“Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
I just turned off the television after watching the House of Representatives vote 219-212 to approve the federal takeover of health insurance in the United States. The bill passed by three votes, done in by the betrayal of Representative Bart Stupak and his supposedly pro-life allies.
My first response after watching the vote was to share the bad news with my wife and walk outside our home and cry.
Is the America that I have known and loved gone forever?
As I sobbed in the rain and darkness outside my home, I uttered a prayer of repentance and faith to the God of the Universe who certainly motivated and shared in my weeping. He doesn’t abandon nations to judgement lightly–but he is also just to those who turn away from his principles and ways. I’m afraid that very dark days could lie ahead.
I’ll never forget the time and date of America’s demise: 10:45 pm (EDT) on March 21, 2010. This is a day of infamy and dread. Today, the misguided leaders of the Democratic Party of the United States may have signed the death knell of American freedom.
After 234 years, the “American experiment in liberty” is truly in jeopardy and the end of our historical exceptionalism may be at stake. It didn’t happen because of invading armies, terrorism, or global events. Our elected officials–thumbing their noses at the will of the majority of the American people–fired the shots that killed the country. It’s a tragic “murder” of a nation by its own leaders–and those of us that elected them to office.
The health care vote and legislative gyrations were the most devious and corrupt political process I have ever seen on American soil.
Minority leader John Boehner was the lone highlight of the evening. He thundered to a filled-to-capacity House Chamber that “there will be no turning back” from this health care power grab and that “This is the last straw in going against the will of the American people.” Rising to the pitch of a television evangelist, he shouted to his fellow Congressmen “Shame on us! Shame on us.” At one point he demanded that the acting speaker require the House members to “stand up, look the American in the eye, and cast their vote.” The speaker refused his question. When he concluded, the Republican side of the aisle gave him the longest standing ovation I have ever seen in a policy debate.
Then Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to the podium. In one statement after another she misled the American people: “This is an American proposal that will create great opportunities and investments in health care and education.” She had the audacity to intone that through this shameless process and monstrous government entitlement that “the entrepreneurial spirit will be unleashed in America.” She also re-iterated the new Democratic based, not God-given concept that “health care is a right, not a privilege.” I almost choked when she ended with this untruth: “We are restoring the American dream.” And she revealed her Progressive philosophical allegiance with these words, “This is progress for the American people.”
No–they are destroying it. The America dream and the biblical concept of progress is faith in God, self-governing morality, and freedom–which is the fruit of the first two. We are also a very generous and compassionate nation–but that is the primary role of families, churches and voluntary institutions.
After tonight’s infamous vote, we are no longer America–a free nation of self-governing citizens. Because of 219 Democratic Congressmen, we have crossed the Rubicon into a society that will be controlled by an all powerful State. 1984’s Big Brother Society has arrived. Prior to this vote, the Federal Government controlled about 35% of the American economy. The health care bill is cataclysmic, because it will add another sixteen percent control of the American economy to the Feds–tipping us over the brink of 50%. A nation that is majority controlled by its government is no longer free. We have taken the road of the failed societies and economies of Europe, and our fall will probably hasten a global meltdown of liberty and prosperity.
Why? Because though America was once a light of freedom to the world (think Statue of Liberty)–that light is now going out. The American dream of faith in God, morality, limited government, personal responsibility, and individual freedom is dying.
Now you know why the Tea Party movement exploded last year and why scores of thousands of people showed up in the Washington, D.C. this weekend to tell their legislators to reject the health care bill. This was not just another piece of social legislation. The people knew this was the tipping point. If we lost this battle, the nation that we love could be in great danger.
Of course, in the same way that most individual human deaths are not sudden or related to one particular circumstance, so the death of our nation didn’t come through one ominous vote. America has been dying for some time. I have been fearful for the future of our nation since 1975 when I first studied why nations rise and fall and why God abandons them to judgment. I wrote my first book 1n 1976 to cry out for an American renewal. We saw one in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan. In fact, in the past thirty-five years there have been several seasons of renewal and times of decline.
This cycle of revival and declension was common in the history of Israel over hundreds of years. In some generations, the nation would turn to God and live out his principles and commandments and great blessing and renewal would come (such as under kings David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hekekiah and Josiah). In other generations, the nation would turn from its faith & freedom and experience severe decline and even partial destruction (as under kings like Rehoboam, Athaliah, and Mannaseh).
But there came a time when the nation of Israel reached the tipping point–and was facing terminal consequences for its sins. The end for Israel came in 586 BC when the nation crumbled and was destroyed by the Babylonians.
For the first time in my life, I wonder if we have reached that moment in America.
As I was pondering this reality today, I thought of the recent death of Michael Jackson who died on June 25, 2009. Yes, his death took place on one day–but there were many choices in his life that hastened or led to the final cessation of life. Certainly his moral choices led to drug problems and broken relationships that started the “dying process.” Near the end of his life, he was taking so many different medications and living such a bizarre lifestyle that many saw the end coming. The final tipping point came when his personal doctor gave him the drug Prophenol on top of all the others drugs and years of abuse. It put him to sleep and he never woke up.
America has been on the same path of destruction for many decades. Some of the “bad drugs and choices” along the way include:
- FDR’s great society that got us hooked on government as the provider of our needs and overall welfare.
- The youth rebellion of the sixties–symbolized by Woodstock held August 15-18, 1969–which saw immorality main streamed, and faith and authority questioned and rejected.
- Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs which gave us the nearly bankrupt Medicare and then Medicaid programs–warming the American public to “rights” of health care and demanding “entitlements.” Our forefathers never knew the meaning of the word.
- Richard Nixon’s taking us off the gold standard in 1972 began the free-fall of the dollar and the massive inflation and deficit spending that has accompanied the past forty years.
- The Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 1973 began the systematic slaughter of innocent children in this nation that now numbers 45 million and counting. Congressman Steve King of Iowa recently commented that the false philosophy behind abortion, that a “woman has a right to her own body” is totally being trampled by the healthcare bill which forces every American, against their will, to provide health care for “their body.” So much for freedom of choice.
- The destruction of the family in the eighties and nineties, and now the homosexual push to destroy traditional marriage in the 21st century.
- The 911 attack that revealed our vulnerability to our enemies and should have given us pause to examine whether we still merited the protection and blessings of God.
- Each one of us being responsible for our sins and failure to love and protect liberty.
Yes, the America dream has been slowly dying for decades, and you and I are a part of it. But I fear that on March 21, 2010, a lethal cocktail of the government takeover of one-sixth of our economy has put us to sleep and may never allow us to wake up.
Many of you may think I’m being extreme. I desperately hope that you are right.
But I soberly believe that on March 21, 2010 America entered very dangerous and uncharted territory. We can’t live in denial about the seriousness of our national state. The first step of courage is brutal honesty.
But that’s not the end of the story–it’s the beginning of the next chapter. We don’t know if this is a time of civilizational collapse, the beginning of a fresh wave of renewal, the beginning of the Last Days on earth, or a number of other scenarios. Only God knows the future.
In my next column I will discuss the hope of an American revival and resurrection from the dead–and what that resurrection may require of us.