The Official Winds eNewsletter
© December 2001
The Responsibility of a Nation
of Freeborn Individuals
~written from the perspective of The Winds of the Soul~
by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)
|Until something in the here and now shakes us up, throws us curve, and breaks us away from the notion that everything remains as it is, we pretty much seem content to go with the flow of things. It seems secure to us as the notion of change is something that few of us really like. Then when something terrible happens, we tend to look beyond ourselves and assign blame elsewhere while conveniently defining ourselves as being momentarily powerless.||
It's noteworthy that in this time of uneasiness that has gripped our nation, many of us are seeking reasons for the tragedies that have befallen us. We question why and how this could have all happened. We are not so content to accept the pat and trite answers that many have offered us yesterday. We appear more determined to find better explanations to the realities which suddenly have engulfed us today. And I think this is a good thing because it shakes off the dust and disturbs our slumbering minds to rethink where we're now at and how we got here. It seems that for many of us, life can get somewhat stayed and repetitive to the point of us not looking beyond the tomorrows. Until something in the here and now shakes us up, throws us a curve, and breaks us away from the notion that everything remains as it is, we pretty much seem content to go with the flow of things. It seems secure to us, as the notion of change is something that few of us really like. Then, when something terrible happens, many of us tend to look beyond ourselves and assign blame elsewhere while conveniently defining ourselves as being momentarily powerless. Such a mindless pattern can numb our connections with life, allowing us to forget just how directly connected we really are to our circumstances, making us forget that we have power to change things, to make things better or worse, and that our actions always have real consequences.
Where does this notion of powerlessness come from? To what can we ascribe it to? To understand that our actions have impact, not only to ourselves but to others as well, should be basic to our constitution. But sadly, it isn't. Surveys taken indicate that most people feel that they are without power in their lives, that they really have little impact on anything around them. We have learned to follow the persuasions of the few who dictate that we really don't have much power in this world, and that individually, we really can't do all that much about anything. Powerless, of course, carries with it the twisted perks of being irresponsible—if you're powerless, you can't possible be responsible for anything. And therein lies, perhaps, some of its appeal.
© Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.). All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written consent of the author, except in cases of t brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
|Anne Graham Lotz gently but firmly replied, "I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection...."||
Probably no better example of this was given in an effort to understand the recent tragedies of September 11. In an interview on CBS, September 13, 2001 (later posted on the CBS website) conducted by Early Show's Jane Clayson of Anne Graham Lotz, the Reverend Billy Graham's 2nd daughter, this rational was once again expressed in Ms. Clayson's questions. In speaking about the September 11 tragedy Ms. Clayson asked, "I've heard people say—those who are religious, those who are not—if God is good, how could God let this happen? To that, you say...? Not mincing words and setting a standard above the expected and heretofore staid delivered rhetoric, Anne Graham Lotz gently but firmly replied, "I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection...."
She makes a very salient point, one which could teach us all something if we would only listen! How can we expect God to bless and protect us if we're continually demanding that He get out of our lives and leave us alone? This way of thinking represents a classic approach-avoidance conflict similarly experience by three-year-olds who want their cake and eat it too, and then tantrum if they don't get their own way. Often their egocentric world view is incorrect and underdeveloped, but they nonetheless believe themselves powerful enough to change the rules of consequence, attempting to impose their willfulness over everyone or anything around them. Similarly, listening to the rhetoric on the airwaves and in the national media of late, there are a lot of people who apparently believe that we can willingly demand the exclusion of our Creator from our nation's affairs, but then argue that a "good and loving" God is not justified in then withdrawing His protection from us. According to their understanding, God should abruptly disregard the free agency He first held sacrosanct and gave to us, and in effect change the rules of the universe, especially when it momentarily no longer suits our fancy.
Who has taught us these flawed things? In what kinds of homes and schools have we learned these erroneous lessons? Surely, such twistedness should be obvious to us all. But it's not. It has become very entrenched within the fiber of our culture and rises as an unhealthy stench from our land. Furthermore, this sort of childish and inconsistent reasoning is deemed socially and intellectually respectable, using it as basis to draw all sorts of erroneous conclusions about everything else in life. And this is very troubling....
