Has God Given America


This nation has breathed a collective sigh of relief as our troubled democracy has managed to traverse a very contentious and divisive presidential election.  Our greatest fears blessedly were not realized.  No detonation of a radioactive device, no airliners crashed, no release of chemical or biological weapons.  Sure, some may think the outcome of the election is a disaster, but that’s subjective.  Modern politics, replete with lawyers, lobbyists, powerful special interest groups and the need for tens of millions of dollars to campaign simply will not allow for a leader who would endeavor to truly solve many of the nation’s intractable problems ever to be elected.  If such a man could be elected, never mind his opponents, members of his own party would dare not allow him to succeed!


            Evidence to support the above statement is everywhere.  Look at the border situation. Politicians simply don’t dare protect our borders, even though the U.S. Constitution states that providing secure borders is the government’s single highest priority!  Modern political realities prevent this most basic of responsibilities from being carried out.  Captured al Quaeda have admitted that the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction into the U.S. via Mexico is a top priority.  And yet America’s borders, with the exception of widely scattered checkpoints, are easily penetrable as proven by the flood of illegal immigrants.  It has been going on so long that it has made serious policing of the borders politically impossible!  You would think President Bush, having been elected to a second and final term, would take dramatic steps to seal the borders.  But there is no sign that he plans to spend political capital that way.


            Chances are you’ve seen recent news that the Pentagon is having to disassociate itself from the Boy Scouts, no longer allowing them to conduct activities on military bases.  This of course, because the ACLU has singled out the Boy Scouts of America for numerous legal actions because of their foundational creed which recognizes GOD!  Secular interests appear so determined to kick every oblique reference to God out of every official nook and cranny, they are willing to pursue the Boy Scouts of America from sea to shining sea! 


            There’s been trouble over a prohibition against “gay” scout masters.  The Boy Scouts were denied traditional access to a park in San Diego, and now it looks as though even the Pentagon is prepared to sever ties with the Scouts so they won’t have to go head to head in a legal battle with the ACLU.  Given the recent proclivities of many federal judges, it may well have been a lost cause in any event. 


            The whole thing gets almost humorous, sometimes.  Recently, Los Angeles County chose to remove a small cross from the county seal rather than engage in expensive, time consuming litigation.  It’s hard to see how removing the small icon from among the other images furthers the goal of removing belief in God from all aspects of government.   While mainstream Christianity shows reverence for the cross, a rudimentary study will show that the symbol long pre-dates the crucifixion of Christ, was in use in the pagan cultures of Phoenicians, Egyptians, and pre-Christian Rome.  Anyway, it’s hard to see what actually has been accomplished in the change to the L.A. County seal.  Incidentally, the change in the seal also saw the removal of the goddess Pomona, replaced by the image of a Native American goddess Nautsiti, the mythical daughter of the sun god of the Keresan Pueblo tribe...  Now we’re getting somewhere!


            But wait!  It gets even sillier.  A federal judge has had to get involved in the appearance of a dozen plastic pink flamingos in Santa hats on the lawn in front of Cranston City Hall. (Maryland, wouldn’t you know.)  Seems the display was something of a ruse, and it worked.  The ACLU brought suit.  The story is too convoluted to try to re-tell entirely, it was carried by the AP Nov. 16, “Holiday Display in Cranston...” 


            Our founding fathers never intended that all mention of the creator God be banished from every aspect of every institution of government.  Their writings, speeches and declarations make it abundantly clear that they gave credit, honor and thanksgiving to the creator God that this nation was able to be founded and survive in the first place!  The acknowledgments of God are so deeply embedded in the foundation of the United States, try as they might, neither academics nor activist judges will ever succeed in expunging His recognition.  Have a look at the Declaration of Independence!  The intellectuals can ignore God.  They can refuse to educate our disaffected youth as to how this great nation (they take so for granted) came to be.  But what a tragic loss for the nation’s youth to be denied a recognition and understanding of the very precepts that made this nation possible.  But, according to the news, “separation of Church and State” dogma demands that this information not be taught in government funded schools. Check out the breaking news of foundational US documents being banned from distribution to 5th-graders in a San Francisco school district.


            Looking back on George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, you’ll find it goes far beyond simple acknowledgment of a “higher power” or “Divine Providence.”  And, as the document shows, the proclamation was recommended by both the House and Senate.  The language is absolutely beautiful, as are the sentiments.  Notice how it, almost as a prayer, asks forgiveness for personal and national sins, and goes on to ask for peace, prosperity and protection, even for other nations  “(especially such as have shown kindness to us),” asks that they be blessed with good governments, “to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.” (Little did the founders know where the scientific community would take us philosophically!)


            The words of George Washington carry enormous portent even in terms of what is happening in the world now, particularly when you look at where we’re headed in the wake of the recent fallout with Europe; how all the major players in the United Nations have turned against the U.S.; how they’ve been mired in the corruption of the “Oil for Food” scandal that threatens the credibility of the UN and all the governments (France, Germany, Russia, to name a few) that opposed America in an effort to protect and conceal their under-the-table (illegal according to their own “sanctions”) commerce with Saddam.  The kick-back profits from those corrupt dealings are believed even now to be funding the terrorists and “insurgents” killing Americans and Iraqi’s who are trying heroically to bring civility to that brutalized country. 

            In the context of the quote from George Washington above, and the prospect for fallout from the current events cited in the last paragraph, consider what God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3.  “And I will make of thee a great nation...And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”   As you look back over the sentiments of our founders, and focus on recent history, the correlation is pretty near inescapable, is it not?  Cursing America has become mighty fashionable of late, even among some Americans!   Any chance those promises might still apply?  Stay tuned!


