By Jug Varner
Following more than 250 years of dynamic growth and change in an America that has ascended as the world's greatest military power, small seams in its great democratic dike have begun to show signs of wear that could deteriorate into major cracks difficult to stem or repair.
Historians perhaps will attribute the pivotal eras of this insidious transformation to a number of subtle events that grew with time into epic proportions. While none of these alone may have seemed of great consequence then, their culmination along with other such events brought leaks to the dike that could eventually become floodtides of destruction.
While not singularly responsible, each event has altered customs and traditions of our society, changing America from predominately a God Loving to an increasingly Godless nation.
Could these following events be harbingers of things to come?
- Decline in educational values
- Decline in spiritual values
- Drug addiction
- Self love and lack of respect for others
- Unsportsmanship, and sports adulation
- Feminism, political correctness, the liberal mainstream media, and
- Politics that increasingly limit government by, for, or of “the people”
The United States, founded on the principles of Christian faith by those fleeing religious persecution, has become a melting pot of world religions. God was evident in its Bill of Rights, Constitution, money, federal buildings, schools, homes and hearts of its people. In many communities, churches became the dominant social centers.
But in recent years churches and church attendance has greatly declined. Socialist forces under the guise of “true democracy” and “separation of church and state” made inroads to eliminate prayer in public schools — a major breakthrough event that is leading to further assaults to eliminate God totally from our national foundation.
Easing of requirements in basic education at all levels, along with an ultra liberal approach to individual accountability and responsibility, continue to lower America's educational standards. At cross-swords with these do-gooders now in charge stand a small cadre of well-balanced educators as the only hope for the future quality of American education; but it is small hope, indeed.
The youth rebellion of the 1960s by so-called Hippies and Flower Children opened eventual public acceptance of all forms of debilitating drug use. The resultant effect has not only endangered health, but loosened morals to an alarming degree.
Other forms of drugs now flood the open market in the name of increased health and longevity for obese and diet conscience Americans. Yet, despite this rash of physical fitness concepts, obesity has more than doubled since 1990 and heart disease became the number one killer in 2002.
The uses of legal and illegal drugs designed to build physical specimens of high school, college and professional athletes are eliminating participation of average or smaller-sized people in major competitive team sports.
Coupled with a national adulation of sporting events, multimillion-dollar salaries now dominate all major sports activities, creating a new concept of “hero worship.”
The intense desire to win at any cost by management, coaches, players and rabid fans, is eroding the time-honored principles of fair play and true sportsmanship both on and off the field. And, for younger kids, it is “monkey see, monkey do.”
Medical science has made great strides in exotic equipment and procedures but rising costs for medicine, treatment, and hospital stay has left unprotected many citizens who no longer can afford such costs nor the expensive medical insurance premiums to supplement them.
Once whispered about in privacy, open homosexuality officially became mainstream in America by the turn of the 20th Century when several state assemblies considered or passed laws legalizing same-sex intermarriages.
Fueled by television, movies, literature and other venues, decadence and rampant immorality continue to blossom and grow, while once “heroic” Hollywood became the cesspool capitol of the arts and misguided politics.
There was a time in America when the majority believed and adhered to such concepts as Love Thy Neighbor… Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You… To Thine Own Self Be True. Now such old-fashioned ideals are often the subject of ridicule. Not everyone has lost sight of right principles and ideals, and many still strive for this higher road. Unfortunately, their numbers seem to be shrinking.
Always a questionable undertaking for those who believe in fair play, justice, and putting the best interests of the nation ahead of personal ambition, politics is now so expensive that ordinary citizens cannot afford to run for office.
With the “fat cats” in charge, less emphasis seems placed on laws for the general good of the nation than the superfluous pork barrel projects that help reelect mediocre politicians. Big-money lobbyists control more votes than do constituents. The rich get richer as government “by the people” gets poorer.
The other evil side of the political process, known as dirty politics, has become rampant in all levels of government, with false accusations and character assassinations of opponents increasing in blatancy and incredibility.
Voter apathy and greatly reduced turnouts for many elections leave mainly the radical minorities on both sides of the question to determine the outcome.
In such cases, the “majority” that rules is in acuality a minority of the voters.
Corruption by CEOs and other corporate executives has lately become frequent headline events on the national scene. Is there nothing left to astonish the American public?
Despite the eight-year immoral disgrace perpetrated on America by President Bill Clinton while in office, former First Lady (some say “co-President”) Hillary Rodham Clinton became a Senator from New York soon after her brief qualification as a first-time resident there. That election alone speaks volumes about the lowering of the morality bar among American voters.
What will be the fate of America? Will it be typical of the rise and fall of great nations before it? In his The Fate of Empires, British General Sir John Glubb wrote:
“The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be: The Age of Pioneers. The Age of Conquests, The Age of Commerce, The Age of Affluence, The Age of Intellect, and The Age of Decadence.
“Decadence is marked by: Defensiveness, Pessimism, Materialism, Frivolity, An influx of Foreigners, The Welfare State, and A Weakening of Religion.
“Decadence is due to: Too long a period of Wealth and Power, Selfishness, Love of Money, and the Loss of a Sense of Duty.”
For a brief time after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, most Americans rekindled a spirit of patriotism to a degree not seen since WWII. The vast majority got behind our president, our government, and our armed forces, and the war against terrorism.
It didn't take long, however, before political opponents and the liberal press were back to “politics as usual” which seems to have an unstoppable downward spiral of poor quality of content.
Thanks to them, an impatient nation is losing its fervor and understanding for the long haul necessary to overcome the unrelenting force of terrorism. Perhaps only another national disaster can awaken them.
We can only hope that a change in philosophy of our future generations will cause the pendulum to swing back to God and Country before the floodtides of decadence wash away this great nation like it did to those nations in ages past.