Here are three quotes Americans should heed.
"History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster."
"I believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in the search of gold, but in search of God. They would be free people, living under the law with faith in their Maker and their future."
"I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God's help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can't expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living."
At first glance one might surmise these quotes were made in the context of a sermon delivered by a fiery eyed fundamentalist preacher, who was whining about the moral condition of our nation. To the contrary, the first was attributed to General Douglas MacArthur and the last two to President Ronald Reagan. It appeared to me that both these men understood a truth that many have forgotten over the past half century. The truth is that unbridled freedom or freedom minus a sense of responsibility leads down a slippery slope until those who seek it find themselves enslaved to the very things they have sought.
This search for unbridled freedom intensified during the sixties and has continued unabated to the present. Our society is now harvesting the fruit of such a self-centered philosophy. We see it in society’s attitude toward abortion. We see it in a multi-billion dollar per year pornography business. We see it in the shrinking list of things considered to be abnormal behavior. Rather than abnormal, things are referred to as alternative lifestyles. We see it every day on our televisions. Programming today, deals with topics during prime time that would not have been mentioned at any hour years ago. We see it in the unrelenting strive to legalize a variety of drugs. These are a few of the areas where the fruit of unbridled freedom can be seen. Space does not allow me to continue.
Those who support this road toward unbridled freedom say these things are evidence of progress that has been made. They claim these things represent a new openness and liberty. They see them as victories of the soul from the repression of religion. Others see them as a road toward disaster. They believe that this land has been blessed by God and that His blessing will not continue forever if we continue to seek unbridled freedom that forgets the basic laws He has given to us.