Things have gone too far.
America in 2011 stands in shambles and shame. The once-bright beacon we know as Lady Liberty, is now tarnished.
The Statue of Liberty is a representation of American idealism. But more than that– it wasn’t just the “ideals” themselves, but the fact that those grand and audacious commitments had, in fact, come true. The American Experiment had worked!! America was a success. And due to the fact that our nation embodied those ideals, she captured the imagination of the world and her peoples.
This led France to create and to offer Lady Liberty as a gift to the United States on her centennial (1876). This was done at great national cost to France. It was a love offering to our government and our people, at least partially paid for by individual French citizens because of their respect for what we had become as a nation.
Back then, France had just suffered the Franco-Prussian War, and the nation lie in tatters. In 1871, Paris had suffered a bad defeat at the hands of the Germans who left the burned-out and battered city in ruins. As that was happening, America was soon to celebrate her 100th birthday, and France was looking for hope and inspiration. A disillusioned French artist named Bartholdi sailed to the U.S. that same year, and upon entering New York harbor, wrote:
“The picture that is presented to the view when one arrives in New York is marvelous, when, after some days of voyaging, in the pearly radiance of a beautiful morning is revealed the magnificent spectacle of those immense cities [Brooklyn and Manhattan], of those rivers extending as far as the eye can reach, festooned with masts and flags; when one awakes, so to speak, in the midst of that interior sea covered with vessels… it is thrilling. It is, indeed, the New World, which appears in its majestic expanse, with the ardor of its glowing life.”
He later led the effort to construct the statue so France could offer it to the American people as a token of thanks for inspiring them in their darkest hour. Sadly, though France wanted to become like us– today some Americans want us to become like France. But that is not the answer.
America Feels Like a Foreign Land
For many Americans, the America they knew now feels like a foreign land. We have been exiled from our own nation. Our freedom of religion has been profaned. Our freedom of speech has been threatened with silence. The right to bear arms is under fire. The list goes on.
But more than challenges to constitutional rights, I am primarily talking about the overall state of our country. It has changed, and not always for the better. And as these changes have occurred, Americans can literally FEEL our nation unravel. We can feel our Union being uncomfortably stretched out of shape. We are expected to stand down, accept, and EVEN CELEBRATE any and every idea, teaching, behavior, practice, and ethic… regardless of how absurd they may be and despite the fact that we groan and convulse from within at what we are seeing and experiencing.
To boot, there is also a profound and concerted effort among many to undermine the rule of law– to treat it with impunity. This spirit of the age is so profoundly strong that it’s palpable. One can almost feel a type of antinomianism or a spirit of anarchy seething beneath the surface of a thin and shallow civility. Our nation is in trouble.
Many– a great host of Americans– know this to be true.
The Silent Majority Feels This Way
I am not alone in this evaluation of the American psyche.
Many thinking and decent Americans have thought the same thoughts. But few have said it aloud. These fears have remained largely unvoiced because of the tremendous pressure that rests on the general public to remain silent in order to spare themselves the vitriol and spite heaped on any dissenter who dare question or challenge the Spirit of the Age. Even to have a conviction is to be the target of spite– and those who would disagree with the direction of our country quickly feel the resolute and seething displeasure and scalding anger that rests just beneath the surface of those who have banded together to produce what is beginning to feel like the birth pangs of a new socio-moral revolution.
This band of cultural radicals have largely been successful in silencing what is becoming a spineless populace. Most Americans who would disagree with what America is becoming and with the direction she is taking have been conditioned and brainwashed with the idea that the only “unpardonable sin” is to actually have convictions. Those convictions have given way to the Ethic of Politeness where the greatest offense in our culture is actually disagreeing with someone. Many Americans have acquiesced to the point that they have almost no sense of ethics other than a painless personal morality. This personal morality is one that governs the individual who holds it, but is one that assumes there are no universal or absolute standards at all for anyone else.
It reminds one of Judges 17:6 in the Old Testament of the Bible when we were told about a society who had no king, so they did what was right “in their own eyes.” That type of near-anarchy leads to the deterioration of the moral fiber of a country that, at last, leads to corruption of society, weakening of government, lawlessness, cultural decay, broken families, and then the breakdown of that civilization. I fear that America in 2011 is, itself, slouching toward Gomorrah in ways that will lead to irreparable national damage.
Shambles and Shame
That damage has already begun. Our nation is seeing visible examples of this profound rebellion that is occurring in our time. This “rebellion” as I have called it, is a spirit of our age. It is a rejection and repudiation of good. It is a collective rejection of truth and morality that is leading to our nation in the wrong direction. It is a disregard for principles of good. And we see this damage when we look at what America is becoming before our very eyes. Nearly every sector of society is compromised. And while there is a shred of hope left, I hope Americans will, in ways big and small, begin to take back their country that has fallen and can’t seem to get up.
What Should Be Done
Remember that old truth: All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men (people) to do nothing.
So what can we do? What can you do?
Answer: Do something rather than nothing. Take back yourself. Take back your family. Take back your church. Take back your street. Take back your neighborhood. Take back your country– and restore her to the beauty she once was.