For the time being, the nation’s attention is focused on the school shooting in Florida. Everyone has a proposal for “doing something about it.” Some of these proposals make sense. Others don’t. All seem to involve some sort of governmental action. Gun control, armed guards in schools, computerized surveillance of social media. Color us skeptical. The fact is that American society today is deeply troubled, and this is unlikely to change any time soon.
You see, while God is not yet dead in the United States. He is no longer welcome in our schools, colleges, and universities, in our centers of art, entertainment and news, and yes, in many of our churches, which have become little more than social centers financed by the government. As a result, the nation’s Judeo-Christian-based moral code, mores, and traditional cultural norms are rapidly vanishing into the mists of time. Unfortunately, these behavioral guidelines are one of just two means for keeping society orderly; the other being the long arm of the law, which will have to be greatly strengthened in response to the weakening of the other. This will take time, since it means a total change in the country’s form of government from a free society to a highly intrusive totalitarian one.
Now this observation about the importance of religion to an orderly society is by no means new. Indeed, Plato, who favored a highly totalitarian society ruled by omnipotent “philosopher kings,” recognized that the absolute authority of these individuals would be enhanced by linking their directives to God and by defining any violations of these directives as a form of “impiety,” which in some cases would be punished by death.
Even Machiavelli, the quintessential religious skeptic and advocate of a strong central government, understood the importance of God. He put it this way: “As the observance of the divine worship is the cause of the greatness in republics, so the neglect of it is the cause of their ruin. Because, where the fear of God is wanting, it comes about either that a kingdom is ruined, or that it is kept going by the fear of a prince, which makes up for the lack of religion.”
In the meantime, Americans can expect violence and corruption to increase as the nihilists wage war against the totalitarians to see which one will defeat and replace America’s traditional Judeo-Christian social order. Unless, of course, Christianity makes a comeback. More on that later.