America is headed for mediocrity, or for shipwreck, for two reasons: It turned away from God; it turned away from the U.S. Constitution. -- Robert E. Kelly, 2014
I'll make the argument for the first half of the above premise in this column; in a second one, I'll address the shredding of the Constitution.
Turned Away From God
God's law, among believers, guides man's moral behavior.
The moral behavior of non-believers is guided by a system of private morality, under which the incentive to act in a civilized way is controlled by the pleasure/pain principle, or by the desire for social approval -- the morality of secret acts is immaterial. To steal, lie, or kill escapes punishment, if one doesn't get caught.
Reverence for God as the Creator of man, has been forgotten to an alarming extent. To some, God is considered as a stupid, naive, or dangerous myth; God has been kicked out of America's supreme court, its education system, its society and its public square for a half century. Private moral law prevails.
According to Gallup (2011), 60 percent of Americans do not believe that God created man -- about 40 percent of Americans go to church weekly, which every church-going person knows to be an inflated number. The Hartford Institute, which studies such things, cuts that figure to 20 percent.
Who is likely to be in that 20 percent? Turning once again to Gallup (2004), liberals will be in the minority -- 13 percent go to church regularly; 58 percent never do (2011), and they are "more likely to be Atheists."
According to a Harris Poll (2013), Americans who identify themselves as "not at all religious," has doubled to 23 percent since Barack Obama became president.
Liberals dominate government, college faculties, teacher unions, major news media, and the entertainment industry. They controlled Congress during most of the years when America changed from a wealthy superpower to a debt-ridden welfare state. America has been for decades in the hands of Godless men who (the best of them) seek to create a heaven on earth -- a fool's errand.
Another Gallup poll reports that 60 percent of Americans believe that God did not create man, and that death is the end of them -- that how they believe and act while on earth is inconsequential. There is no judgment day for them; they act as they wish during their lifetimes, restrained only by their own flexible sense of morality, and the codes imposed by civil law -- they can ignore civilized behavior with impunity, if they're not caught.
God is not in the heart of most Americans. Is it any wonder that we have a popular culture that calls dirty-mouthed "rap" performers artists? that the entertainment business is our most shameful export? that the day of great fiction writers and music composers is over? that the nation's private and public sectors generate scandals caused by amoral men faster than the media can exploit them? that the education system that ostracizes God is in shambles? and that the American family, especially the black family, has been devastated by the prevalence of hook-ups, illegitimate children and abortions?
And, the ultimate irony: Most mainline churches, whose reason for existence it is to preach God's law, have supported for a half-century the politicians and judges who have been destroying the American political/economic/legal system that has done more good, for more people, more often, than any system ever seen during the history of mankind.
The decline in respect for God, and for civilized religions, has been going on for decades. A clever mathematician could create a graph and post a curve that shows the decline in religious attendance, and then he could compare it to other curves that track a variety of apparently unrelated phenomenon -- the number of abortions; the number of single mothers; the size of the national debt, etc. The result would, in a single picture, make my argument, to wit: Walking away from God is devastatingly expensive.
The most important decision that man makes in his life is his acceptance, or his rejection, of God as his creator. That decision will define the life he leads.
God's Ten commandments guided America's politicians for its first 100 years. If they had been also accepted by the leaders of the next 100 years, the nation would not be in the fix it's in today.
Robert Kelly, author of several books on baseball and history/politics, is also a freelance, award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in many newspapers. His latest books, The National Debt of the United States and Neck and Neck to the White House, are available at Amazon and the better bookstores. His e-mail address is [email protected]