Recently I saw a discussion concerning someone running for office locally. This discussion was about social issues and evils and how that person running believed these situations should be handled.
I once heard someone say that you can’t legislate morality. It didn’t make sense until about 7 years ago. Morality must be taught and instilled. It must be internalized. Just look at the drug war and witness this fact.
Where did the decline begin? When did it begin? Why did it begin? These are the questions I’d like to touch upon in this post. You may be able to discern from the accompanying graphic where I place the blame.
Here, in Part 1 of the series, I’d like to explore the Church’s role in the destruction. While the Church’s part in this destruction may have started around the time of the War for Southern Independence, I’m going to start around the turn of the 20th Century. It was during this time that Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) wrote “The War Prayer”. In it he castigates the Church for its hypocrisy. This prayer is as relevant today as it was in 1904 when it was written. Witness the number of times churches honor veterans, have national flags in their sanctuaries, and preach Romans 13 to keep the congregants from taking action concerning their rights as citizens of their country.
Chuck Baldwin, the preacher who ran for President in 2008 under the Constitution Party, has a series of sermons on Romans 13 and has also written a book on the subject. He is a proponent of the “Black Robes”, those preachers of the Revolutionary period in the US.
Now, during the FDR years and the Great Depression, progressivism had really taken hold (more on this in Part 2). People were either rich or poor – the middle class was almost non-existent. The Church was overwhelmed with trying to take care of the masses and government gladly came in with Social Security and work programs. Unfortunately, once the crisis was over, the Church did not retake their benevolent work, but continued to allow the government to provide that. The Church has continued to allow the government to perform the Church’s job and has even gone into partnership with government programs.
Another area in which the Church has faltered is with taxes. Many have decided to apply for tax-exempt status. With the revelations of the IRS’s audit targets, many preachers and churches do not want to risk offending the government and losing that status. For this reason, their sermons do not keep the sheep vigilant but keep them docile, awaiting the shearing or slaughter.
The religious right came into political power back in the mid-seventies after the Rowe v Wade decision. These groups were adamant about electing only those who SAID they were pro-life and who SAID they were Christians. It is difficult to know if these organizations were started by politicians who saw a cash cow that would continue to give milk for decades or if they were created by honest people seeking to overturn an affront to their beliefs. These organizations would (and still do) support any candidate that espoused these beliefs, and would re-elect those same people, even if they produced no discernible fruit in this area. In fact, the one politician (Congressman Ron Paul) who introduced a bill that would have taken abortion out of federal jurisdiction, was never able to get enough votes to have his legislation passed. This is even in the face of having a majority of “pro-life” politicians in Congress and holding the office of President.
Another argument concerning the Church and its role in the destruction of America, is the obsession with the “end times” and with the current state of Israel. As Yoda said in “Star Wars: Return of the Sith”, “Misread, the prophecy could have been.” The current state of Israel, while made up mainly of Jewish descendents, is a Zionist state. It has become what it feared and escaped from in Nazi Germany. Preachers like John Hagee have taken Israel and put it on a pedestal, tying America to Israel at the hip. In Hagee’s world, though, it is not America that is the dog, it is Israel, and America is the tail. Israel must be supported at all costs, but why? It is because, in part, it is believed that the last war will be fought in the middle east and that if this war can be precipitated, the second coming will occur faster. This type of thinking goes right along with the worship of the military and the blindness to anti-abortion politicians (who could care less about abortion).
Finally, many in the Church want to change the behavior of people through legislation. They do not understand that projecting one’s beliefs on another is nothing but pure oppression. They do not understand that they are only responsible for themselves and their actions and that, if another person does something for which they do not approve but that action does not harm another, that it is not their business, but it is G-d’s. Additionally, they do not think past the current moment, that they are setting a precedent that will be used against them when “their guys” are no longer in power. An example is the current state of marriage. Many are against homosexuals getting married. The problem was that while the Church’s guys were in charge, the Church allowed the state to become arbiter of marriage, taking it out of the hands of the Church. Once it became a secular thing and their guys were no longer in charge, homosexual marriage was made legitimate.
What is the driving force behind the Church’s actions/inaction? FEAR. Fear of Sharia Law coming to America; fear of losing the tax-exempt status; fear of not supporting Israel in every act it decides to commit, whether righteous or not; fear of terrorism; fear of homosexual marriage; fear of drugs. This fear is not of G-d.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
It is also placing one’s faith in man.
Jeremiah 17:5-6 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
One final thought. During the last Presidential election cycle, during the debate held in South Carolina (supposedly a Christian-dominated state), Congressman Ron Paul was booed when he mentioned the Golden Rule in relation to foreign policy.
Part 2 will address the government’s role in the destruction of the country. Until next time…