3/27/2013 10:32:00 AM My father's America? Lessons from Life
I passed the half century point a few years back and I'm approaching the age my father was when he passed away. I can't believe he's been gone more than twenty years. I can't believe it, that is, until I read a newspaper or listen to the latest political rhetoric; then I am certain this is not my father's America. And I have to ask myself if he would take any blame or shoulder any responsibility for the way things turned out.
My mother turned eighty recently and I haven't the heart to ask her if she knows when it all got away from them. What was the trigger that set off the sexual revolution and moral decay? Was it really one moment in history, or was it that this country, which could pull together in unity and faith when the chips were down, in apathy and plenty had quit trusting God? We have raised up more than a generation on borrowed money and self gratification and prideful individualism and relative values. We have given up on God in our personal purpose and creed. Is it time we recognize the fact that we have done the same on a national level?
I read where the radical group Freedom From Religion is again waging war on our country's religious symbols. They say the motto "In God We Trust" is offensive and discriminatory. I'm sure to them it is. What I found shocking though was that the best defense for retaining that motto was our heritage. The faith of our Founding Fathers should preserve this phrase on our money? The American Center for Law and Justice -ACLJ - is one of the most powerful and aggressive protectors of religious liberty and their defense in this case is this "...(it)is not 'discrimination' - it's a celebration of our shared history."
"In God We Trust" is simply a matter of historical preservation? It took a moment for that to sink in but then I had to agree. National trust in God is dying out with my father and mothers generation. Civil rights surpassed God's Righteousness in importance some time ago. Perhaps it is time for a motto change that reflects our heritage. Perhaps it should read "In God We Trusted".
When I was sharing these thoughts with my 17 year old daughter she brought up a good question. Why is it when the president finishes a speech with "God Bless America" the crowds applaud wildly when actually most of them don't want God's influence in this country? They ignore His presence in the writings of our original documents. They demand the "inalienable rights" but deny the Creator who "endowed" them to us.
From what I see and hear about the direction the people want to take this country I begin to think maybe they're right. Maybe we should take the Name of God off of this country. Maybe God would agree too. Would you want your name on a failing enterprise that someone else was running into the ground? Maybe it's time to put songs like God Bless America and God Bless the USA into the history books alongside the old spirituals of the Civil War era. Maybe they no longer apply to the time we live in.
As our money loses its value around the world maybe it becomes more of a joke (or something worse) to have the claim "In God We Trust" on the face of it. At the very least it's a lie. And to pledge to a flag that symbolizes this nation, claiming it to be "under God" is no doubt, one day, to become an international joke.
If this nation is "under God" and trusting in God then we better get back to finding out what He wants and start doing it instead of demanding our own rights to the detriment of this community we call the United States.
Even the name "United States" is only true by rule of law as several states put up petitions on the White House web site to withdraw from the union. The "divided states of America" are recognizing the fact that we are serving a regime with a mission to disarm and control. The controlling parties are sinking this country into debt to hold the loyalty of an ever growing dependant population. The citizenry has grown to trust Government instead of trusting God. An independent, free people cry out to God. Dependant people in bondage cry out to their leaders and surrender their weapons.
Maybe President Obama is right. Maybe this is no longer a Christian nation. And maybe it's time we let our mottos and pledges reflect that. Maybe it's time we quit pretending and start preparing because this is coming to a head. Our government is arming Muslim nations with borrowed money we cannot repay. We are dependent on Middle East oil as the region becomes more turbulent. China is one of the primary holders of the mortgage on this country and Scriptures teach us the borrower is slave to the lender.
This is not my father's America. My father's America lived by Biblical principles and feared the Creator who gave them those "inalienable rights."
My father said "In God I Trust" and then worked hard and saved his money. My father said "One nation, under God" with reverence. My father thanked God for the food on the table no matter how hard his hands worked to buy the food. My father's morals were biblical absolutes. He stayed married to my mother for his whole life, as promised, and he raised his kids to do the same; to keep their promises.
My father's America asked for and received God's blessings. This is not my father's America.
Tim Lamb writes The Message, a weekly Christian-based faith column, for the Chelan Mirror. He lives in Entiat.