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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Sunday, April 16, 2017
WHY America NEEDS God
A hooded penitent from “Cristo de los Angeles” brotherhood holds a cross inside the “Gaitanas” church before taking part in a traditional annual Holy Week procession in Toledo, Spain, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Cheryl K. Chumley
Atheists and progressives will tell you America is a secular nation, built on secular principles, and that it’s the job of the rising generations to make sure politics and religion never do meet.
They say that because they don’t want to submit to a higher authority. But just because the Founding Fathers didn’t want the government to establish a church — didn’t want the country to become guided by the same type of zealotry that steers nations of Islam, for instance — doesn’t mean they wanted God separated from governance.
“Human passions unbridled by morality and religion,” America’s second president, John Adams, said, “would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.”
Quite right. Think about that a second — a whale through a net. Utter destruction, a complete tearing of the fabric.
And with that image comes a realization that our country is not, never was and never will be — so long as it remains a country, that is — a nation of complete secularism. Without moral people in charge, our government will crumble. And who decides the morals? God.
Some people — again, atheists, progressives, elitists — will say humans can decide morals for themselves. But they can’t. Those people say that — and again, once again — because they don’t want to submit to a higher authority. They want to stay in control and in charge. They want their pride intact.
But in Adams’ whale-net description, the fabric of our American society is God. And the whale that’s fighting to shake the net goes by many names — Deceit, Lies, Corruption, Theft, Murder, Mayhem, Scandal, Adultery, Promiscuity and so on.
Think of ancient Rome and how the collapse of morality sped the collapse of the empire. America’s not been compared to that republic for nothing. And that whale of a list — corruption, lies, theft and the rest? These are examples of morality and virtue, human-style.
But aside from the moral decay, and the need for a higher power to dictate which virtues are true versus which are fabrications of the human heart, there’s another reason God’s very much a necessity for America’s future: freedom.
Again, from John Adams, from “The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States,” edited by his grandson, Charles Francis Adams: “[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”
Government may try, but good behavior, ultimately, cannot be legislated into existence. It only comes by the compliance of the individual. Laws can be put into place to create a standard of behavior, and to punish those who don’t meet the standards. But a free society — one where the government isn’t constantly creating new standards of behavior and imposing new punishments on violators — depends on the moral compass of its citizens. And in an “of, by and for the people” system of governance, such as ours, it also depends on the moral compass of its duly elected representatives.
An immoral citizenry means an immoral government. An immoral youth is the next generation of immoral leaders.
An immoral citizenry combined with an immoral government means chaos becomes the norm, right becomes wrong, wrong becomes right, wicked becomes good and — well, here we are, facing just that in America, 2017.
So what’s the government then do to try and impose order — to try and put a clamp on its citizens’ wickedness?
Crack down on freedoms. Pass more laws. Legislate more rules, regulations, policies and procedures — to the point where a person can’t even build a shed in the backyard without government permission, operate a lemonade stand in the driveway without permits or drive a recreational vehicle in a tax-funded public park without a special seal of approval.
Fact is, the behaviors that are damaging to society are due to lapses in morality. But lapses happen only at the human level — not with God.
So let the political battles go on, the Republican versus Democrat debates wage, the partisan hacks keep on with their hacking and attacking. In the end, such are sidenotes to America’s success.
The real root of what makes this country great, and what will keep this nation safe, secure and sound in the coming years, is belief in God — and not just a Sunday-pew type of a belief but rather the type of belief that gets in one’s soul and guides the thoughts, actions and deeds of individuals in the home, in the schools, in the communities and yes, even in the government. Especially in the government.
The type of belief the whales of the world say is stupid and silly, nonsensical and old-fashioned. Let the wise close their ears to such pressures.
Happy Easter. Let the resurrection of America begin.