In Times Like These

Ramon Arias | May 22, 2017

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Jeremiah 6:16 (ESV)

What we are seeing is nothing bizarre or unheard of that is overtaking this nation. We are simply witnessing what other countries live day in and day out: it is the result of power hungry elites motivated by selfish interest and using the history-illiterate populace in an attempt to gain control at any cost. Even though America was born with a different vision than the one that now dominates, we must admit it is swiftly transitioning to be part of an odd world that will not end well unless it changes toward the right direction.

In times like these, it is wise to look back and assess where the detour took place from the original vision of the Founding Fathers.

In his farewell address, President George Washington warned American citizens about the importance of maintaining the unity they had achieved by avoiding blind and unconditional support to political parties. In America’s relationships with foreign nations, he cautioned about lengthy alliances.

Washington’s hope and desire was for the new nation to be guided by the principles brought by the Forefathers. Next time you hear “this is un-American” pay attention to who is saying it and know their ideological background, most importantly, don’t be intimidated by the blabbermouths who know nothing about America’s original principles, yet, are always ready to trash them.

I encourage you to read and analyze Washington’s farewell address in its entirety. I have highlighted parts of his message:

Washington's Farewell Address to the American people 1796

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes….

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands….

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened….

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices? (Emphasis added)

The fabric of America’s morality is founded on Biblical Principles, which is what Washington affirmed, and rightfully so. He admonished the nation not to disassociate the relation between obedience to Almighty God’s rules of morality that lead to permanent happiness and that we would do well to promote that as our primary importance. America’s greatness depends upon Biblical morality; failure to observe it opens the door to all the vices of human behavior.

“United we stand, divide we fall,” the question is, what ideas unite? George Washington made them very clear.

Can the nation be united on the principles of her origins dating back before the War of Independence? The answer is subject to the present generation’s ability to assess the generational damages to national unity, which is the outcome of opposing ideologies whether political, religious or anything else. We have a media that lost the presidential election in 2016 and is determined to destroy the present administration. The two primary political parties, for the most part, have a different view of what America should be, and society remains divided as it was from the very beginning of her federal government experiment. 

Now, the question for America remains, as it was in the times of the prophet Jeremiah when he warned renegade Israel; are we smart enough to look back into history and retake the good old ways and walk in them and find true social stability or will we refuse? There lies the future of America.