"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." --- quote from Alexis de Tocqueville who was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in western societies. Democracy in America (1835), his major work, published after his travels in the United States, is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.
First, an explanation of the above photo of a tattered and torn U. S. flag. It was flying by our home and it started to get torn. I didn't replace it right away and after some strong winds, it really got mangled. Jean kept after me to get a new one. So, before doing so, I took a picture as you see above. The reason? I consider it a bit symbolical since the prevailing mood and spirit throughout the republic is one of shredding the holy Scriptures and the U. S. Constitution! It reminds us that our beloved republic is in major need of repair, restoration, and healing in government and church, which are the major forces of influence in any culture.
Our republic is celebrating its 235th birthday today, remembering a special statement that was made known as the Declaration of Independence. There will be lots and lots of celebrations of various kinds in each of the 50 states. Tons of fireworks will be set off in numerous communities and families will have a lot of picnics and their own fireworks experiences as has already taken place in the area where we live. Alcohol will flow like a raging torrent and there will be the accompanying tragedies resulting from such abuse.
After the ashes of the fireworks lie on the ground, the garbage cans are filled with remains from the picnics, and police make their detailed reports related to the tragic incidents involving use of alcohol, the troublesome question to consider is this: is there really very much to celebrate regarding the birthday of our republic?
Yes, we still have a measure of liberty which is at times greatly stressed. Yesterday I was able to get up, and go to church with my wife, Jean. I was able to participate in the worship of Almighty God and to preach with no church leader or politician telling me what and how to preach a message, or that I was not permitted to publicly read portions of the holy Scriptures. Afterward we were able to gather with some members of the family and enjoy a cookout picnic together without any restrictions imposed upon us. Freedom that all too often is taken for granted.
And yes, we can still go to the voting booth and cast our ballots for persons seeking political office in spite of electronic voting which makes election fraud more of a possility than ever before, especially at the state and federal levels!
But the "termites" are at work eating away at the supporting timbers. They are ethical, moral and spiritual in nature. There are some people who believe our republic is headed in a direction that will lead to ultimate disaster unless drastic changes are made soon.
The fact that we have accumulated a national debt that cannot be sustained and each day sees that debt increasing even more is an indication alone that a financial "Armageddon" looms in the future of the republic. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about getting that debt paid down -- worse, they can't even agree on doing some reducing of the annual deficit. Lots of talk but never any serious action on this. And if there is no agreement on tackling the deficit, what chance is there that even a couple of bucks will be applied toward the ever expanding national debt?
Recent years have seen a number of scandals involving high profile religious leaders and political leaders alike. It seems a number of these choose to set their own "rules" for the questionable moral and ethical conduct which they practice! Too often the response when exposed is denial, then maybe a half hearted admission and it is usually somebody else's fault -- you know, we are unwilling to take full responsibility for our actions. High profile sports and entertainment figures could also be added to this growing problem - those who are supposed to be role models and moral examples for our young!
There is a growing acceptance of immoral practices which God clearly condemns in His special revelation to us. This is a barometer indicating that our republic is like a ship in the midst of a storm with its rudder disabled and unable to avoid the rocks along the shoreline. Recently New York state became the 6th state to legalize marriage between two sodomites or two lesbians. Other states are considering this issue and some have already granted "rights" to domestic "partners" as it is in the case of legally married couples (male and female) at the present time.
And of course the destruction of the unborn continues under the sanction of the president, many congressional members and some of the membership of the U.S. Supreme Court which is responsible for the original ruling that it is a constitutional "right" for a female to destroy her unborn child by a deliberate choice. What all of us are overlooking is the fact that God has not yet made a full response to this abomination. When He does, there will be no question that He is in radical disagreement with that Supreme Court decision. He may well make this nation's landscape resemble the mutilated and murdered remains of those unborn children for whom He had a high and holy purpose in life!
The aforementioned issues are but a few of the "termites" eating away at the supporting timbers of our republic. But the last one is the leading "candidate" for inciting the wrath of God more quickly than any other. A culture always commits moral suicide when it adopts a gutter level standard in its regard for human life and leadership takes a position that human life can easily be discarded by whimsical choice!
If Alexis de Tocqueville were to visit the United States today, would his comments be a bit different than what he said in the much younger years of the republic? And might he also say, "America has ceased to be good!"???
Celebrate? The better choice of action is to pray, asking God for mercy and forgiveness, and doing so in the spirit of Daniel who set a noble example for us many centuries ago.
And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day; to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You....." --- Daniel 9:4-8