Dear Dr. Bennett, [William Bennett’s Wikipedia profile] [William Bennett’s web site]
Your 1992 book title, The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, speaks volumes just by itself.
Where has virtue gone in our country? Why does it seem to matter so little to so many people? More and more, people pursue success and pleasure – not morality.
You’ve spoken on many themes. I wish you would return to this one. It’s been almost twenty years since you published your book and the need for it is greater now than it was then.
God grant that we may return to more moral living. That is, may He grant us repentance. It’s not politics that will save us – it’s repentance that will.
Do You Love What Is Right?
Whose Approval Do You Want?
It’s a Salvation of the Soul…Not Circumstances
How many more signs do we need? Is there evidence lacking that we have gone far astray from the morality to which our Creator calls us?
Proverbs 14:34 says that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people. As the prophet Hosea said (Hosea 8:7), we have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwhind.
Do not think that things cannot get worse. If we do not repent of our sins, they will get much worse.
Repent, and turn to Jesus Christ our Lord!
You recognize the phrase “one nation under God” as coming from the Pledge of Allegiance. It seems our country’s citizens can be divided into two categories: those who like these words in the Pledge of Allegiance and those who don’t. Both groups seem to feel strongly about their position.
Those who like the phrase think that its value speaks for itself. For them, to remove the phrase would be an insult to God and victory for godlessness. Those who don’t like the phrase often mention that it was added to the Pledge in 1954 and that it has the government in the business of promoting religion.
Irrespective of whether those words, or even the Pledge itself, continue to be uttered, however, this is a nation that is under God. How do I know this? Because every nation is a nation under God. As it says in the book of Proverbs, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin brings disgrace.” That is, our collective national welfare is dependent on our collective moral behavior. God is the Judge of heaven and earth and He will always do what is right. He will bestow blessings when we do right and curses when we sin.
The reason that our country has enjoyed the blessings that it has since its inception is that God has judged us more worthy of blessing than cursing. Sure, we have had both – but the blessing has far outweighed the cursing. This balance of accounts is worked out for every country. America does not have some unique charter with God. America has been great because she has been good. As she stops being good, she will stop being great. We may have the greatest founding fathers a country ever had, but we’re going to lose our country if enough of us don’t live right in our time.
My purpose in this post is to call us to repentance in the sight of God. If we don’t stop living immorally, we will suffer the loss of many blessings that our ancestors have left to us. Therefore, it doesn’t matter so much whether we want to say the words “one nation under God” or we don’t. God is not interested in mere lip service. What He cares about is how we live. The only logical thing for us to do is repent. (For elaboration, see Judgment Is Upon Us.)