Weaving its way through this argument is again found a tell-tale bit of self-deceit—an uncomfortably familiar piece of thinking. We can't insist on an affinity with "Life" on the one hand while demanding it cease to prevail on the other. Yet, that's exactly what many of us seem to be doing. Through our selective perceptions, we seem to have drawn a line in the sand, believing that we can act or behave in a number of ways without serious repercussions, believing that that's how reality really works. Many of us believe ourselves to be separate from the consequences of our actions, that we can get away with things if we're quick enough and smart enough. Others believe that Life is a smorgasbord, a buffet line from which we can pick and choose whatever we want and whenever we want it. Still others seek to justify this shenanigan in a religious context. The name-it and claim-it crowd, in particular, believe that if their belief/prayer is strong enough, willful enough, determined enough (and this is what they call "faith") then that which they pray for will come to pass. In other words, believe anything hard enough and long enough, not matter what it is, and God will..., no, He must..., grant the request. But of course, none of this is legitimate with the Ruler of the Universe.
|Indeed, there are some who would have us believe that God has had nothing to do with the formation of this country nor in its subsequent blessings —that there is no causality possible. And yet, "Our constitution," said John Adams (first vice-president and second president of the United States), "was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."||
So our public mind dictates that we should be able to banish God from our national conscience, but still insist that He hang around long enough to protect us from any trouble that may befall us—like He owes us something or has nothing better to do with His time. So it is that our private mind persuades us to be ashamed of Him in our public places, but demand that He understand our uncomfortableness and not be so offended because of our display of disloyalty or social awkwardness. After all, why should He believe that we should treat Him any differently than we would our friends? They don't complain, why should He? So rationalizes our public and social heart, embarrassed by our notion of believing in God when it may possibly offend others or make us look less than "their kind" of intelligent.
Should this possible offence keep us silent and passive as we allow the laws of this land to become further and further removed from the teachings of the 10 Commandments and the Bible, the very basis of our Constitution and Democracy as openly envisioned and documented by everyone of the Founding Fathers? Even though this "Democratic Experiment" was said to fail in a few short years after its inception, it has lasted for more than 200 years, and moreover, despite its flaws, this country remains the single most powerful light of individual freedom and tolerance that the world has ever seen.
However, for many years now, starting with the removal and "illegalization" of God from our schools and public functions, we have demonstrated that we have been prepared to change the very foundation of our Country, the Judeo-Christian and biblical basis of its philosophy and the very reasons for its strengths. Indeed, there are some who would have us believe that God has had nothing to do with the formation of this country nor in its subsequent blessings—that there is no causality possible.
It seems that there will always be those amongst us who can't, or won't, see the connection. Thomas Jefferson, who spent considerable time in delineating between the words of the Four Gospels and the religious dogmas which perverted them at the time, addressed this very point stating.... "We are not in a world ungoverned by the laws and the power of a Superior Agent, our efforts are in His hand, and directed by it, and He will give them their effect in His own time.... Among the most inestimable of our blessings .... is that of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed by other countries incompatible with good government, and yet proved by our experience to be its best support." In tandem with these ideas Jefferson reiterated.... "God who gave us life gave us liberty.... Can the liberties of nations be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gifts of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever." Over the past 30 years our nation has been in the throes of first diluting and then abandoning these very same convictions. Yet, we have the audacity to believe that we will remain otherwise protected and blessed.
The sacred causal connections between our Godly beliefs and the prosperity and peace of our nation have been understood by many of our Founding Fathers. Speaking further about the prospects of dissolving these intimacies John Adams (first vice-president and second president of the United States) has warned that... "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." And there is not one of the Founding Fathers who disagreed with him on this very point, including Thomas Jefferson who rarely agreed with Adams later in life.
|Noah Webster of both political and educational prominence said that... "The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from crime, vice, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the bible."||
Another man of substantial influence in the consideration of this nation's direction was Noah Webster of both political and educational prominence who argued that... "The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer—from crime, vice, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war—proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the bible."
