Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Saving America

Personally, I don’t think America can be saved. As a Canadian, I think we’re toast too. I believe both those venerable entities are bound for history’s wood chipper. We are on borrowed time, enjoying the last dregs of the benefits conferred to us from previous generations. Our own generation’s lazy, haphazard defense of the blessings we have inherited has pretty much guaranteed they will not survive us.

That’s pretty negative. But don’t check out yet.

2033 and Counting

All empires have limited lifespans. In his Universal Press syndicated column from March 21, 2005, writer Vox Day predicted the political and financial collapse of the United States of America within 38 years based on a number of well-documented statistical indicators. By 2014, when I still found it more than a little shocking to consider that the political and social order I grew up with might not outlast my own lifetime, he had revised his estimate to a full decade earlier: 2033.

I don’t find Vox’s theory shocking anymore. I have gotten used to the idea. In fact, after last year’s city burnings and November’s chaotic mess of an election, I began to think he has been a mite too optimistic in his prognostications. I can’t see much hope of the current tenuous state of affairs holding together another five years, let alone twelve.

Shirley? Goodness!

It’s not just me. Last week Fox talking head Laura Ingraham openly discussed the issue with author and historian Craig Shirley:
Ingraham: Is there really no path in your mind to reconciliation?

Shirley: No, I don’t think so, Laura. Look, we had national glue in the past to hold us together as a nation. We had Manifest Destiny, we had the Great Depression, we had wars and other activities. COVID should have been the national glue holding us together but it wasn’t. In fact, it drove us farther apart. You saw states arguing with states, and states arguing with the national government about how to proceed or how to distribute vaccines. No, I don’t see any choice going forward, and it may be a natural thing. Like a Brexit, only in the United States, where blue states and red states separate and have some type of friendly trading relationship or friendly transportation relationship, but they are all self-governed — which is really what the founders intended in the first place.
Again, I suspect Shirley may be a tad too optimistic. The ideological and cultural divisions in America do not neatly follow state lines. Any future realignment of U.S. assets and property is going to be necessarily messy and uneven.

A Way Forward?

Still, some people believe there is a way forward. Doug Wilson writes:
“You want to save America? Here’s the plan. This is the play we need to run, on three. Love your wife. Respect and obey your husband. Control your temper. Stop drinking so much. Learn to be as precise and as honest in your business dealings as a person can be. Get your kids a Christian education. Bring your family to church, every week bring them to church. Throw yourself into your Bible reading. Sing psalms. Laugh at the theocratic pretenses of mortal men. Eat the fat and drink the sweet. Mow your lawn. Have a cold beer afterwards.”
Hmm. He runs out of gas toward the end, but apart from the cold beer, you could sum this up with something like “Apply the teaching of the New Testament and the Bible’s wisdom literature in your own life.” Not a bad idea.

Pros and Cons

On the positive side, I will say this at least has the virtue of being doable. Too often we find ourselves making airy-fairy prescriptions about what government ought to be doing, or to stop doing, when we know full well they will do as they see fit. Arguing political theory and making wish lists may help us get our opinions straight, but it accomplishes nothing useful, especially in an environment where votes have little or maybe nothing to do with election outcomes. On the other hand, a prescription for making things better that starts and stops with me? That I can maybe handle.

On the negative side, it’s hard to see how even large numbers of Christians living more consistently with our professed faith will do much to change the fate of our nations. Both the established patterns of Bible history and the prophetic word strongly suggest that as far as society is concerned, we should probably expect a long downward spiral punctuated by occasional brief interludes of public remorse when the widespread suffering caused by bad choices becomes particularly acute. Recommended reading: Kings, Chronicles and Revelation.

But that really shouldn’t matter to us one way or the other. Frankly, these are good things to do whether they save America ... or just our own families.


  1. I am comforted in knowing that Christ is caring for and ensuring His Bride regardless of State freedoms. She was birthed in the fires of persecution and continues to flourish even in the harshest of environments. One need only look to the well documented growth of the house church movement in People's Republic of China to realize that Christianity is not dependent on American style freedoms. In the fading of western civilization we must ask "what is coming next?". My prediction is a Chinese style imperialism. The hope of the "church" is that Chinese culture is being transformed from within by the virus of Chinese style house churches. some estimate the population of Christians in China out strip membership in the communist party 2:1. Perhaps this is God's way of resetting His church.