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Thursday, February 15, 2018

This is making America great? A revisiting.

I was asked years back
"Aardvark, do you think people's behavior has turned for the worse over the years?"
Now, THAT'S a question. As this is my blog, and my opinion reigns supreme:


But a yes with caveats.

"Yes", because there are more people to behave badly, and more to interact synergistically, badly.

"Yes", because people have longer lives, and can get really good at being bad.

Violinist: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
NY Cabbie: Practice.

"Yes", because people have cut themselves from moral and spiritual moorings, and by that, self-control, through a cultural rejection of Biblical teaching. Like it or not, the strength of the West has lain in its Biblical Consensus. America has not been a "Christian Nation" (darn hard to baptise a landmass). I could argue that the concept is not tenable, but the fact remains that what governed The West was an overall "Christian" mindset, with Biblical underpinnings in intellectual thought, common law and jurisprudence, and man-on-the-street morality. Francis Schaeffer and others have documented this ably, and I recommend Schaeffer as a start.

"Yes", because we abandon our children to be cared for and taught in government-run schools, a government that WE have allowed to become the poster child for the wholesale rejection of what made America what it was. I was born in the Fifties. It was a time when rifle manufacturers advertised in the Boy Scouts' "Boys Life" magazine, and kids took part in marksmanship contests at school. GUNS! at SCHOOL!! Yet there were no "mass shootings" in, oh, 1963. Now, 50 years later, I find myself...well-armed, and have had at least three instances in my life that could have been adequately answered with ballistics, yet I shot no-one. I had self-control. I had been taught "thou shalt not do murder". Because our culture has rejected wholesale what made it great and good, now we have school shootings, many schools with armed security, and we have a congregation that carries for protection, because churches are also a target. Policy-types quake at the prospect of the kiddies having their eyes and thoughts sullied by lessons about the Ten Commandments, a historical compendium of basic get-along-ism. "Because Religion". The biblical consensus that kept us safe and for the most part civil has been deleted because people also cannot read the Constitution; because Thou shalt not kill is such terrible teaching.

"Yes", because public behavior has coarsened, with...unpleasant results. Road rage was not a phenomenon when I was a kid. Public discourse has degenerated to who can out-F-bomb the other. (Yes, I have a problem with public vulgarity. Jesus making a godly assessment of the Jewish leaders' character as being "sons of snakes" is NOT equivalent to my calling someone an "S.O.B.").

"Yes", because the church has become a Voters Auxiliary. Our proper mission is making disciples (teaching folks how to live, and then SHOWING them how to do it. Jesus walked, talked, camped out, preached and taught with His disciples for three years. We drag 'em to a crusade, "get 'em saved", and ensconce them on a pew. NEXT!), NOT marching on Washington, or Montgomery. Can and should a Christian vote as an individual? Likely so, but the church's purview is not to be a Voting Bloc.

So, in a word, yes.

"Make America Great Again"? Maybe, but first America will have to be good again, as de Tocqueville famously did not say.