in recent years. If the people of America become amoral, how can we be expected to care if those who are elected seek Devine guidance? And if the people rejects the tenets of the Judeo-Christian principles that have made the nation the shinning light on the hill for the world, how can we be expected to remain such? We cannot. As Tocqueville realized, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, and it was not there. I sought for it in the fertile fields, and boundless prairies, and it was not there. I sought it in her rich mines, and vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”
At the end, it is we the people who choses if America shall be good.
Recently CNN reported that in a Gallop Poll that an astonishing 77% of Americans believe that religion in the country is losing influence. But yet at the same time 75% say that the country would be better if we were more religious. Confused? Reviewing the 2012 Presidential election results though the Southern Baptist are the second largest religious denomination in America bolstering over 16 million members, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, it’s political influences were inefficacious at best with an estimated more than 3 million Republican voters staying home. In a Pew Research article on religion and public life reported that amongst Christian evangelicals, “82% say evangelicals are losing influence in the United States today”. Interestingly though 71% of evangelicals in South America believe things are to be stronger there in 5 years.
There is something not quite right in America when so many recognize that we are lacking moral guidance, desire more moral guidance, our nation was founded on Christian moral principles, we have prospered immensely due to adherence to those principles for over 200 years, but yet by many of our actions and nearly 100% of Christian evangelicals believe that those very principles are no longer desired and are on their death beds in this nation, yet are flourishing in nations just to the south of us.
The issue goes far beyond political affiliation, but to the very foundation of our nation’s view of morality and our attachment to our founding religious principles and identity that has served and guided us to be the most free, prosperous, and influential nation for over 200 years. And questions whether we can seriously remain so for another 200 years. In a December 2012 New York Times report, The Decline of Evangelical America, as in all of the reports and articles that I have read on the subject, it all goes back to the societal conversion away from our nation’s traditional moral values and principles. And it all starts with the influence of the youngest amongst us. And who or what most influences them, whether it is the church, their parents, or the government..
Our nation’s moral decadence is startlingly visible in many ways, such as the explosion in unwed child births, the fact that we have more citizens incarcerated then Communist China, the fractionalization and marginalization of the traditional American family, the repeated election of so many severely morally and ethically challenged politicians, the increasing social vulgarity and incivility, and the blazing denigration of the value of self-subsistence and self-responsibility as more Americans are existing off of the federal government and the unprecedented growth in the entitlement mentality culture or me-ism. With so many societal transformations occurring in the nation such as, the redefining of marriage by the government to include those of the same sex, the redefining of what religion actually is, redefining of the U.S government and the American citizen relationship, and the literal banishment of the Bible and Christendom from government schools and significant public interface, to even include today the military, traditional religious values seem to be on the expedient decline. And so too the decline of America as a whole. But, these tragic consequences can come as a surprise to only those who are absent the knowledge of our Founder’s prophetic warnings and the history of the fight to keep the nation’s Christian heritage and principles as the pillars of our society as they were intended.
Lets review what the nation’s first President, George Washington, warned if we strayed from our moral principles, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
As for the ridiculous notion that we are not a Christian nation, as Mr. Obama so vociferously alluded to while he stood in Turkey after he first got anointed,the 1892 supreme court settled that question in the case of the Holy Trinity Church vs the United States stated, “these and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a christian nation.”Not to mention the shear girth of other historical supportive evidence such as, 56 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had degrees from Bible schools, wrote religious books, and some went on to open Bible organizations. Ben Franklin once said, “that he believe in ‘one God, Creator of the Universe,.’ God governed this universe by his Providence. As such he ought to be worshiped and the worship most acceptable to Him was in doing good to others.”
Regarding the relevance of Christianity to our nation, in the New York State Supreme Court case of 1811, People vs. Ruggles, stated, “That whatever strikes at the root of Christianity, tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.”Founder John Adams said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
The Founders clearly viewed the connection between the survival of the republic and Biblical principles as indispensable. They believed that though the federal government should not be a theocracy, or as the First Amendment clearly forbids in stating that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, they clearly believed that for this nation to be great and to remain great the principles of the Bible had to be the nation’s foundation. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story believed the Bible’s moral principles should be the foundation of education in the nation, “Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a Divine Revelation in the [school] – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?” In fact, the nation’s first and most successful text book of the 18thcentury The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educational textbook published in the 18th century and was used up until the 1930’s. It had in it the alphabet, vowels, consonants, alphabetical assistants, acronyms, catechisms, and 90 pages of Christian religious maxims and moral lessons that included the Lord’s Prayer.
Despite today’s popular notion that the Founders believed in a separation of church, particularly Christian, and the government, such advancement is simply without evidence and groundless-until recently generations at least. In fact as early as 1853 a petition was sent to Congress demanding separation of Christian principles and the government. After a year of investigation by the Congress it said, “Had the people (Founding Fathers) during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempts to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one (denomination)…In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity…That was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”
Here are a couple of notes that may have you go huummmm: the two most social transforming Supreme Court decisions regarding religion, 1947 ENGEL v VITALE and marriage, 2013 HOLLINGSWORTH v PERRY, neither used precedence for the decisions to completely redefine the long-standing meanings of words in the public. But instead chose to set precedence out of thin air; and in the 1980 Supreme Court case STONE v. GRAHAM, the court’s decision to outlaw the posting of the Ten Commandments in government schools stated, “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments.”