Later still, President Abraham Lincoln calling for a national day of fasting and prayer in his day pleaded poignantly... "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."
Indeed, as historical records bear testimony, the unwillingness of this nation's educational and political institutions to give any legitimate place to God is only a relatively recent phenomenon. Interestingly, it was never the intention of even one of today's most ardent liberal institutions in America, namely Harvard University, to ever become removed from the center of religious debate and instruction. Noted here in one of Harvard's founding documents from 1643, it states: "Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning." (New England's First Fruits, in Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935], p. 434; text modernized)
Even the U.S. Supreme Court has historically weighed in on the issue of the importance of God's Sovereignty over this nation, revealing in 1892 that in its judgment... "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian . . . This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth . . . These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterance's that this is a Christian nation."
|Put another way, how reasonable would we think it if Islamic Militants were to swarm to our shores for the promised freedoms made possible by the teachings of the bible, only to attempt to make us all a part of a pure Islamic State and their perverted understanding of the Koran—which perversions ironically would then forbid the bible and its teachings to be taught here, as well as strangle the freedoms we all take for granted?||
Nonetheless, now because many believe differently than our Founding Fathers and the many wise and humble men who have sought to keep vigilant the Godly foundation of this country, we have been asked to violate the very measures and convictions that have kept us a free people. Having generously welcomed the 'teaming masses yearning to be free' as well as fostering a growing pridefulness in our people at home, we are overwhelmed with their contrarian demands that we change the country's religious décor to suit their personal needs. We have mistakenly made tolerance our only light, and thus have become unbalanced in our stewardship, allowing the ill-mannered demands of others to redirect our purpose and redefine the rules of conduct—wrongly believing that the preservation of spoiled children and their destructive habits will somehow protect the freedoms of everyone in the house.
Put another way, how reasonable would we think it if Islamic Militants were to swarm to our shores for the promised freedoms made possible by the teachings of the bible, only to attempt to make us all a part of a pure Islamic State and their perverted understanding of the Koran—which perversions ironically would then forbid the bible and its teachings to be taught here, as well as strangle the freedoms we all take for granted? Should we, too, bend to the Islamic Militant's wish to become a pure Islamic State because he/she happens to be a legal resident or citizen of this country, and thus is entitled to certain inalienable rights? Wouldn't those individual rights then wrongly supercede the strength and intention of the Constitution and the basis of the Sovereignty of the country? Wouldn't that be kind of like allowing a drug addict into our home, only then to hear his demands that hospitality insists that we not only allow him to continue his habit, but that we should supply the drugs required to be a good host?
Can we not see the obvious parallels before us? To be sure, the basis of the Sovereignty of this country has already been irresponsibly attacked by its own citizenry with much the same argument, by wolves in sheep's clothing who selfishly placed their own individual clambering above the true intentions of our Founding Fathers and the Constitution, which was crafted from Godly inspiration. We have mistakenly agreed that the self-destructive rights and ill-defined privileges of others are more important than the very basis of the government that has allowed us all to be freeborn and live here in the first place.
Indeed, so subtly clever and twisted has been their strategy, we have already been malignantly bent to their will, and did so with nary a whimper, choosing to not only protect but exalt their egocentric rights over the very reasons why this country is so strong. Drummed into a state of powerless submission and driven on by misdirected and myopic civil libertarian direction, we have thrown the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Now blinded and fearful of offending another's inappropriate rights, we have thrown away our very own strengths and treasures won by the blood of others, and crippled the very means that has guaranteed our freedom and kept us in mind with our Sovereign God. We have abandoned the very system instituted by our Sovereignty—namely a system of government founded upon the principles of God and His bible—and thereby prove willing to forfeit the very thing that has been the cause for our success and protection. See how irresponsibly adolescent our thinking has become?
