By Jim Towey
I am confident and hopeful about the future of our country, and I’ll explain why momentarily.
But first, I have to admit that the world feels a bit off its axis.
Prices keep going up in a way not seen for generations; a recession is all but inevitable. A strongman in Russia threatens civilization with his nuclear weapons and North Korea and Iran are itching to follow suit. The world’s financial system was jolted by the sudden collapse of several major banks. And the Covid “panic-demic” has left us distrustful of public health authority and consigned to the adverse consequences of their decisions. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden followed bad advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci. History will judge them for that failure.
Political leadership disappoints
The 2020 ballot gave America a choice between a narcissistic bully incumbent and a career politician well past his prime. I remember watching Biden’s outdoor speech in Wilmington on election night where his supporters had gathered in their cars, honking affirmation like geese, as he briefly removed his mask and assured them of victory. It was a surreal moment, unsettling. His presidency thus far has been a disappointment.
Worse still, voters might face the exact same dismal choice in 2024. How can that be? At exactly the time we need them the most, our political leadership (with some notable exceptions) seems inept, inattentive. They appear incapable of addressing the major challenges of the day, from a national debt racing toward a staggering $32 trillion, to Social Security and Medicare marching unimpeded toward insolvency, to inflation and interest rates rising and cratering standards of living.
Big Tech, Big Media = Big Mess
Meanwhile, the media, once a protector of democracy, is now as biased, partisan and agenda driven as those it covers. We now know with certainty that Big Media colluded with Big Tech to deceive the public, censor information and suppress debate on Covid, all to the detriment of Americans. Unbowed by such shameful conduct, Big Media continues to create narratives instead of report news.
And then there are the social indicators that have been trending negatively for some time.
- Birthrates and marriages are down;
- fatherless families abound;
- the exalted calling of motherhood is routinely maligned by the woke;
- pornography is ubiquitous, tainting relationships between men and women;
- the elderly and disabled are told that assisted suicide is the solution to their circumstances; and drug users are offered clean needles and gamblers easy money instead of a path to recovery from their addictions.
- Teenage depression and suicide numbers are at levels previously unseen.
And on and on.
At the root of all of this is a spiritual poverty that has metastasized throughout society. It seems man has forgotten God and put truth on trial. Reality itself is treated as if it were simply a frame of mind, an optional take on life. Advances in artificial intelligence further blur the fundamental difference between the Creator and creation, humans and technology. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has more money than the gods, predicted yesterday that the new AI will radically transform every aspect of existence for the better, forgetting that fish always see the worm, not the hook.
Confidence in the future
But as I wrote at the outset, I am not fearful about the future. In fact, I am full of confidence and hope because our Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that God is greater than all of the challenges we face. I recently read Jacques Phillippe’s book, Interior Freedom. He wrote of “the trap of indifference” and warned, “We are tempted to get discouraged and give up…we must unmask this temptation and say: ‘No matter what happens…I need to maintain my fervor, continue to love God and pray with all my heart, and love the people I’m living with, even if I don’t know how things will turn out…Love will never be in vain.’” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Lord who laid down his life for us, the Lord of history, are in control.
Yes, our rich spiritual traditions await to be unleashed. Indifference, passivity, and resignation to unstable times are not the answers. Active engagement, taking responsibility to fix that which is broken, working for the betterment of society and the environment, defending the truth, spreading civility, opposing lies, combatting loneliness, and putting humans ahead of technology are all proper responses.
The Christian season of Lent and the upcoming Jewish celebration of Passover remind us of the presence and faithfulness of God in the affairs of man. Can America be faithful again? Protect life? Revere its elders? Care for its children and the planet on which they live? It is up to us to decide.
A spiritual reawakening in America is the only way toward stability, security and a future where the world rests easy on its axis. You and I can begin this, and I will write my next blog on how.