What America Needs

By Ken Weliever

During the past couple of days, I’ve been listening to politicians, political pundits, and experts from various fields discuss the “why” of the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that snuffed out the lives of 19 innocent little children.

This occurred just 10 days after a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York where 10 people were shot and killed whose only crime was going grocery shopping.

Why are there so many of these mass shootings in America?

Of course, the point is made that in some of our larger cities murder is a common occurrence every weekend. According to Chicago Police, 178 people have been killed in 2022 through the end of April.

Why? And what can we do to stop these senseless crimes?

Predictably, calls are made for stricter gun laws. Many have said we have a mental health crisis in America that needs to be addressed. Others suggest more armed security officers in schools and even allowing teachers to carry guns. Most are demanding hardening soft targets like schools.

While there is some validity to all the various reasons and suggestions given by the experts, our problems go beyond gun control, mental health, or greater security.

So, what’s the answer?

I could not help but reflect on a statement made by our 30th President Calvin Coolidge in his 1921 commencement address at Wheaton College.

“We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development, we do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more laws, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.”

We are facing a spiritual crisis in our country

The farther people get away from God and the precepts and principles of His Word, the more wicked, corrupt, and lawless they become. This can be seen all the way back to Genesis when “every intention and thoughts of man’s heart was evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). The sad state of moral putridity during the period of the Judges is encapsulated in a single statement, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

We live in a country of broken homes where there is no moral guidance from a father and a mother. Where same-sex marriage is celebrated. Where the sanctity of human life is devalued. Where 63 million babies have been murdered since 1973 when Roe v Wade became law. Where there are more pornographic websites than Mcdonald’s. Where drug and alcohol abuse is rampant. Where God is mocked. And where Christianity is ridiculed.

Add to this the incessant drumbeat over the past 50-60 years that there are no moral absolutes. That Truth is decided by what’s best for me and that your truth may not be my truth. And the humanistic view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs and public education.

Mix in these issues, the problem of insolation, loneliness, devaluing social interaction and relationships, and an inordinate amount of time looking at a screen, and here we are today.

Bill Bennett’s observation in his 1990’s best-seller, “The Book of Virtues,” is more applicable than ever. “I submit to you that the real crisis of our time is spiritual.” Furthermore, Bennett asserts “A human being without faith, without reverence for anything, is a human being morally adrift.”

There is no doubt that America needs a course correction. Of course, in an election year, we’re assured electing the right candidate will solve our problems. But as Cal Thomas once wrote in Christianity Today, “Real change comes heart by heart, not election by-election, because our primary problems are not economic and political, but moral and spiritual.”

While the tone of the post, may sound rather bleak and our problems insurmountable, there is help. And there is hope.

It begins in my heart. My home. My community. And my church. I cannot solve all the problems of the world, but I can be accountable to God. Take personal responsibility. Commit to Biblical values. And do my best each day to practice the Golden Rule and the two great commandments.

You and I may not change our country, but we can change our own little corner of the world.

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