"These are the times that try men's souls."
Thomas Paine wrote that during the darkest hours of the American Revolution. His pamphlet, "The Crisis" was read widely throughout the newly christened United States and his words helped spur the people to persevere against the tyrants they were attempting to overthrow.
I believe with all my heart that our nation is in just as big a crisis today, but it is one of our own doing. We have allowed greed and materialism and our own desires to take over society. We have embraced evil. We are following in the footsteps of the Greeks and Romans before us and we are allowing the greatest nation in the history of the world -- and the last great hope for humanity -- to crumble around us.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Laugh if you will. Call me a demagogue and a radical and insult my intelligence, but if we don't do something to turn things around our nation, as we know it, will not stand. If you live another decade or so, you will come to realize that I was right, even if you will not admit it, even to yourself.
John Wesley once wrote, "What one generation tolerates, the next will embrace." Wesley was generally considered to be a great preacher and not a prophet, but look around at how our country has changed in the last 30 years or so and you will realize that, at least in this instance, he was both.
Speaking of prophecy, Alexis de Tocqueville, the great French philosopher who devoted a large part of his adult life living in and observing American democracy, wrote on the subject, "It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy."
Can you honestly tell me that we are not witnessing that today? Tocqueville also wrote, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Tell me we are not there.
Worst of all, however, is that we, as a nation, are turning away from God. The Democratic Party platform that was unveiled in Charlotte this week, for the first time in the history of Democratic platforms, made no mention of the Almighty. When the party was called on it, their leaders insisted it was an oversight and added one phrase mentioning God. One. And when that change in the platform was raised in a voice vote a clear two-thirds of the delegates on hand voted against it.
When the platform leader announced, nonetheless, that the motion had passed, his statement was booed loudly by the majority of delegates that had actually voted against it. In effect, God was booed at a national party convention in the United States of America. How many of us thought we'd live to see that day? I didn't.
At the same convention, the party loudly announced its support of abortion on demand, disguised under the mantle of "women's rights" and homosexual marriage, disguised under the cloak of "civil rights." Marriage is not a civil institution, it is ordained by God.
Oh, that's right. The Democratic Party didn't want to recognize God, did they?
Of course people will twist the phrase "separation of church and state" around so people who have no idea what Jefferson meant by that phrase will believe that God was never intended to be a part of our heritage. They will think the Democrats are following proper decorum.
Our nation's birth certificate is the Declaration of Independence, written by the same Jefferson who coined the "separation" phrase. Let those who have ears hear.
"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them ... "
Nature's God. God Almighty. Creator of the universe. First sentence.
Second paragraph. " ... they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Creator. Capitol C. God Almighty.
"We therefore ... appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World ... with a firm reliance on Divine Providence ... "
God is omnipresent in the Declaration of Independence, just as He is in our lives, whether we like it or not.
Here is another bit of prophecy, a promise that offers us real hope.
"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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Those are the words of God. I've never known God to go back on a campaign promise yet.
Barack Obama once famously said, "America is no longer a Christian nation." The folks who met in Charlotte this week seem determined to prove him right. I pray we can prove him wrong in November.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.