Written history is not a totally objective archive for it is mostly written by sycophants, the misguided, the ill informed, the apologist, the powerful, the dominant brute, the imperialist, the ingratiating academic, the self-deluding patriot, the frightened scholar, the self-promoting wannabe or the lying hypocrite masquerading as historian. Most such histories are not worth the paper they are written on and should be filed under fiction because they are mostly the compilation of subjective twaddle meant to deceive, an accumulation of information cherry-picked and bias to support some untenable assumption or the rewriting of history to suit political or national objectives by whitewashing and sanitizing the past or occasionally correcting it. To understand anything that happened in the past you have to, is rationally compelled to seek information from opposing forces and countervailing viewpoints and carefully do your own analysis and come to your own conclusion. You only have to look at the history of the American Civil War of 1861-65 to see exactly and quintessentially my point.
Read the history of the American Civil War from any perspective you choose; the North (Yankees) or the South (Confederates), White or Black, abolitionist or slaver and you will effortlessly come to one overriding, indisputable conclusion. Americans slaughtered Americans on a massive scale. Forget about the numbers, forget about the injuries, forget about the psychological trauma and lasting mental distress and forget about who was to blame. But do not forget what it amounted to: a nation ill at ease with itself, at war with itself and a people capable of gross acts of unconscionable brutality.
The topic question – is America headed for destruction by its own hands? – is not asked in order to generate an academic discussion or to engage in a polemical exercise for philosophical reasons. The question is asked because thinking people who have observed the troubling situations in America have seen a trajectory unlike any in modern nationhood and it points to an uncertain future that’s terribly ominous.
Great countries and peoples as discrete entities have vanished from the face of the earth not because they were worse than any others but because a set of circumstances conjoined to produce a toxic brew that providence, happenstance or God could not accommodate. This is what happened to several countries and people in the past and it could happen again. Let us mention a few examples.
We know what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah that vanished from the face of the earth along with their co-conspirators Admah, Zeboim and Bela although you could argue that these were small kingdoms rather than sovereign countries; we know what happened to the Philistines who in their day was a nation of powerful warriors often referred to as Sea Peoples but they too vanished from the face of the earth. We know what happened to the Amalekites a nation that grew from Amalek, Esau’s grandson and were deadly enemies of the Jews. With time these also vanished from the face of the earth and it is unclear if any other peoples absorbed them; some people claim the Palestinians are part Amalekite.
Apart from a people or nation vanishing we have seen and history has shown that many powerful, even dominant civilizations have flourished for a time and then fallen by the wayside. Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome were all powerful, influential civilizations that rose to world prominence and then slinked off the world stage with a whimper. So is this what we are seeing with the USA or is this something entirely different?
In the case of the USA we see something very different, something that speaks to irreconcilable differences that generate extreme angst that appears to be so out of hand that murder/killing/death seems the preferred option. Who can forget the brutal slaughter of April 19, 1995 when Timothy James McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in Oklahoma City killing 168 people and injuring over 800 people. It seems the American psyche is being stretched to breaking point all over the nation and anyone anywhere can at any time resort to extreme violence, often against innocents, to give vent to their pent-up fury. The following list of brutal slayings, gathered from the Archdiocese of Washington website (http://site.adw.org/) shows what can happen when, without a civil war to blame, people express extreme hatred towards their fellow man.
January 8, 2011: U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen other people were shot during a public meeting held in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, near Tucson, Arizona
November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, TX, Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 29 others.
April 3, 2009: A gunman walked into an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton, N.Y. on Friday, killing 4 people, wounding at six, and taking as many as 41 hostage.
March 29, 2009: Robert Stewart, 45, shot and killed eight people at Pinelake Health and Rehab in Carthage, N.C. before a police officer shot him and ended the rampage.
March 29, 2009: Devan Kalathat, 42, shot and killed his two children and three other relatives, then killed himself in an upscale neighborhood of Santa Clara, Calif. Kalathat’s wife was critically injured.
March 10, 2009: Michael McLendon, 28, killed 10 people • including his mother, four other relatives, and the wife and child of a local sheriff’s deputy • across two rural Alabama counties. He then killed himself.
Feb. 14, 2008: Former student Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, fatally shooting five students and wounding 18 others before committing suicide.
Dec. 5, 2007: Robert A. Hawkins, 19, opened fire with a rifle at a Von Maur store in an Omaha, Neb., mall, killing eight people before taking his own life. Five more people were wounded, two critically.
April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, fatally shot 32 people in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, then killed himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Oct. 2, 2006: Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, shot to death five girls at West Nickel Mines Amish School in Pennsylvania, then killed himself.
