Perhaps it was due to getting married, settling down, and the thoughts of starting a family, but in the year 2000, the moral significance of the presidential election seemed of particular importance to me. My husband and I prayed fervently for God to have mercy on our country. The fact that we had to wait six weeks for an answer seemed to add credence to the moral state of our country. We prayed our thanksgiving when George W. was finally elected.
We were soon blessed with a pregnancy. Our baby was due on September 11, 2001. Thankfully, he was born late. The news seemed all the more frightening, however, with the thought of bringing an innocent newborn into the sufferings of this world. I felt some twinges of guilt. At the same time, there was comfort in witnessing that our nation seemed to repond to 9/11 by showing its patriotism, respecting our president, and acknowledging our need for God. Church attendance around the nation increased tremendously. Yes, in time of great fear, we turned to God. President Bush took the protection and security of our nation seriously, which was appreciated by most. Sadly, though, as fears began to subside, the respect for our president and the increase in faith (which obviously had been weak), started to decline. Inversely related was the increased ranting of a number of “educated”/pseudo-intellectuals who proclaimed that our country deserved the terrorist attacks. A faux guilt complex became more prevalent than it should have. Anit-war sentiment set in relatively quickly.
Over subsequent years, as had been the case over decades’ time, our country continued to turn from God. Though a step “behind” Europe, many looked to Europe as a trend setter–the modern, sophisticated way to be. Never mind that as Europe rejected God, suicide rates increased, birth rates decreased, and abortion rates skyrocketed. Never mind that Europe was on its way to losing its identity and being taken over by radical Muslims. We became increasingly attracted to the evil and less confident of what is right and true. We felt an obligation to be “open” and to defend evil.
Moral relativism became more rampant, as did bold indoctrination in schools, selfishness, and increased depravity of the media. Many who wished to appear “good” obssessed with topics such as gender and racial equality and protection of the environment. Unfortunately, these tended to be disguises for further moral decline (e.g. reverse discrimination, a turn from natural law, and population control).
The subtleties of political correctness and moral relativism began to give way to blatant displays of atheism and hatred toward what is true and good. Like so many times in the history of mankind, many Americans wanted to play God. Also, as per history, whenever a nation tries to do so, the effects on the economy end up disasterous. When our economy did take a dive, it was all too easy to blame President Bush and the Rupublicans without doing any research on true underying causes (especially the policies of many of the Democrats). Couple the economic problems with ongoing war, and a nation in a state such as ours was simply not in shape to withstand suffering or sacrifices.
Then came the luring words of Barack Obama. His rhetoric should not have been luring at all, but to a culture that is less able and willing to distinguish between good and evil, Obama’s words were music to peoples’ ears. What self-interested person wouldn’t want to hear that their salary “should” be increased (e.g. nurses and teachers? Welfare, described as such or not, is alluring to many. The “magic” formula of “change,,” “hope,” and “courage,” along with the candidate being the correct color (to make the faux guilty feel good), and his having made poor moral choices (the attraction of evil) made him the preferred candidate for this election. Thus, it is not so hard for me to understand why women around me actually giggle when they here about Obama’s nefarious past associations. No fear there. Alarming numbers of Americans are angered and revolted by what is good, innocent, and true. “The One” who subscribes to a culture of death, who has a record consistent with socialism, and who associates with anti-American/anti-Christian people, was the obvious choice.
The problem is, for all Americans, we haven’t had to suffer the effects of an Obama presidency yet. The effects of evil won’t spare those attracted to it. Many will be disappointed when promises are broken. Words can’t fix the “all important” economy. The welfare recipients will be further enabled to be dependent, which leads to further breakdown of families. Broken families hurt the economy. Increased taxes harm the economy. Radical ideas about care of the environment, as evidenced by recent history, harm the economy.
Who will best be able to withstand the effects of our moral decline? God will leave the unfaithful to their chosen destiny, but happily, within our country there also remains a strong culture of life. The many good and faithful people will not bring themselves to extinction. In the words of Jesus himself, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower, He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does, he prunes so that it bears more fruit (John 15, 1-2).
I can’t say that I am devoid of fear, given our nation’s choice for president. The fact that we are expecting baby number four in two weeks reminds me of the original twinges of guilt I had with Baby #1. I do look forward to offering up the temporary suffering of childbirth for my family and for our country. When the suffering is over, I will see face to face another miracle–another living reason for hope–a change I can truly believe in, and an authentic reason for courage. Life will do that.