Oh America, What Has Become Of You?


Imagine that you have a favorite band and that band is known because of the talents of one individual…say a singer or a guitarist. Then that person dies, or leaves the band but the band continues on using the same name. Pink Floyd is a perfect example as, to me at least, Pink Floyd is not Pink Floyd without Roger Waters.

The reason I ask this is because while we may still call ourselves America, or the United States of America, we are not really America anymore. America is not just some geographic location on a map that someone slapped a name to, it is a place where certain ideals and beliefs existed and those ideals and beliefs have long ago died, leaving an empty husk of what once was a great nation.

Whether you want to believe it or not America was founded by great men with great ideals and this country was given birth with a perfection of principles that had they been adhered to America would still be a great, powerful, and respected nation. But as we have abandoned those principles we have lost our status and stature in the world and now America is a pale shadow of what it once was.

I have made similar statements before and invariably someone throws slavery or our treatment of the Native American Indians right back at me as a repudiation of my claim that America was founded upon great principles. These people ask me how I can say that America was founded upon great principles when the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, yet slaves and Indians weren’t allowed the same rights as white men. Sure, America has some dark stains on its ledger but it wasn’t the principles that were flawed, it was our interpretation of them. To put it in simple terms, slaves and Indians were not considered as being men. Slaves were property and Indians were savages and therefore not accorded the same rights as white men were. Not saying that was right, but it is not the fault of the principles, it was the fault of men who interpreted them.

All the problems that this country faces boil down to one simple thing, a lack of values among the people in this country. It has nothing to do with whether we have a bunch of liberals running things, or a bunch of conservatives running things, it is a lack of values, or a code of conduct if you will, among the general population. That is what is wrong in America today.

Allow me to give you a few examples of what I’m talking about.

Language

The means by which people interact is through language. If you want to ask for something, or explain an idea or concept, you normally do so with words. Regardless of the fact that our government has yet to proclaim English as the official language of the United States, it is still the language that is used to do business in this country. It’s nearly impossible to go anywhere in this country these days and not hear four or five languages being spoken in public places.

I have no problem with people who wish to communicate with others of their nationality in their native tongue, but if you want to communicate with me then do so in English. Why is it that we should be required to bend over backwards to provide translators or provide official government documents to people in their native tongue? Believe me, as one who has traveled a pretty good portion of the world, not many other countries, aside from tourist hot spots, provide these services to foreigners.

Former president Theodore Roosevelt once said “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” That is as it should be. If you want to live among Americans you should be required to become proficient in the language they speak or leave. Yet there are people in this country who can barely speak ten words of English. You talk to them and you may as well be talking to a cow for all that they understand you. A country cannot thrive when the people are wandering around like it were the Tower of Babel.

Self-Reliance

America did not become the thriving industrial giant it was because people sat around collecting welfare and food stamps. Much has changed in this country since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and had to forge their own path to survival. Now, unless you own your own business, we rely heavily upon others to provide jobs for the vast majority of people. Corporate greed, economic downturns, Union interference in the workplace all contribute to job security and there are times when people find themselves out of work and may need a safety net to provide for their needs until they get back on their feet again.

But when I was growing up taking government handouts was frowned upon; it was considered shameful if a man did not have a job that provided all that his family needed. These handouts were a last resort when families became desperate. Now I see entire generations living on handouts, taking their place at the public teat and sucking away our countries vitality. This shift has taken place so much that they are no longer called handouts, they are called entitlements as if they are something you have earned, and not something that someone else has to pay for without you having earned them.

Oh but ask that those receiving these handouts submit to a drug test to be eligible for them and you are violating their civil rights! How so when I have to submit to drug testing to earn the money that is taxed to provide you with these handouts?

America will not thrive when a large portion of the population are too lazy to work, or when they do work they do a half-assed job; just enough to get by without being fired. The America that became the leader of the world in production was fueled by hard working Americans who took great pride in doing their jobs to the very best of their ability, not just people lounging around doing the bare minimum and complaining when they are expected to break a sweat.

Morality

This, above all others, is where America has truly dropped the ball.

I honestly don’t care whether you believe in God or if you don’t. The important point is that the men who created this country did. George Washington declared “I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.”

Thomas Jefferson declared, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

A country which has forsaken the laws of God, of virtue and morality, is doomed to fail as God is just and will not shower His blessings upon a people who disobey His laws. You may not believe this, but I do and until the day we all die neither side can claim proof positive that their view on the matter was correct. I only know that I have faith in the things I believe in and these are my opinions based on that faith. You may chose to believe otherwise but I see all our countries problems as stemming from a lack of virtue, and yes, of morality, in America.

While there are those who do not believe in God in this country, and while there are those who practice other faiths as well, the majority of people in this country still proclaim some form of Christianity as their religion. So like it or not America is still basically a Christian nation.

How is it then that we have allowed any mention of God to be removed from almost all public discussion? How is it that all life is not considered sacred and therefore any God-fearing American would be repulsed to support any political candidate who stood for abortion which is the taking of an unborn life? How is it that we are being told that we must tolerate lifestyles that God has told us are sinful?

On top of all this there is rampant promiscuity, and broken families which produce children who grow up lacking a good moral and stable upbringing. In 1778 John Adams wrote the following entry into his diary, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families…. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

Finally, how is it that we expect to survive and thrive as a nation when the truth and honesty is not cherished? When we are afraid to confront lies and call them for what they are; when we tolerate lying as normal behavior; when we refuse to tell the truth, no matter how painful it may be to hear, we cannot thrive as a nation. Deceit and dishonesty are cancers that eat away at a people until no one can be trusted to do or say what is the right thing.

Conclusion

Being an American means more than a piece of paper which states you were born, or naturalized, as a citizen of the United States. It is a sacred obligation upon us all to uphold the principles enshrined in our Founding Documents and taught in Scripture.

Life is not supposed to be easy, a bed of roses that we may lie down upon. Life is work. Learning the truth takes work. Standing up for what you believe in, hell even having some code of morals or ethics takes work.

But just as the Scriptures say, those who stay true till the end will be rewarded. Had Americans continued to stand for the principles their country was founded upon it would not be in the sad state of affairs it is now.

I cannot force anyone into believing the things I have just said. Yet it would seem pretty obvious that the further we strayed from those principles the worse things got in America. That alone should cause one to question their own beliefs and code of conduct.

America could be healed, could return to its former status as a country which was respected and thrived. To do so we must repent and change of our wicked and slothful ways. As it says in 2 Chronicles, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways’ then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This is not something we can do by voting for this candidate or that candidate, supporting this political movement or that political movement. It must be an individual choice, taken by each person in this country, to change themselves and begin living according to certain principles which George Washington so clearly referenced.

Americans may think of themselves as proud and vain, but without those principles, without the help of God, this country will fall, just as others before it have fallen. The choice as to whether that happens sooner or later depends entirely upon the people that inhabit it.

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