For 100 (or so) years the people of the United States of America presumed the existence of a benevolent God. The specifics differed among us, and whether this Sovereign power still interacted with humans was at question, yet His existence stood firm. With this presumption, came an automatic wish to attain the behavioral goals set forth from various, but similar religious views as summarized by Thomas Paine, “I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.” (from Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason)
From the shadows of the prosperity and abuses of the organized Church, a thought reverberated from the ancient tale of Adam and Eve: “Has God really said …” and from that question issued a rising tide of doubt.
Doubt is not evil in and of itself, and our Founding Fathers had witnessed first hand the magnitude of corruption within the Church in Europe. We all experience doubt. What happens, however, is that with doubt, often comes deception. In regards to the US of the post-Victorian age, the deception was wrapped in the interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ determination that our Government would function separately from any religious body, that personal beliefs and affinities were exactly that – personal and free from inhibition so long as the exercise thereof did not infringe upon the liberty of others.
America’s Victorian values were not undermined by the dramatic growth in industry and commerce that transformed the nation in the last half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. Civil society could assimilate vast new wealth. What it couldn’t assimilate was the dramatic expansion of government which began in the 1930s and reached its peak in a “War on Poverty” that encouraged poor Americans not to work and not to form stable families. What it couldn’t assimilate was the relentless intrusion of state and federal regulations into virtually every aspect of American life. What it couldn’t assimilate was a convoluted tax code that taught taxpayers that honesty is a sucker’s game. Above all, what it couldn’t assimilate was the proliferation of programs that treated Americans like children who cannot be trusted to run their own lives. For the effect of that infantilization was to erode the adult virtues that healthy society depends on: Work, honesty, discipline, fidelity, temperance, thrift, initiative. CONTINUE READING
It is time, actually PAST time for Americans to grow up and re-assert our adult virtues, adult character, adult understanding so that we can
- Teach it to our posterity – our children and grandchildren
- Improve our own quality of life, and once again,
- lay hold of the personal Liberty we once cherished above all else.
We have remained adolescents long enough. The evidence is demonstrating in a few of our cities as this is written. Young people with no direction because their elders never accepted the responsibility of adulthood and parenthood. There is still hope …but we have to see our error and make the necessary personal changes. Join me in maturing to adulthood!