Thursday, August 2, 2012

Approaching America's Moral Crossroads

By Alan Caruba

Who said this and when?

”…it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes…No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.”

It was George Washington during the course of the first inaugural address. Having led the army of the Revolution from June 15, 1775 to December 23, 1783, eight long years, Washington had returned to Mount Vernon to live out his life as a private citizen, but he was called back to public service as the nation’s first President from 1789 to 1797.

In so many ways, Washington set the tone for the presidency and the nation as someone guided by his faith garnered from the Old and New Testaments. This is in sharp contrast to our present President who invariably refers to “the holy Koran.”

America has always worn its belief in the Creator as a badge of honor and was established, as the Puritan leader John Winthrop said, to be “a shining city on a hill.”

The Constitution, however, was achieved only with a major compromise regarding slavery; one that would require a Civil War to end the abhorrent practice. Most of the Founders knew this. Many had been born into or ascended to the planter class in an era when slavery was the accepted order of the day and they opposed it. It deeply offended their personal sense of morality even if this source of labor was deemed necessary at the time.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance or morbid minds…Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both." It is the unfortunate legacy of his era that racism remains a potent force in American life to this day.

Men are imperfect creatures, subject to their passions, and through civilization’s long history of Judeo-Christian beliefs they have turned to religion to tame their baser instincts and to reinforce their better ones. Americans most affirmatively embraced faith-based religion and, in particular, tolerance as a national religion.

We have seen that Islam accepts no tolerance and demands global submission. Western civilization has been is locked in a war of survival with Islam since the seventh century.

For 236 years America has sought to set the example to the world of the blessings of liberty and freedom as “one nation under God.” The nation began with the Declaration of Independence that asserts that “all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

The tens of thousands who turned out for Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day are testimony to the push-back occurring in America today. It troubles many Americans that there are dark forces at work to diminish their freedom to express their faith in God and their religion’s codes of ethics and behavior.

A moment of prayer, a simple act of piety, has been banished from our schools. Demands that symbols of faith be removed from the public square have increased. Efforts to silence the clergy who minister to our armed forces are underway. Separation of Church and State—found no where in our Constitution—has been twisted into efforts to diminish the public role of the churches and synagogues when it most emphatically does not mean freedom from religion.

The most solemn belief in the sanctity of human life, particularly of the Catholic Church, has come under attack with the passage of Obamacare.

Many faithful believe that a president who endorses same-sex marriage is endorsing the destruction of the moral heart of our nation and society.

As American principles, anchored in religious faith and commonly held moral teachings, come under attack, Americans are increasingly aware of the two forces that remain the greatest enemies of morality as defined by Western civilization. One is communism and the other is Islam, the antithesis of Judeo-Christian values.

As Americans of all faiths approach the national elections in November their vote may prove a tipping point toward America’s continued slide into the darkness, into the slavery of communism, into the further encroachments of Islam, into a moral abyss, or it can be the day that Americans renew their faith in what America stood for in the past and the values it can champion in the future.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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