Is the United States Under God’s Judgment?
Deadly Ebola Outbreak
Poverty & Homelessness
Record Number on Welfare
Islamic Terrorists Planning Attack
Children Kidnapped and Sold Into Slavery
Drug Trafficking Through Secret Underground Tunnels
Severe Drought Prompts Rationing
Are these the problems facing an impoverished, lawless or third world country? No. Sadly, these are the daily headlines of present day America. To those familiar with the rich history of this country, it is hard to comprehend how the once most powerful and influential nation on earth could decline to such a precipitous condition.
In his televised address on the eve of the presidential election in 1984, President Ronald Reagan described America as just the opposite. He spoke of America’s exceptionalism and her distinctive mark on the world. “To a tired and disillusioned world, we’ve always been a New World, and yes, a shining city on a hill where all things are possible.”
Only thirty years after President Reagan spoke those endearing accolades, America is on the brink of bankruptcy with a deficit of over $17 trillion, and in a moral freefall. America is mocked by her enemies as being weak and ineffective. America is now a part of the tired and disillusioned world. So, we must ask ourselves—are God’s judgments on America? If so, why?
Go Away God
Not that long ago there was a bright line between right and wrong, good and evil, and sin and righteousness. Not that long ago there was little dispute among the majority of citizens that America was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Not that long ago America’s three branches of government recognized and followed those Judeo-Christian values. Those days are gone.
In 2007, in an interview with CBS, and again in 2009 at a press conference before the Turkish Parliament, President Obama denied that America is a Christian nation. Federal and state legislators curry favor with their constituents by promising to promote ungodly principles and oppose any attempt to limit them. Activist judges have used the Constitution to systematically remove prayer and any Christian activity from the nation’s public schools and public property. Present day America has sent a clear message to God: go away.
Removing School Prayer and Bible Reading
*Engel v. Vitale (1962)
June 25, 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark case of Engel v. Vitale that began the removal of the influence and presence of God in America’s public schools. Regents of the New York school system established a daily non-denominational classroom prayer that was so neutral that it was referred to as the “to whom it may concern prayer.” It stated, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.”
Justice Black wrote for the majority, “It is no part of the business of the government to compose official prayers…The Regent’s prayer is inconsistent both with the purposes of the Establishment Clause and the Establishment Clause itself.”
Although Engel left open the issue of voluntary prayer in public schools, it was the first in a series of cases where nine men on behalf of 200 million citizens used the Establishment Clause to change the way America thinks about religion in the public schools.
*Murray v. Curlett (1963)
Shortly after Engel, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an atheist with close ties to the American Communist Party, filed a lawsuit against the school board of Baltimore. In Murray v. Curtlett, the issue before the Court was whether beginning each day with reading the Holy Bible and reciting the Lord’s Prayer violated the constitutional rights of students claiming to be atheists.
The lower court dismissed the lawsuit as having no merit. The Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and stated, “Neither the First nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and government.”
Not to be discouraged, the atheist pressed on to the U.S. Supreme Court. Remarkably, not a single Christian organization filed a brief in support of school prayer, so the case was virtually uncontested before the Court. The Court ruled 8-1 that Bible reading in public schools violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
*Abington School District v. Schempp (1963)
In Schempp, the Court addressed a Pennsylvania law that required daily reading of scripture in the school system, but from which any student could be excused. The Court reviewed Schempp along with Murray v. Curlett in 1963, and also ruled 8-1 that daily Bible reading violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
In reaction to Schempp, members of Congress proposed approximately 150 amendments to the Constitution seeking to overturn the case. None was successful.
*Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)
Two decades later the issue of school prayer came back before the Supreme Court in Wallace v Jaffree that held a one minute period of silence for meditation or prayer had no secular purpose, was created for religious reasons and thus violated the Establishment Clause.
*Lee v. Weisman (1992)
The secular atheists continued their campaign to remove any type of prayer from the nation’s public schools. In Lee v. Weisman, the Court held the Establishment Clause barred clergy led prayers at public school events such as graduations.
*Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000)
In 2000, the Court ruled that a student led prayer over the public address system prior to a football game was unconstitutional.
Removing the Ten Commandments
*Stone v. Graham (1980)
The anti-Christian protestors were not satisfied with the mere removal of prayer in the public school. They wanted any reference to or acknowledgment of God completely out of the classroom.
In 1980, in the case of Stone v. Graham the Court struck down the posting of the Ten Commandments in public classrooms. The Court held that the “preeminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature” and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Straying from Original Intent
These cases likely would shock many of the Founding Fathers as a radical disconnect from history and a contradiction to the role religion played in Colonial America. From the beginning, schools were run by churches, and Bible verses were used in the New England Primer to teach the alphabet, spelling and reading.