            It is indisputable that our most basic of laws derive from the Ten Commandments.  Nevertheless, we’ve seen judges in various states rule that plaques, posters and engravings displaying those commandments be removed from government property.


            The courts succeeded decades ago getting God out of the classroom, or so they thought.  True science, they insisted, superseded any need for a creator designer in nature.  A chimp with a typewriter, given enough time, (tens of millions of years, maybe) eventually would produce a perfect thirty-two-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.   They still teach this stuff to boggle young minds into accepting Darwin’s theory of Evolution!  The academic community is way too intelligent (or is it self-important?) to be acknowledging some intellect greater than their own!  So we’ve arrived at the point in American culture and politics where, according to the really intelligent, if you believe in God, you’re simply a moron.  That notion is not universal. But it is predominant among some of the most influential voices in society, namely university professors and journalists.


            My Dad, Garner Ted Armstrong took on the theory of evolution regularly throughout his long career.  The reason?  It is the intellectual cop-out for anyone who wants to reject God and His laws. How can they reject laws of nature which govern the universe, our solar system and the earth itself which maintains the myriad delicate balances which sustain our very lives?  They’re so complex and intricate that science is hard-put to explain how everything works, let alone how all the finely balanced immutable forces came into being.  Yet, here the intellectuals sit, held firmly in their seats by gravity, rotating on planet earth at precisely the right distance from the sun, breathing oxygen found on no other planet, taking advantage of all the miraculous symbiotic processes which sustain our fragile lives, sneering at the concept of God, and holding all who believe in Him beneath contempt! 


            Consider the recent quote from the New York Times columnist Gary Wills, “Can a people that believes more fervently in the virgin birth than in evolution still be called an enlightened nation?”  There’s surely plenty with which any educated person can take issue among the myriad “ministries” out there, all vying for contributions in ways which should make all Sunday morning TV viewers cringe.  But the true story of the conception and birth of Jesus Christ is not one of them!  Sure, you see the crocodile tears and running mascara, the bogus faith healings, the emotional spectacles, the fund-raising telethons complete with tote boards. It’s enough to make you sick all right.  And, it’s easy to see why any self-respecting syndicated columnist would feel utter disdain. 


            But the true lessons of the Bible, of Jesus and His teachings have very little if anything to do with what’s going on in mainstream religion!  One would hope, whether a commentator is venting his spleen over the outcome of an election or whatever, he would consider a little more carefully what and Whom he’s criticizing just in case


            Can they not see the difference? Obviously not.  They’d rather hang their hat on the regularly altered theory Darwin conjured up, and judge God by the antics they see performed by the charlatans of religion.  And the antics are often an appeal to emotion, not reason.  Organized religion seems to have a fair amount in common with politics.  What will appeal to the masses? Certainly not a message preaching obedience to the laws of God!  The plain lessons of the Bible have been rejected in favor of popular beliefs requiring no commitment to obey anything.  Most people’s “religious practices” consist of participation in the pagan customs which have been passed down, and are so ardently promoted not only by the churches, but by commercial interests.


            Has God extended His divine protection to this nation, in spite of everything?  Is it due to the fact that a majority aren’t prepared to see the institution of marriage perverted?  Is it because a relatively few are willing to obey His laws and precepts and are praying fervently for His intervention and protection?  It’s hard not to remember the conversations with Abraham prior to the time Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and wonder if it has any application today. 


            It would behoove all who believe in God, and who believe the Bible is His Word to have a look back into that Word and see just what brings about His blessings, or on the other hand, cursings.  A reading of Deuteronomy 11, where Moses instructed Israel what would bring miraculous blessings and protection, or death and destruction, reveals some passages which can well be applied. 


            The United States of America was founded by a group of men who not only believed in God, but feared Him.  Benjamin Franklin wrote the following in November of 1747.  “May the God of Wisdom, Strength, and Power, the Lord of the Armies of Israel, inspire us with prudence in this time of danger; take away from us all the seeds of contention and division, and unite the hearts and counsels of all of us, of whatever sect or nation in one spirit.  May He give us strength and resolution to amend our lives, and remove from among us every thing that is displeasing to Him; afford us His most gracious protection, confound the designs of our enemies, and give peace in all our borders.” Can you imagine a modern politician making so bold a statement?


            In the context of this article, it is fitting to include the following quote from a brochure my Dad published not all that long ago.  “The point is, our nation cheerfully admits, nay, boasts, that we are NOT a commandment-keeping nation!  Those who should be in the forefront of teaching God’s laws; God’s WAY OF LIFE, are instead the principal attackers of His laws.  God says to us, ‘And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.


            "‘The priests said not, Where is the Lord? And they that handle the law knew me not; the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit."


            "‘Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead’ (Jeremiah 2:7-9)."


           "He is doing precisely that! Today, God is pleading with the children’s children— with the latter-day generations of those who rejected His laws in the past!  Today, He pleads with YOU, and with every person to heed His call."


            The Garner Ted Armstrong television program is going forward, still crying aloud, sparing not.  As we wade through another Christmas stampede of commercialism in mock recognition of Jesus’ birth, that clear voice is showing the difference between participation in the sentimental but transparent “spirit of the holidays” (and don’t forget your credit card), which truly constitutes an insult to God, contrasting that with the simple obedience to His immutable laws which would guarantee true peace, prosperity and protection.


            America is still intact, but faces enormous odds in the short and long term.  We’ve enjoyed an environment of peace and prosperity unique in the annals of history.  We can only do our utmost individually and collectively to seek God’s favor in this dangerous phase of human history, and spread His truth as far and wide as we possibly can.


   Mark Armstrong