Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thankful for a Nation Under God

This thanksgiving I am thankful for our nation.  It was founded and is sustained by God.  Our waywardness, while deserving of divine rejection, has been met with mercy and grace, even in our most troubled hours. We have always been a nation under God.  Some will respond to that statement with hostility while others will respond with embarrassed uneasiness, yet, the statement stands. 

We live in a time when hostility toward our founding faith is high. Wired magazine, in this month's issue, highlights "The New Atheism." Editor Gary Wolf explains that the New Atheists are not content to merely disbelieve in God.  They want to make belief in God socially disreputable - to make belief in God an embarrassment.  It seems that they are getting their wish.  Our culture and courts seem to be on a mission to remove God from the public view. 

On Thanksgiving, I think it is fitting to recall two significant events that remind us why we can be thankful and to whom our gratitude is directed.  Our Pilgrim founders expressed their reason and purpose in coming to this land with crystal clarity in the Mayflower Compact of 1620. "We whose names are the grace of God...having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith...a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience."

In summing up the national response to a quagmire of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address. "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

America's greatness can be traced to America's acknowledgment of our Creator as the source of our rights, well being and providential protection.  We must arouse our memory of our history.  We must teach the truth to our children and we will remain the most blessed nation in history.  I, for one, am very grateful!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Difficult Choices in a Brave New World

Parents are soon to face yet another choice that will involve a serious moral dilemma.  A vaccination for the human papilloma virus is expected to be available in late 2006 from Merck & Company. The virus called HPV causes genital warts and cervical cancer.  It can also be passed to babies and can cause serious life threatening problems.  The American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for a nationwide vaccination program among teens to fight the virus.  At first glance, protecting our children from disease seems like a good thing.  However, it’s worth looking at it from a different angle. 

Any vaccination has risks associated with it.   By inoculating every child, we are assuming that every teenager will be immoral and therefore must be vaccinated.  Isn’t there way to protect our children from HPV that doesn’t involve a risk?   Wait a minute, there is!   It is teaching, encouraging and promoting abstinence on the grounds that it can and will save your life. 

Our awesome God has set moral limits because He loves us and wants us to live full and meaningful lives.  Honesty and candor concerning sexual decisions have never been more necessary among parents and teenagers. 
The brave thing is taking the time to talk and inform our kids, not taking a chance on a vaccination.  If we continue to assume animal-like behavior,  our children will not know the power they have to
choose to live moral lives.  They will miss an essential struggle in
the human growth process called maturity.
- Reference: Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2005