Every great moment in this country, when real progress is made, there was a spiritual awakening. The Restoring Honor Rally in Washington D.C. on August 28 may be the one of those moments. The rally’s organizer is radio and television personality Glenn Beck. Beck says that our country’s troubles cannot be solved by the same methods that got us into this mess. Like an old time revivalist, he says “We must call upon God, and He will see us through.”
The message is resonating. As many as a million people could attend the rally. Beck and his audience generally agree that this is a country of divine providence, a country of American exceptionalism, and that God has a special purpose for this land. And like the Founders, we too can call upon divine providence to overcome our nation’s troubles.
The Founders were all people of great faith who saw America as a new promised land. The popular myth is that they were not religious is not true. They believed in divine providence, and that if they relied upon God, then God would set things right.
The Founders knew that besting the most powerful army in the world in battle did not happen by accident. Nor was it an accident that they came together with like mind to agree to a lasting foundation of governance in the U.S. Constitution.
There have been major periods of revival, or Great Awakenings, in American history. The first occurred in the quest for independence. The Declaration of Independence and other founding documents frequently refer to freedom and divine providence. The Founders saw the two concepts as interrelated. Another Great Awakening began in the early 1800s, and reached its climax with the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
Visiting America in the 1830s, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville was surprised by the religious atmosphere and noted that, "Freedom sees religion as the companion of its struggles and triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its rights." Tocqueville's observation was simply that, for America, tyranny may be able to do without faith, but liberty cannot. This point is as timely today as ever.
These days, faith in God as the Provider of all human rights is an alien concept to many of our fellow citizens. Many think their rights come from government. Our Constitution is ignored as something that is quaintly out of date and can be rhetorically contorted to fit any political purpose.
Could it be that only after a calamity of such unspeakable proportions that enough people will adjust their attitude toward faith and the founding principles that a renewal can take place? We may soon find out.
Our government spends trillions it does not have. When hyperinflation turns our dollars into Monopoly money, the resulting civil disorder could be unimaginable. Savings accounts will be wiped out, commerce could break down, and within a short time there could be anarchy in the streets. In their shortsightedness, “compassionate” politicians will probably then step in with price controls to “protect the people against greedy businessmen.” The resulting shortages on the store shelves could then reduce the lives of many people into a desperate search for such basic items as food and water.
There are no easy answers to what lies ahead. Life as we know it could be dangling by a thread. People already sense trouble and are starting to pay attention. They are beginning to realize we don’t need a transformed nation, we need a restored nation. And that only happens by a transformation of individual attitudes and beliefs.
Perhaps we should heed the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Beck, who is Mormon, is calling people across all religious denominations to participate in an American revival. Like the Founders, we can differ theologically and still agree in the common cause of liberty.
Beck prompts his audience daily: “We must begin by seeking God... The Hand of God will save this country... We must choose today how we are going to live... To be a free people implies we must be a responsible people... We must be involved... We lose freedom by not valuing it as a gift from God... If America perishes, where will the world run? Who stand against tyranny when we are gone? A new dark age will come.”
If the message of American renewal speaks to you, come join us at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, and be a part of “Restoring Honor” to our nation.
Jeff Lukens is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He can be contacted at www.jefflukens.com