Our nation is in a spiritual vacuum of our own making, and the sooner leaders recognize the moral chaos and violence this causes, the better.
Remember when the tragic shootings of Columbine were front-page news for months on end?
I was newly launched onto the college speaking circuit that spring of 1999. I remember doing media interviews regarding Columbine for many weeks after that tragedy rocked Colorado and the nation. Part of what kept it in the news for an entire year was the fact that such wanton taking of human life—in a public school, no less—was essentially unheard of in America. We weren’t yet acclimated to mass murder in places long taken for granted to be safe.
But it is 2016 now. Domestically and internationally, we’ve seen many senseless bloodbaths in Fort Hood, Denver, Virginia, Newtown, Chattanooga and Dallas, just to name a few—and the list grows weekly. After a terrorist in Nice, France, used a truck as his weapon of choice, driving into a crowd and killing more than 80, we barely had time to emotionally process the death toll before news hit of the assassination of dedicated law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge.
We are a nation whose core values begin with a commitment to the protection of the God-given right to life. (Remember the Declaration of Independence? It does still exist.) But today, special rights are being demanded by some—homosexual activists, pro-Sharia Muslims and Black Lives Matter insurrectionists—while constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as life, freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression, are being denied to others. Meanwhile, some of our nation’s leading political figures blissfully dodge the converse of “equal protection under the law,” which would be, “equal accountability before the law.”
Liberty for All Does Not Mean No Truth for Anyone
We are lapsing into a lawless society. It is one thing to stand on convictions about the nature of liberty, but it’s something else to live as an unhinged libertine. After decades of educating school kids to believe that there are no universally binding morals—while at the same time denigrating and undermining the primary institution for imparting moral conviction (the traditional family)—our drift toward anarchy will be tough to correct; apart from divine intervention, impossibly so.
Today, few leaders will defend the Judeo-Christian origin of our concept of liberty, and certainly not the current occupant of the White House. Many today live from a mindset of “militant autonomy,” assuming that the Founder’s goal was total, unrestrained freedom for all. And where the Constitution as originally written doesn’t expressly spell out protection for all deeds, demands or deviancies—well, the courts may retroactively project them in.
If our core value is the absence of core values, why am I surprised when life is no longer precious? If the only law is that there are no objective laws, how may we reign in lawlessness?
Where will this stop? Because we’ve torn down all moral boundaries, it is hard to tell. I would say, “God only knows,” but we no longer believe in His knowledge or authority. How can it be, for example, that “Black Lives Matter,” but unborn black lives don’t matter? And if unborn black lives do matter, are they the only ones that do? Do all unborn lives matter? Is human life sacred in all contexts? If so, then no amount of class envy, rage or stress caused by one’s perceived marginalization justifies the murder of my fellow man—born or unborn.
But just as serious as the now-regular terrorist attacks, killings of cops and other incidents of weekly-bloodshed-in-public-places have become, we should be equally concerned about the degree to which we have become comfortable with such things. The violence we are hearing reported in the news daily must not become the new normal, and we must never resign ourselves to the assumption that it is. Never! Gutless, mindless, satanically deluded assassins must not be permitted to control our culture.
Our leaders and the populace must never be “OK” with terrorism. Our children must never grow up thinking that this is “just how the world is.” The President’s weekly press-conference reactions to terrorism are delivered, not with an impassioned tone of righteous indignation, but with the measured cadence of an examiner at the D.M.V. I suppose it is hard to muster a convincing voice about morality or convictions when an entire platform has been built on the denial of both.
The Relationship Between God and Our National Health
Because we are at least two decades into the political, cultural and artistic rigor mortis caused by political correctness, it is harder than ever to help young people understand that there was once an America where ethical truth and God were welcome realities. It is challenging to try to convince twenty-somethings and younger that, yes, there was a time when America was safer, the lives of people were more stable and happy, and where economic prosperity was much more widely enjoyed. With only rare exception, this productive season lasted, oh, for the better part of two centuries.
I talk with college students and high-schoolers about such things on a weekly basis. They stare in near disbelief as I document how, for 200 years-plus, two basic entities guarded and guaranteed the success of this nation and the happiness of her people: The family and the church.
But we don’t talk about traditional family anymore, because that is heterosexist, and belief in binary gender is so backward. And we don’t acknowledge that a biblical view of life contributed to our founding and cultural DNA, even though leaders such as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren thought so, in 1954 stating that Christianity was “our guiding genius.”
Freed from the oppressive chains of the Ten Commandments and traditional values, secularists of the 21st century have finally positioned us to understand the First Amendment’s truest intent: To erase from public consciousness the knowledge of God. This is the party line mandated by most of American academia. Secularism promised us liberation, but what we’ve got is godlessness. We are freer, but less: America today is less safe, less stable, less prosperous.
Leaders Must Speak Up about a Serious Return to God
If America is to be saved from extinction, we must rediscover the source of all life, and who the founders said made possible our pursuit of happiness: God.
Our founders predicated everything we’ve enjoyed on the reality of moral truth and on each person’s accountability before God. We’d better rediscover these things—and fast. We need authority figures who are willing to talk openly and honestly about the bedrock values we were once proud to proclaim. This should begin with all those leaders in American homes, churches, classrooms and in Washington. But the scary thing is that most in those seats of influence have minimal if any knowledge of all that I’m talking about.
Christianity (if promoted and embraced) will surely preserve this nation from threats within and without. How do I know this? Because for more than 200 years, it did.
(Dr. Alex McFarland is a national radio talk show host, speaker and author of 17 books including the newest release “Stand Strong America.” He also serves as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University in Greenville, S.C. More information can be found at www.AlexMcFarland.com.)