God and the Nation in 2006
Here is a recent paragraph by the resident political blogger of the Lexington Herald-Leader, Boy Columnist (aka Larry Keeling): "I feel this is what the Lord wanted me to do," Carroll Rousey, who put up a display that includes the Ten Commandments in the Mercer County Courthouse and who has been asking businesses and other organizations to hang the Decalogue as well, told the Herald-Leader. Yet three judges in the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in an opinion issued this week, "The Mercer County display ... lacks a ... sectarian pedigree" and that "the predominant purpose of the 'Foundations' display is secular" in concluding that "the reasonable person" would find the display to be a government endorsement of religion. Now, I know what is meant by the saying about justice being blind (underline mine). BC was obviously perturbed by this state of affairs, although he did not bother to explain any of the facts that bore on the matter in this particular situation. He might have done well to include them, but, then, that might have been anathema to his opinion. It is doubtful that his degree of wisdom surpasses that of the 6th Circuit.
To get a perspective on how far the nation has moved from one standing on Christian principles to where the nation is today, one might consider this quote from William Howard Taft, president from 1909 to 1917, less than a hundred years ago. Now no man can study the movement of modern civilization from an impartial standpoint and not realize that Christianity and the spread of Christianity are the only basis for hope of modern civilization in the growth of popular self-government. The spirit of Christianity is pure democracy. It is the equality of man before God, equality of man before the law, which is as I understand it the most godlike manifestation that man has been able to make. … And therefore when it becomes the Christian duty of a nation to assist another nation, the Constitution authorizes it, because it is part of national well-being.
This is what Abraham Lincoln had to say at his second inaugural in 1865: Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
This is what George Washington had to say in his inaugural speech as his first act as president in 1789: It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act of my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.
These quotes speak for themselves with regard to the relationship each of their originators felt existed between the nation and God. In their current attempt to dislodge from the national persona any connection of it with God, those who insist that the nation has no foundation in the precepts of Holy Scripture, including the Decalogue, expect to be taken more seriously than Washington, Lincoln, and Taft. This is folly on their part.
One has only to look at “Old Europe,” where the worship of God and attention to biblical injunctions have almost totally disappeared to see where this nation is heading if it continues to be bedeviled by those who would even take “Merry Christmas” from the national rhetoric. A pox on their houses! Only as the populace attempts to adhere to the injunctions of Holy Scripture (not the Koran, either) can it expect to survive. More specifically, it is the Christian concept that obtains, both on its own and as derived from the Judeo foundation. This has nothing to do with an abridgement of the 1st Amendment, certainly does not prescribe or foreclose an establishment of religion, and, on merit, simply identifies an ethic that can work. As the nation continues to slip into a moral quagmire, identified easily on either the Evening News or the garbage offered by the TV industry, its people will do well to pay attention to Taft, Lincoln, and Washington…and even to the 6th Circuit.
As a new year begins, it is well to consider whether the self-appointed keepers of the national conscience ensconced in their pitiful mental-caves of pseudo-sophisticated-ultra-liberalism housing the “if it feels good, do it” ethic will prevail, or if, on the other hand, the sober tenets of the faith are to be the standard.
And so it goes.