March 21, 2005: Student Jeffrey Weise, 16, killed nine people, including his grandfather and his grandfather’s companion at home. Also included were five fellow students, a teacher and a security guard at Red Lake High School in Red Lake, Minn. He then killed himself. Seven students were wounded.
March 12, 2005: Terry Ratzmann, 44, gunned down members of his congregation as they worshipped at the Brookfield Sheraton in Brookfield, Wisconsin, slaying seven and wounding four before killing himself.
March 5, 2001: Charles “Andy” Williams, 15, killed two fellow students and wounded 13 others at Santana High School in Santee, Calif.
Nov. 2, 1999: Copier repairman Byran Uyesugi, 40, fatally shoots seven people at Xerox Corp. in Honolulu. He is convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
July 29, 1999: Former day trader Mark Barton, 44, killed nine people in shootings at two Atlanta brokerage offices, then killed himself.
April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school’s library.
May 21, 1998: Two teenagers were killed and more than 20 people hurt when Kip Kinkel, 17, opened fire at a high school in Springfield, Ore., after killing his parents.
March 24, 1998 School Shooting – Jonesboro, Arkansas: 5 killed
May 20, 1998 School Shooting – Springfield, Oregon: 2 killed, 22 wounded
April 26, 1998 School Shooting – Edinboro, Pennsylvania: 1 killed, 3 wounded
March 24, 1998: Andrew Golden, 11, and Mitchell Johnson, 13, killed four girls and a teacher at a Jonesboro, Ark., middle school. Ten others were wounded in the shooting.
October 1, 1997: School Shooting – Perl, Mississippi: 3 killed, 9 wounded
December 1, 1997: School Shooting – Paducah, Kentucky: 3 killed, 6 wounded
Oct. 16, 1991: A deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as George Hennard opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life. 20 others were wounded in the attack.
June 18, 1990: James Edward Pough shoots people at random in a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office in Jacksonville, Fla., killing 10 and wounding four, before killing himself.
Aug. 20, 1986: Pat Sherrill, 44, a postal worker who was about to be fired, shoots 14 people at a post office in Edmond, Okla. He then kills himself.
This is quite a catalogue you would agree but the list is not exhaustive. Even as I write the news came over that a man in Ohio just killed three people and ran off with his daughter and a Massachusetts man shot two of his kids killing one before killing himself. Everywhere you look across America the news is frightfully depressing and people are wondering where it all will end and more importantly why this is happening.
When as believers we are looking for real answers then we are safe in looking for those answers in the Bible. You can dismiss those notions that America is cursed, and you can also dismiss the notion that it’s all happenstance. Were you to go down this road of thinking then in all likelihood you would throw your hands in the air and surrender to the forces that are with the impression that there is nothing that can be done about it.
America can be turned around but only if Americans understand the causes of their predicament and truly want to do something about it.
The Bible tells us this, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) Nations, just like people everywhere, are subject to the law of the farm and you reap what you sow; you always end up facing the consequences of your action. America is now reaping the bitter fruits from the crops she has sown. Burton Coffman said this in his Bible Commentary, "The principle of sowing and reaping is handed down from the throne of God himself. None can deny it; no skeptic can scoff at it; it was true in the garden of Eden that Adam reaped what he sowed, and it has been true ever since. It is true of every individual, of every saint and sinner, or every hypocrite who thinks he is a saint; it is true of every race, society and nation."
In theory America began good with some laudable aims and fresh ideas that were a departure from old, decadent Europe and everything was grounded on a strong faith in God and a powerful Protestant work ethic. But not for long for the super-liberals jostling to outdo their liberal cronies in Europe began chipping away at the religious foundation and bit by bit the strong roots in the Christian faith weakened until America can no longer be called a Christian country. Christian prayers are banned from school assemblies, the Bible and Christian symbols are banned from public buildings, religious education is becoming anathema in the classroom and there is the sense that they want to remove all references of God from the Pledge of Allegiance. Compare that with what pertains in Muslim countries; Muslim icons are elevated and venerated throughout the country, prayers are loudly called for and practiced everywhere, government sponsors and promote Islam everywhere, and government ministers firmly believe, defend and practice Islam.
Every backwards step from God is a step nearer the precipice and the way is littered with acts of unconscionable brutality, gratuitous slaughter, a surfeit of nastiness of every kind and an unquenchable thirst for more of the same. America may already be falling off the edge and its merely a matter of time before the point of no return is reached.
God loves America just as he loves every nation on earth and he is still calling to America to take heed, to turn to him sincerely before it is too late. The lament of Jesus over Jerusalem need not apply to America, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." (Matthew 23:37-38)
God is still calling and the arms of Jesus are graciously outstretched and ready to welcome, comfort and embrace but America needs to take the next step. "For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:39)
America, the world wants to know, are you still listening?
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