John Jay, the original Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court said, “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”
Fisher Ames, author of the final language used in the First Amendment wrote, “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
John Quincy Adams stated, “The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code. These are laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.”
Attempting to Remove “One Nation Under God” From Pledge of Allegiance and Currency
*Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004)
Surprisingly, at least for now, “One Nation Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance has survived constitutional challenges. In 2000, a father filed suit against his daughter’s school district claiming the daily recitation of the Pledge served as religious indoctrination of his child and interfered with his right to influence her religious beliefs.
In the case of Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the nation’s most liberal appellate court (think San Francisco) declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because the phrase “One Nation Under God” endorsed religion and therefore violated the Establishment Clause.
Afterwards, the child’s mother filed to dismiss Newdow’s complaint or in the alternative to intervene on behalf of her daughter, a Christian, who never objected to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
When the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2004, the majority found that Michael Newdow, as the non-custodial parent, lacked standing to file the suit. The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision as a matter of procedural law and never addressed the constitutional question.
*Doe v. Action-Boxborough Regional School District (2014)
In 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected an atheist’s attempt to strike “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Chief Justice Ireland wrote, “For those who have been attacking the pledge we would offer that our system protects their right to remain silent, but it doesn’t give them a right to silence others.”
*Newdow v. United States (2013)
In Newdow v. United States, a group of atheists filed a lawsuit against the federal government claiming the motto “In God We Trust” on the nation’s currency was unconstitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York City, disagreed and ruled the language does not violate the First Amendment Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses.
In the years since the law of the land prohibited school prayers, the posting of the Ten Commandments, and the Bible in the classrooms or at school sponsored functions, many contend this nation has experienced a continued moral decline. According to a recent PEW research poll, 72% of the respondents agreed that there is a loss of Christian precepts guiding traditional American values and mores.
Researcher David Kinnaman’s 2014 poll revealed that roughly four in ten people living in the continental United States are what he calls “post-Christians” meaning “essentially secular in belief and practice.”
Arguably, banning prayer along with any reference to God in the public schools has contributed to the many problems America faces. However, there are other social and cultural factors that have contributed significantly to the spiritual vacuum sweeping this country. Two, in particular, simply cannot be ignored.
The Shedding of Innocent Blood
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
*Roe v. Wade (1973)
2013 marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade that established a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability of the fetus. Viability is the point when the baby could survive outside its mother’s body.
After the infamous Roe v. Wade and subsequent companion decisions, abortion is legal in America but may be regulated by the states as long as the regulations do not violate the 14th Amendment. State regulations may require licensed doctors to perform the procedure, patient counseling and health risk information, parental notification or consent if a minor is involved, a 24-72 hour waiting period, or that a woman have an ultra-sound.
Even with all of these regulations in place, as of December 2014, there have been over fifty-seven million abortions in the United States since Roe. What does it say about a nation that has legalized the shedding of innocent blood of 57 million babies? More importantly, what does God say?
In the Beginning: Cain and Abel
The first account of the shedding of innocent blood recorded in the Bible is the story of the two brothers Cain and Abel.
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, what hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
(Genesis 4: 8-10)
God’s judgments fell on Cain for murdering his brother. He became a “fugitive and vagabond in the earth.” (v. 14) Even though Cain protested, “My punishment is greater than I can bear,” (v. 13) God put a barrier between Himself and Cain to avenge the murder of Abel. If God heard and avenged the cry of the blood of one murdered soul, how much greater and deserving of revenge is the cry of 57 million aborted babies?
Unashamedly, America has ignored God’s Sixth Commandment, Thou Shall Not Kill, and bought into the rhetoric that a fetus is not really a person. If that is true, when is it legally too late to kill an unborn child?
Contributing to the number of murdered babies in the mid-nineties was the barbaric practice known as Partial-Birth Abortion (PBA). PBA is a procedure used from the fifth month of pregnancy on, where the doctor partially delivers a live child outside the mother’s body then crushes its skull or removes its brain by suction.
In 1995, and again in October 1997, the Republican-led Congress passed laws banning partial-birth abortion. Both were vetoed by President Clinton. In 2003, after President Clinton left office, Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law. Even so, the United States is still in the top 4% of the world’s permissive abortion policies and is one of seven countries that permit late term abortions for any reason.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan lamented the passage of Roe v. Wade when he said, “More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of fifty states laws protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to 1.5 million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will some day pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does.” Has Congress heeded President Reagan’s plea?
The Legislative Branch on the Sanctity of Life
The two chambers of Congress are divided sharply on the abortion issue. When the Republicans took control of the House in 2013, House Speaker John Boehner pledged that making “abortion a relic of the past” was one of his “most fundamental goals.”
Shortly thereafter, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Medical research indicates that an unborn child can feel pain at twenty weeks gestation.
