Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

As the Family Goes . . .

The expression is quite accurate, “As the family goes, so goes the nation.”

It does not require higher degrees of learning, or specialized training, or psychological insights to see that the American family unit is continuing to fragment, splinter and devolve into a fractured, irreparable state. The simplicity of this conclusion is a no-brainer.

The once-great nation of the United States of America is treading down a path of self-destruction. Consider with me the more obvious of problems we have created for ourselves.

Industrialization. Our fledgling nation emerged from the European dominance of Great Britain, France and Spain during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican-American War. Industrialization began to emerge on both the European Continent and in North America in the early decades of the 1800s. Most notably, trains appeared, moving people in a manner never conceived of by our forefathers. Steel became king, with large factories popping up just outside of major cities. Because of the need for blue-collar laborers in these factories, men and their families began to leave the farms and move to the cities, swelling their already burdened populations as too many people were applying for far too few jobs. Poverty, slums, increased depression and over-stressed families became the new normal.

Super-Power. As recent as World War I, the United States believed we could stay removed from the concerns of the rest of the world. Isolationism was the theme of the day. We tried to stay out of the nasty affairs of Europe. President Wilson worked tirelessly in the effort to keep us out of a war that began in 1914. He nearly succeeded. The cry of despair that came from the ravaged nations where many of our forefathers originated would not cease. Wilson finally acquiesced and allowed American troops to sail for France to beat back the military muscle of the German Kaiser, forcing terms of surrender on Germany, and thus bringing WWI to an end. Many proclaimed this to be the “War to end all wars!” During these early days of the nineteenth century the car and airplane shifted from being simply created novelties to mainstays in our daily lives. The United States was now a nation to be taken seriously. If all the world was not convinced of this, then World War II made the point emphatically: The United States had emerged into a Super-Power.

Godlessness. A strange development began to arise within our social, political, philosophical and even theological circles: There is no God. Nineteenth Century philosopher Frederick Nitze popularized the concept that “God is dead.” It caught on, devolving into the inhuman philosophies perpetrated by the likes of Hitler and Mussolini. To our own detriment, it became the target of academia in America. In 1962 prayer in our public schools was banned by law. The onslaught of removing God and any semblance of religion and faith from public, even private, life, continues to this day. The Humanist Manifesto became our new faith which espouses that “there is no God; that the universe is self-existent; and that life and humanity arose by purely naturalistic means, particularly evolution.” Communism embraced this belief wholeheartedly.

Devaluing Life. The cumulative effect of all the previous conditions has led our nation to the point where we have begun the slippery-slope of devaluing life. The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973 sent a chilling pall over our nation. Regardless of how you choose to explain it, as a nation we declared open season on the defenseless unborn. Who of us is safe if the most vulnerable are not safe? Mother Teresa, in scolding the United States regarding our abortion policies, said, “The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.” The elderly fear entering hospitals today. Why? Because of euthanasia – someone (a doctor or nurse) may decide the patient has lived long enough – or the patient won’t have the proper quality of life (a nebulous term if ever there was one!). A United States Congressman from a neighboring state declared a couple of years ago that the elderly have an obligation to die. And then there was the complaint from within our nation’s capital that too many of our troops wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan were surviving. This, and countless other examples, is why I say there is a chilling effect on our nation and the world.

Fractured Family. Both parents working, chasing the American Dream, latch-key kids, absentee fathers, career-oriented mothers, spousal/child abuse, an uncertain economy, single parents, a rising divorce rate, adultery treated as normal, abandoned kids, confusion over sexual orientation, an exploding pornography industry, plus a growing movement away from marriage and life-long commitments and more, are all contributing to the American family slowly being crushed by the weight of these forces.

What nation could possibly survive such things?

We may glibly ask for God’s blessing. We may heartily sing, “God Bless America!” We may see ourselves as the good guys. But, we would be wise to recognize that we have strayed far from the path God had purposed for us. We would be wise to ask for God’s mercy. We would be wise to repent and seek his forgiveness. Then, perhaps an all-wise God might send a revival of real hope across our land. This is my prayer for the land and people I love.

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