Confidence in our nation, built as a constitutional republic, and its political institutions is at an all-time low.
Even the Supreme Court, which has enjoyed higher approval ratings than the other two branches of our government, has suffered a recent and steep decline. Only 25 percent of Americans now approve of the justices’ performances, according to a June Gallup poll.
It is no secret that a deep political divide marks this moment. The chasm between us has eliminated discourse and ground to a halt the legislative progress.
Our elected officials cannot seem to engage in meaningful dialogue on critical issues, and absent from the halls of Congress are collaboration and negotiation that result in significant progress toward maximizing the common good. Progress seems to only come through executive order, committees (of the unelected) or the courts.
“Is the United States on the brink of decline and breakdown?” I asked myself this week as I walked past the Supreme Court building to pray for our nation, witnessing the protests, anger and confusion.
I am reminded of the story of Benjamin Franklin walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787 when someone shouted, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin supposedly replied with a witty and ominous statement: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
In this time of gridlock, vitriol and division, we would be wise to ask ourselves what it will take to “keep it.” What is the blueprint formula for liberty to prosper for another 246 years?
The blueprint exists.
It’s found in the world’s largest solid granite monument on top of a hill overlooking Plymouth Rock. It is called the National Monument to the Forefathers, reaching 81 feet high. At its center is Faith.
Is America still a nation of faith?
The monument features a woman’s powerful stance echoing the rock-like faith of the American forefathers. They held fast to the belief that their faith was the foundation and core of liberty.
Faith is surrounded by Morality, Law, Education and Liberty. These smaller statues positioned on each side of the monument lay out the necessary elements of a flourishing society. Yet it is evident in this blueprint that faith is what holds it together.
America’s Founders knew that only faith in something larger than themselves could instill the courage, fortitude and hope required for the flourishing of this grand experiment.
When our nation’s Founding Fathers gave us documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they leaned into a shared understanding and acceptance of a set of moral and social values not established by the government. They knew that only the humility to recognize a Creator who bestows our unalienable rights and moral law would fend off the tyranny of man and the expansion of government.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?”
The United States of America will continue to be a nation of liberty if it follows this blueprint and remains a nation of faith, with the humble conviction of something greater than ourselves.
The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.