This Act imposed an outright ban on all abortion after twenty weeks without exceptions for rape and incest. It was a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. When the bill reached the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid assigned it to committee and refused to call a vote before the full Senate.
In late 2013, Senator Lindsay Graham (R- South Carolina) and thirty-three co-sponsors introduced companion legislation. Predictably, pro-abortion Harry Reid blocked a vote again.
The results of the 2014 election changed the composition of the Senate. First, Harry Reid lost his leadership position and no longer will be able to block bills from debate and a vote. Secondly, the Senate picked up seven pro-life members. Even so, any bill that makes it through both the House and Senate must be signed into law by the president. Mr. Obama’s record on abortion does not look optimistic.
The Executive Branch on the Sanctity of Life
In April 2013, Planned Parenthood held its annual gala dinner in Washington D.C. to honor champions for abortion. President Obama delivered the keynote address and was recognized as the most pro-abortion president ever. The leader of Planned Parenthood Federation of America boasted, “President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights.”
He certainly has. President Obama’s pro-abortion record is endless. He signed a bill that overturned a thirteen-year-long ban on using tax dollars to fund abortion in Washington D.C. He signed an executive order forcing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. In 2009, he promoted an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting.
Some of his pro-abortion choices for key positions in his administration include: Joe Biden as his Vice-Presidential running mate; Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff; Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State; and Sonia Sotomayor and Elanan Kagen to the Supreme Court. The Vatican has rejected three Obama Administration ambassador nominations because they were pro-abortion.
Hopefully, one day soon, President Reagan’s vision to end abortion in America will become a reality. In the meantime, it is naïve to believe that God will not judge a nation where citizens demand and leaders legislate the shedding of innocent blood.
Rejecting God’s Laws of Nature
Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
(Leviticus 18: 22-23)
And if a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.
(Leviticus 20: 13)
Ever wonder why it was necessary for God to instruct Moses to “speak unto the children of Israel” and forbid them from engaging in bestiality and same-sex relationships? The answer lies in Leviticus 18.
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (v.3) Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: (v.24) For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled; (v.27) Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God. (v. 30)
From these scriptures, it is clear that perverse sexual behavior existed throughout the pagan civilizations. In fact, in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, same-sex relationships were the norm without any concept of homosexuality or heterosexuality. Expressing a preference for only one gender as a sexual partner was considered eccentric.
The emergence of Judaism changed all of that. Once God led the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt, and established Jehovah’s law, He declared homosexuality (as well as incest and bestiality) a sin, and contrary to nature. Similarly, when Judeo-Christian influence spread in the Roman Empire, homosexuality was condemned.
These Judeo-Christian restrictions on sexual behavior also were a part of America’s beginnings. The original thirteen colonies derived their laws from the English Common Law in which sodomy was a sin, and a crime punishable by death. Thereafter, every state proscribed sodomy, in some form, as it joined the Union. Pennsylvania called sodomy an “unnatural sin.” New Jersey referred to it as “Offenses Against God.”
Up until 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state, punishable by lengthy prison sentences, fines and hard labor. In 1985, the Supreme Court held there was no “fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in sodomy.” That all changed as the gay rights activists became more vocal, infiltrated the political process and demanded change. Their efforts paid off.
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Texas’ sodomy statute was unconstitutional. Ten years later, the Court held as unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act, which restricted marriage to heterosexual couples for purposes of federal government benefits. As of November 2014, not only is sodomy no longer a crime in America, thirty states plus the District of Columbia have legalized and extended marriage equality to same-sex couples. America has come full circle.
Are God’s Judgments on America?
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans in the 1st century, many of whom were living in homosexual sin, warned of the downward spiral of a proud and powerful nation when it rejects God’s counsel.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. (Romans 1: 21-22)
Like Rome, the leadership and masses of America are unthankful to God and full of pride. They glory in their own abilities and not in God. Like Rome, America is experiencing the consequences of this behavior forewarned in these sobering words, “God gave them up” and “God gave them over.”
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. (v. 24) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (v. 26) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (v. 27) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do these things which are not convenient. (v. 28) (emphasis added)
In one of his campaign speeches, President Obama defended the homosexual agenda and referred to the Apostle Paul’s letter as an “obscure passage in Romans.” These scriptures may be obscure to those who are looking to justify what God condemns; to those who cease to honor and glorify God; to those who have told God to go away.
These scriptures are not some obscure passage to God, and unless America repents and returns to Biblical truth, her demise, like all pagan civilizations, is inevitable. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18)
After 9/11, Anne Graham Lotz was asked why God did not stop the attack on America. Her reply summarized the condition of this nation and answers the question: Are God’s judgments on America?
“[For] several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, ‘God we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life, removing his hand of blessing and protection.”