Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2000

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / July 1, 2000

America is considered a young country. In fact, on July 4, it will only be224 years old. It’s shocking to see how far we’ve allowed this once-greatnation to drift from God in such a short time.

The men who wrote the Declaration of Independence were God-fearing, Christian men who sacrificed everything for the sake of freedom. Theirintentions were unselfish and honorable, wanting only the best for every human being. I wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of theconditions that now exist in our society? God, family and country are what they fought and died for. God has beenmocked, as we profess to be a Christian nation and act otherwise.

Immorality and divorce have destroyed the family. Our country is beingdefeated from within.

Yes, we are still considered the most powerful nation when we war against other countries, but we are losing the battle from within our boundaries. Drugs, illicit sex, crime, violence, materialism and theentertainment industry are among our worst enemies.

According to an anonymous statement I read years ago, the things that are destroying this once-great country, and I agree, are politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, wealth without work, knowledge without character, business without morality, science without humanity and worship without sacrifice.

Maybe our leaders of today should learn a lesson from God-fearing men of the past, such as George Washington and Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who prayeddaily and relied on the Bible for wisdom and direction.

On May 6, 1982, in his National Day of Prayer proclamation, Pres. RonaldReagan remarked that the most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. He said thatthis image personifies a people who know that it is not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness, we must also seek help from God, our Father and Preserver.

On June 28, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was on the verge of complete rupture. For more than a month, the delegates wrestled with theissue of representation with no breakthroughs, and now patience was wearing thin, emotions were on edge.

A somber George Washington, presiding over this assembly, began to despair of seeing success in the Convention. But the oldest delegate inattendance, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, asked for permission to speak.This was unusual. The 81-year-old Pennsylvanian, up to this point, wroteout his remarks and had someone else read them due to his infirmity. Butthis time, he was stirred to rise and address the delegates himself.

He said, “The small progress we have made after four or five weeks…witheach other…is a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the humanunderstanding…In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were inthe dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? “Have we forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man.”Today, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin would be labeled, “The Religious Right.”I pray for the return of righteous men like Washington and Franklin, who had the courage and conviction not to be afraid of standing up for God’s law. Remember that a man never stands so tall as when he kneels in prayerto Almighty God.

Happy birthday, America!

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group.

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