Spanish/American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) left two quotes that seem to sum up quite well the current state of affairs in the United States of America. They are: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, and, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
The problem with most so-called “progressives” (I still call them liberals) is that they don’t seem to believe those two observations by Santayana. They seem to live in some kind of dream world where mankind is “progressive” and becoming something he is not–peaceful, wise, loving, generous. Yes, you can find some people like that, especially among Christians, but that is not the vast majority in the world. The majority of people in this country no longer are Christian, they are some kind of hybrid humanists/atheists/socialists who don’t have much grounding in history or common sense, not to mention the Word of God. That was taken out of schools. They also don’t act much like the “progressive” myth of people released from the restraints of religion and God.
I had occasion to peruse a book of quotations recently and was impressed to find many that fit the circumstances in which the United States finds itself so well that it’s obvious no one on the left is paying attention. For example Edward Gibbon, author of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” attributed that fall to:
1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace.
3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.
5. The decay of religion, faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.
Obviously every one of those five fit the U.S. exactly today. The last note, the decline of religion, in our case Christianity the same as it also was at the time of the fall of the Roman empire, also brings to mind the writing of Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville after he visited America in 1831. He said: “I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system and in her institutions of higher learning and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”
America ceased to be good when large portions of academia became socialist and began attacking the church and other foundations of democracy. America ceased to be good within my lifetime, which spans from the end of World War II until today. The real leftward/humanist lurch began in the 1960s and has enfeebled our institutions of education, hijacked Hollywood to make it a cesspool of evil, and driven churches out of public life and inward to become mere shadows of their former selves. America ceased to be “great” during that same period.
American colonists, before the revolution against England, grew in their resilience and confidence in God, to the point where one Crown-appointed governor wrote of the condition to the Board of Trade back in England: “If you ask an American who is his master, he will tell you he has none, nor any governor, but Jesus Christ.” The Committees of Correspondence soon began sounding the cry across the colonies: “No King but King Jesus!”
Gen. Omar Bradley said, “America today is running on the momentum of a Godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America.” We have reached that point. Bradley also said, “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”
John Quincy Adams wrote, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
No less than George Washington wrote; “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” His successor, John Adams, said: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
Our democracy is in the process of committing that suicide. We have a government of money and special interests–most of them far-left special interests–not of the people. The media of television and movies have given people the circuses–ever more decadent and vile ones–and Congress has provided the bread in terms of cradle-to-grave handouts.
All the great thinkers of the past warned us against these days in which we find ourselves. What is the average, responsible, Christian citizen to do? Hunker down, it’s going to get a lot worse, soon.