The Founders clearly knew the dangers to the republic’s posterity if we failed to apply a high Christian and moral test to the young and maybe even more importantly to our chosen leaders for the nation’s continued prosperity. Founder Benjamin Rush said. “Contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.”;Founder John Jay, author of the Federalist Papers and first Justice of the Supreme Court, stated that, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”;and again George Washington warned in his famous 1789 Inaugural address, “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregard the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
There are 3 pillars of influences that were to make up our prosperous and free society – the family, the church, and the government. As we may bicker over the order of the first two, the role of government was meant to be the very least of them. We can attempt consciously to dismiss the prophetic words of the Founders as just ramblings of old gray-haired White guys of years far gone by. But history has taught us lessons of the consequences of a grossly politically inattentive and ignorant populous, a morally vacant societal culture, and an ever imposing government. As too it has shown evidence of how prosperous a nation can be over 200 years when guided by Divine Providence. But at last, it is up for us to choose which future it is that we wish to have.
I had a discussion with a friend the other day about the Presidential Election and how so many of her friends who are devout Democrats, but are not into the apparent growing entitlement mindset. When I attempted to explain that people such as her friends who unabashedly embrace this new extreme political liberalism, and progressivism, would be shouted down as bleeding Communist and or un-American just 30 or 40 years ago and would have not dared to let such expressions be uttered publically. This ever growing notion that everything bad that happens to someone is the fault of someone else, that if someone goes through life making bad decisions they can then look to take the wealth and benefits of those who have made good life decisions, and that the government, in particularly the federal government, should do for someone which they chose to not do for themselves, i.e. provide them healthcare, retirement, or education, is relatively a new state of mind that has taken nearly 60 years. Since the “New Deal” and the “Great Society” enactments, governmental-paternalism and the relinquishment of all personal accountability and responsibility has now become generally accepted by a great number of Americans.
Today Americans actually view Socialism and Communism favorably; some preferably, to American Capitalism. We have more Americans on Welfare and receiving some form of government assistance to meet basic living needs. This would have been intellectually repugnant to Americans in my grandparent’s day. But when one lives in a time when the notion of absolutes-that there are limits on one’s behavior and conduct- and traditional Americanism, such as a belief in God, love of this country, devotion to the family and union between a man and a woman, you have the right to what you earn, and respect for elders, is viewed as radical and cruel, what is there to stop the slide into the social moral abyss where everything and anything is acceptable?
As recently as last year a NY Times article by David Brooks stated of an eminent Notre Dame sociologist’s research of some 230 young adults from across America, “The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. “It’s personal,” the respondents typically said. ‘It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?’ I think that this type of attitude expressed sums up what a critical situation our nation is in morally. This notion that one’s actions and behavior is strictly a matter of individual taste or choice is the genesis of this anti-judgment culture – where no one is allowed to judge someone else based on their actions. Particularly if those actions result in negative consequences. But, when those actions go astray, it is someone else who is the blame and who has to bear the cost of it.
What this mentality does is stifle and repress all critical discussions, constructive criticism, and any attempt for correction. The negative effects that may come from someone’s actions and the consequences thereof matters little when it comes to how it makes the individual feel. If a woman wants to have 10 children, with no man in the home, no one else can judge because it’s a matter of her personal choice. If an ethnic group chooses to wear their pants down below their rear ends and act in a perpetually angry and self-destructive manner, no one else can judge because it’s a matter of their personal choice. If someone choses to only read romance novels and the sports pages, and only watch entertainment type productions on TV, therefore leaving them totally ignorant about issues that truly can affect his or her life positively, no one else can judge because it’s a matter of their personal choice. And if people chose not to prepare financially, spend more than they can themselves afford, and simply seeks to exist off of the labor, property, or benefit of others, no one else can judge because it’s a matter of their personal choice. If our culture begins to simply be about the “Me” and now, not taking into account what the effects may be on the surrounding social environment today and in the future, no one else can judge because it’s a matter of their personal choice. It’s all good. Right?
Morality is defined as “the rightness or wrongness of something as judged by accepted moral standards.” This great nation’s Christian foundation isn’t written in stone, no more than English being our official language. It was presumed to be eternally self-evident through our actions and societal standards. The very principle of taking from one American based on their wealth to give to another simply based on their lack thereof, by force via the government, used to be totally unacceptable in this nation. Right and wrong behavior used to be more clearly identifiable as measured by our Biblical foundation. And as a community of individuals we use to feel that it was our right to speak out on behaviors and actions that we thought to be out of line or inappropriate based on our foundation.
But those days seem to be going the way of the 8-Track Tape Player and the 18 year old virgin. The people of the United States today have become a nation of no apparent standards, no absolutes. Where nearly anything and everything goes or can be excused. Christianity is under constant assault in the nation and marginalized as to not offend other religions. Ethics are on the decline amongst the young. And Socialism is no long a four letter work culturally, as evident by the re-election of a man whom espouses nothing but a Marxist ideology of wealth redistribution and the dismantling of America’s fundamental base of individual responsibility and self-governance. So with such a man as the face of America, his America appears to be the new norm. One that is in decay and decline.
But, at the end of the day it comes down to what we as a nation of free-minded individuals are willing to accept morally. What are we to accept as right and wrong, good and bad? Does the question any longer matter? Alexis de Tocqueville said once about America greatness, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good it will cease to be great.” It is up to us to choose.