As I attempt to follow the R-rated activities of the US presidential elections, I find myself asking, 'How did they get to this?' How can students charged with this campaign as a study subject, emerge confident or assured of their future? Will either candidate deliver anything other than their ego to the White House?
The flood of filth offered as news and reports by a media which openly champions one or the other candidate, leaves everyone in need of a long, hot, soapy shower. Sad to say, there appears to be an obvious decline in the unity of the United States.
Leaks and social media have changed society forever. What was once considered 'private' is now dirty washing displayed for the titillation and gossip-fodder of all. Stories of shame and embarrassment rate more highly than important issues like employment, medical health, terrorism, the economy and abortion.
Edward Gibbon author of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" wrote: "The five marks of the Roman decaying culture – concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth; obsession with sex and perversions of sex; Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original; Widening disparity between the very rich and very poor; Increased demand to live off the state."
Those five marks are obvious in our western society today and specifically they are corrupting the elusive American dream.
The American Mind
Alan Bloom was a professor of social thought at the University of Chicago. In 1987 Bloom wrote a best seller 'The Closing of the American Mind'. He warned of generational changes, he observed thirty years ago. He referred specifically to the absence of religion. "As the respect for the Sacred – the latest fad – has soared, real religion and knowledge of the Bible have diminished to the vanishing point."
He highlighted: "Moses and the Tablets of the Law, Jesus and His preaching of brotherly love, had an imaginative existence. Attending Church or Synagogue, praying at the table, were a way of life, inseparable from the moral education that was supposed to be the family's responsibility in this democracy."
He grieved the fallen standards of family life. "People sup together, travel together, but they do not think together," he wrote.
Bloom included a chapter on "Books." Generations-passed arrived at school with valuable book knowledge and experience. Today many in the youth culture gain their experience from TV shows or violent, distracting games.
It is dangerous to take the national temperature from the media. All journalists and their editors are rushing to headline the dirt and gossip. Very few feel-good stories make the cut because it is the gossip that sells. But no one can avoid the racial tension in America today. The police and the community are warring factions. In some areas citizens must feel insecure walking the neighbourhood and police must be concerned for their own safety every day. It is not the most uplifting situation.
The Church must rise up and fill the void. The Bible makes it very clear: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs chapter 34, verse 34).
Alexis de Tocqueville, the author of Democracy of America wrote: "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce - and it was not there . . . 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 she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."
On his facebook page Franklin Graham asked: 'What Kind of Country will we leave Behind for our Children and Grandchildren." He addressed comments made by the candidates in the second presidential debate. "Our country isn't great because we are good. America is great because God has blessed it." He undertook a 50-state Decision America Tour to hold prayer rallies across the nation. "I hope you will join me as we pray for our nation and our future," he wrote.
There are many who like to proclaim America to be a 'superpower' and often it seems they believe it is their divine right. But that is not true. Banning God and the Bible is not the way to His favor for anyone.
In 1987 Alan Bloom wrote: "This is the American moment in world history, the one for which we shall forever be judged." Are we witnessing the fruit of his warning from thirty years ago. There is still time to repent and restore the righteousness God deserves.
There is very clear biblical advice. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2<sup>nd Chronicles, chapter 7, verse 14)
Some may have a another idea, but it wont work!
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html