It should be obvious to all reasonable and well intentioned people that our Founding Fathers
never wanted a "state" defined or supported religion, or a country wherein its citizenry could not individually and freely
worship according to its own conscience. It was on this basis alone that they called for the "separation of church and
state" and none other. Moreover, having made such a mandate it is abundantly clear that they never, ever intended for the
separation of this country from its Sovereign God!
And so we unwittingly allowed our understanding of who God "is" and our connection with Him to be forced out of our schools, out of our public places and Government, and out of our businesses and market places—just like the Islamic Militant would wish us to do, would demand us to do in preference to his own twisted and perverted ideology. Can't we see what we've done? Won't we see how we've been deceived by those already amongst us, even by those calling themselves friends and defenders of the constitution, or by any who would have us throw away the very foundation of this nation as defined by the Founding Fathers themselves?
Today, we have been given a startling wakeup call. Through the tragedies that have gripped our nation and those that have since moved us into a state of war, we are being reminded of where we've been and where we are currently. And one thing becomes patently clear. If there is now an ever more noticeable distance between the God of our Fathers and this nation today, somebody moved—and I don't think it was God.... Have we become a people who have yielded to the affections of our pride, deceitfully believing that our good fortune has stemmed from our own hands alone and not God, and thus moved beyond the intentions and capacities of our U.S. Constitution, which we will remember John Adams warned "was made only for a moral and religious people...[being] wholly inadequate to the government of any other?" Have we so changed and become so powerless of thought and numb of heart that we don't know the difference anymore?
Perhaps we need to rethink some things. Perhaps there is still time for us to learn that "individual rights" are only respectable and legitimate when they do not undermine the very basis of those freedoms remaining with us. To be sure, it should be obvious to us all that we only have the right to our "rights" when they don't threaten the foundation of the system that assures and protects the privilege of those "rights" in the first place. Our coveted freedom of speech not only applies to atheists and agnostics, but also to those that believe in the God of the Universe who gave us those rights primordially.
Furthermore, it should be obvious to all reasonable and well intentioned people that our Founding Fathers never intended the "separation of church and state" to mean what it has come to mean today. Knowing the bulk of their writings and published works, it's abundantly clear that they never, ever intended for the separation of this country from its Sovereign God! Indeed, they argued most vehemently to the contrary, knowing that without God so freely evident and present in our daily public national life (and that includes our business, political, and educational lives), our nation would be abandoned by the Creator and surely fail. Instead, they argued for the assurance that we would never have a "state" defined or "state" supported religion, nor become a nation wherein its citizenry could not individually, freely, and publically worship according to its own conscience. It was on this particular basis alone that they called for the "separation of church and state" and none other. Those who have insisted otherwise have obviously never read the Founding Father's works, and if they have, they've never understood them nor the many historical reflections made to the contrary of today's interpretation. Those who have since tortured the intentions of our Founding Fathers have likely been and remain of malicious intent, bent on removing the true foundations of this country and God from this nation—perhaps just as treacherously as those Islamic Militants who wish to impose their malignant will on everybody around them. See how these twisted webs are so similar?
Remember what Thomas Jefferson has warned: If we lose the conviction that our freedoms are from God himself, then we will soon lose those freedoms themselves. These are consequences we seem conflicted over, finding them difficult to accept. Most of us just want to dismiss Jefferson's understanding out of hand, diminishing the importance of what he said, preferring explanations that are less threatening.
Let us not be fooled or further pacified, either, by the idea that America could never become an Islamic Militant State, or something akin to it. As absurd as this prospect may now appear, it's shocking to realize that the distance between where we are today and an impending Islamic Militant State is considerable less than where we are now and the America of our Founding Fathers. We have lost a lot over the years, having lost it incrementally, carelessly, and silently, and we have come far closer in making the same kinds of mistakes as those who accepted Hitler and his Nazi regime than ever before. Like a frog who is content to remain in a pot of water on a stove—powerlessly never choosing to recognize the gradual but continuous heating of its surroundings will soon exceed the parameters for its comfortable safety, slowly falling asleep until its death—we, too, could find ourselves being lulled to sleep by the supposed comfort of our surroundings and the assurances of others that "all is well Zion."
