As we approach another celebration of “President’s Day” on Monday I can’t help but wonder what President Washington, President Lincoln, and all of our Founding Fathers would think about the current state of affairs in our country. It is evident that Christianity in Colonial America served as the foundation of everything the early settlers set out to do. The collapse of Christian virtues and values in our modern culture shows just how far we have strayed from the original intent of our country’s founding.
The Rhode Island Charter of 1683 begins, “We submit our person, lives, and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given us in His Holy Word.” Fast forward nearly 100 years to 1779 and look at what Samuel Adams wrote in a letter to James Warren. “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. How necessary then is it for those who are determined to transmit the blessings of liberty as a fair inheritance to posterity, to associate on public principles in support of public virtue.” It seems that Samuel Adams had in mind in 1779 what we would witness in our current generation.
Noah Webster (1758-1843) published a textbook in 1832 entitled, History of the United States. In this book he speaks at length about the value of religion, the Bible, and Christian principles. One line serves as a prominent reminder to all public servants today. “Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origins to the principles of the Christian religion.” Compare that statement to the reality of today in which there appears to be an all-out assault on Christianity from the powers that be. How did we as a nation allow ourselves to be led astray from such convictions?
The moral decline of our nation is evident. The refusal to believe in Eternal Truth has brought about rampant relativism in which each individual creates his/her own truth. The consequences of such a belief system seems to become more and more obvious with each passing day. We have been legally killing unborn children for 42 years; there are times when this includes infanticide as depicted in testimony at the trial of Dr. Gosnell. Physician- assisted suicide and euthanasia clearly establish that the value of life is determined by functionality. Brittany Maynard may have considered it to be "Death With Dignity," but a close examination of this type of process reveals some major flaws in that way of reasoning. The dignity and sanctity of human life is ignored in each of these actions, and yet, it has become accepted and even welcomed in contemporary culture. Brittany Maynard has put the discussion front and center once again. It will simply be a matter of time before more and more states welcome this practice into their boundaries.
The attack on Christianity is to be expected. People with religious convictions who are guided by the grace of Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the power and communion of the Holy Spirit in their day-to-day lives are a roadblock to those with an evil agenda. The tyranny that erupted at various times in history provides us with some insight as to what is happening today. If we are prudent we will all become students of history to get a glimpse at our future. The removal of God from our public institutions, the indoctrination of students from preschool through the ultra-liberal university years, the control of the press from graduates of these liberal universities, and big time financial donors promoting their aggressive agenda paints a picture that is not too bright for Christians who value the liberty provided by God and reinforced by the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate is one of the latest assaults on Christianity, and on the Catholic Church in particular. Why is this relevant? The Catholic Church is a significant roadblock to those who pursue a culture of death. A book entitled, They Fired the First Shot 2012, spells it out quite clearly beginning on page 562 where the author says:
“If you study communist takeovers and dictatorships, you will see we are on this road. Mexico’s history in the early part of the last century is proof. As in Mexico, the Catholic bishops, priests and religious in the United States will be among the first to be imprisoned or killed. Others will follow. The healthcare mandate first attacks the Catholic Church. Bishops, as the enemy sees them, are generals to be eradicated to scatter the flock and are the first that must be taken down. Don’t want to believe it? Study history. Look at the French Revolution. The guillotines ran non-stop. Not possible in the United States? If there is not a radical stand now, “the guillotines,” whatever that might be in the USA, will run non-stop. History clearly shows religion is first in line to be crushed and the first major blow to smash the Church is the healthcare mandate.”
The author is adamant that the Catholic Church has to be firm in standing up against this attack on religious liberty. The writer goes on to elaborate that, “twenty-five percent of all medical health related care, totaling $100 billion, is under the spiritual authority and protection of the Catholic Church. This in itself is authority not to bargain with, but to mandate; not to request with, but to state: ‘Our goal is we will not shut down. We will not relinquish our authority to the state. We will not go to jail.’”
It appears that people of faith will need to follow the example of repentance as demonstrated by the people of Nineveh to bring our nation back to God. Prayer and fasting are key elements that people of God have used in the past and they are certainly pertinent for our needs today. May each of us truly turn our hearts and minds to God!
The words attributed to Patrick Henry so long ago may resonate once more with Americans, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”