The State of the Nation: Addressing America’s Real Foundational Problem
by Ken Ham
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared last month on the website OneNewsNow.com.
One of President Barack Obama’s mantras—one that he has stated many times publicly—is: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”1
In particular, note the phrase, “Whatever we once were.” This is in recognition of and support for the fact that America today is quite different than the America of yesterday. The rest of his quote states that America was once Christian as a nation, but no longer today. What has happened?
Certainly, this great nation has massive economic and other problems. But the greatest problem in the country—one that underlies America’s present difficulties—is a spiritual one. Sadly, even the church, by and large, does not recognize this change, much less knows what to do to restore the biblical foundations in this country.
With the president’s phrase “whatever we once were,” he seems to recognize that we were a Christian nation at one time; and he may even accept that the majority of America’s Founding Fathers were Christians. President Obama might even acknowledge that at one time, the nation’s general worldview (including moral issues) was built on the foundation of the authority of the Word of God.
In this nation’s past, there have been many reminders of a Christian heritage in the culture: nativity scenes in public places, Ten Commandments displays, crosses, and Christian symbols in public places; prayer, the teaching of creation, and Bible reading in government schools; abortion and “gay” marriage were illegal, etc. All of these were reminders of the Christian basis of this nation.
Sadly, many of these reminders have been (and are continuing to be) removed:
- 1962—school prayer was ruled unconstitutional
- 1963—Bible reading in school was ruled unconstitutional
- 1973—abortion was legalized in the Roe v Wade case
- 1985—nativity scenes on public land were deemed to violate the so-called “separation of church and state”
- more recently—there have been increasing attempts to legalize “gay” marriage across the nation.
President Obama has publicly supported abortion and “gay” marriage, even proclaiming last June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.”2 He has also made statements such as:
“My expectation is that when you look back on these years . . . You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men and two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.”3
When the President stated, “Whatever we once were,” he was obviously referring to the change in this nation from the Christian worldview (and the Christian morality that once permeated the culture), to one of more moral relativism. The Christian reminders are being removed.
In Joshua 4, we read a special reminder God gave the Israelites. After the miracle of the crossing of the Jordan River, the people were to take 12 stones as a “sign” and “memorial” (or reminder) to the future generations of what God had miraculously done.
We read in verses 21 and 22 of Joshua 4, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know . . . .” You see, not only were the stones a reminder for future generations, but in verse 24 we read “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD.” These stones were also a reminder for all people—that they may know who the true God is.
In the past, the items listed above (Christian symbols in public places, the Bible in public schools, etc.) were reminders to the coming generations of the Christian heritage of this nation. They were also a witness to other nations concerning the true God and the truth of His Word. America has been a great Christian witness in the past, but this has changed markedly. America has become a secularized country; moral relativism has permeated the culture.
This nation has changed foundation: from God’s Word to man’s word. This transformation has occurred in the government, the courts, the education system, and also to a large degree in the church. Because many churches and Bible colleges/seminaries have compromised God’s Word with the pagan religion of the age (millions of years/evolution) that tries to explain life without God, the church has helped undermine biblical authority in America. In so doing, Christians have actually paved the way for the nation’s change, helping (unwittingly in most cases) to build a worldview-foundation that is becoming more man-centered and less Bible-centered.
Also, many in the church and culture have been duped into thinking that the so-called “separation of church and state” issue (a perversion of what the First Amendment actually states concerning freedom of religion) means that the Bible and Christian symbols should be eliminated from the public sector, and thus bring in a neutral situation. But there is no such position as neutrality. Think about it. One is either for Christ or against Him! What has happened is that the religion of naturalism (atheism) has been imposed on the public education system (and on the culture as a whole).
The only way for the Christian reminders that have been removed to be restored is for Christians and the culture to return to the authoritative Word of God as the foundation for all thinking. After all, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12).
- Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope (New York: Crown Publishers, 2006), p.170.
- Barack Obama, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009,” The White House.
- Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Human Rights Campaign Dinner,” October 11, 2009, The White House.