Remember what Thomas Jefferson has warned: If we lose the conviction that our freedoms are from God himself, then we will soon lose those very freedoms themselves. These are consequences we seem conflicted over, finding them difficult to accept. Most of us just want to dismiss Jefferson's understanding out of hand, diminishing the importance of what he said, preferring explanations that are less threatening. Indeed, we want to change the rules of consequence and become disassociated from its reality. Hence, despite the ongoing dilution of our convictions, in place of God we look to our leaders for the reassurance of our safety instead, offered to us in a variety of modern flavors pompously guaranteed by our designing politicians, our entertainers, and populists of all sorts. But there's a costly price attached for such self-deception. Caught so unaware in our blundering dilemma, our personal rights have been slowly dissolved from under us while the trumpeting of "social evolution and progress" goes on and on. Just look around. It's been happening for years....
Subsequently, more and more of us are wrongly resigned to how powerless we are in life. Unwilling to stand and assert the faith of our Forefathers, we continue to unwittingly surrender our powers (i.e., our votes, our rights, our convictions, etc.) to a host of so-called experts for the sole promise of more economic safety, more health care, more government perquisites, more freebees—all so that we can be less responsible as a people and preserve any momentary comfort we may enjoy. But, this is not wise.... There should be things within us that are not for sale. Trading our freedoms and convictions for the promises of self-invested politicians and the like only sets us up for the greater fall.
Lastly, I don't think that God suddenly abandons his people without warning, or would willingly forget a nation when we've become too proud in our self-sufficiency. He would have us blessed more than we would know and would seek to awaken us to our peril before we wander too far in the wrong direction. He would warn us by allowing us to stumble with the hope that we would be astute enough to see the ramifications of our actions, learning how to turn back from destructive paths. The lessons and trials could be as simple and direct as the recent attack of our enemies, showing us how truly vulnerable our lives are without his protecting hand, calling for us to rediscover our need and dependence on His merit. These are life's connections that we cannot afford to forget or lose. The consequences are just too great. These are culpabilities that we would hope become sweet to our mouth before it is too late, before the lessons from His hand become more frequent and bitter. Let us not become those who history will report sold their tokens of freedom for a bowl of pottage, abandoned their God given responsibilities, and brought about the dissolution of a nation.
Awaken America.... Awake to the blessings of our Fathers so that our children's children will still have a country preserved in peace and prosperity to live in. Let us return to the faith of our Fathers' and to the vision and true intentions of our constitution. Let us put away our prideful contentions and self-deceit, remembering lastly as, C. S. Lewis instructs us in Mere Christianity that... "Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. . . . It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest." How sad it is that we waste away our days in such mindless and meaningless competition, believing that we are the sole promoter of our welfare. How tragic it is that we deny the One who is truly responsible for our prosperity.
Let us have the courage and responsibility of becoming true Americans again, those who acknowledge the sovereignty of the Creator of the Universe, and those who are wise enough to humbly pray for His hand to be upon us, however our hearts may see Him. Let us look to these powerful means of esteem and definition rather than from the irresponsible weakness obtained from the clueless imaginings of self-deceived minds. Let us throw off the prideful shackles that absurdly dictate our increases stem from some "superior wisdom and virtue of our own," and come again to acknowledge the blessings from His gracious hand.
Why don’t you take a moment and become part of the discussion. Share with me your perspective, questions, and comments; tell me what you think of all this by emailing me at: DrYoung@WindsoftheSoul.com.
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About the Author: Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a licensed Psychologist and Neuroscientist having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. An expert in a number of fields including Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Child/Family/Relationship Psychology, and Neuropsychology, he has also served as an expert scientific advisor, product innovator and formulator, and professional consultant to the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.