There is little doubt that morality and consciousness in America have steeply declined over the past four decades. A recent Gallup poll reveals that 45% of those surveyed describe morality in the United States as “poor” while only 15% say that morality is “good” or “excellent.”[i] One does not have to look far to see that America has a declining moral standard that it is only getting worse.
But could it be possible that the current political and economic hardships we are facing as a nation are directly linked to our moral condition?
According to George Washington, the answer is yes! During his inaugural address, Washington clearly communicated which foundation the United States would be built upon, saying, “The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.” He emphasized his point of a moral standard being foundational in the nation, adding, “the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” [ii]
Have we as a nation disregarded the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained? Have we long been chipping away at our own country’s foundation by living immoral lifestyles?
John Adams, our second president, stated, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
If President Adams is correct in his statement and Gallup is correct in their poll numbers, then have we become a nation of people who are simply not moral enough to live in a self-governing society like the United States?
Perhaps we need to ask the question, “If we cannot turn the tide of morality in this country, will we eventually cease to exist?
General Douglas MacArthur made an interesting observation. He said, “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 to ultimate national disaster.”[iii]
Though General MacArthur is not a saint, historian or theologian; his observation remains without exception.
We must find our moral compass and we must find it quick!
But what is our moral compass and when did we lose our way?
Those who have unbiasedly studied this topic go back to 1962 when the United States court system began to take prayer and Bible reading out of our public schools. For almost 2oo years, the foundations of the christian faith was central and fundamental to all American citizens, even those who were part of a different religious belief. The practice of morality was taught to American children using the Ten Commandments and other Scritpure as its guide. Those of other faiths, along with the general population at-large, accepted these teachings because they understood that the Biblical moral code was foundational to our Republic and that the teachings were beneficial for the good of every community.
All one has to do who is intellectually honest, is to look at the negative statistics our country has suffered since 1962 in categories such as teen pregnancy, rape, murder, sexually transmitted diseases, unwed mothers, fatherless homes, college entrance exam scores, etc. It is not difficult to see the obvious negative effects that we have endured.
Today, after a few generations have passed without a moral code or upbringing, we reap the consequences of the poor decisions made in 1962 and beyond. The question now is when or what will Americans do to find her moral compass again? Will we return to the God of the Bible in spite of that decision being politically incorrect or will we continue to wallow in depravity as we destroy our nation and ourselves? may God have mercy as we answer that question!