Our nation is in crisis. It isn’t a gun crisis. Or fentanyl crisis. It’s not a border crisis — or even a government funding crisis.
It is a moral and spiritual crisis.
A sickening video that went viral last weekend fully displays it. The video was of two 17-year-old males, who were apparently identifying as heartless, demon-possessed thugs, recording their joyride in a stolen car. The video shows the two cheering as they ram and force one car off the road.
Then they spotted 64-year-old Andreas Probst, a retired police officer, taking his morning bike ride. The driver asked his passenger if he was ready to capture their feat on camera.
Swerving into the bike lane behind Probst, they blew the horn and then plowed into the back of him, throwing him onto the windshield, over the car, and onto the pavement as they accelerated. The punk in the passenger seat turned to catch on camera Probst bounce onto the road, who died of his injuries that day.
The driver was arrested shortly after and taken to the juvenile detention center. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has announced it will try the teenagers as adults.
Don’t expect the White House or others, who see violent crime as little more than justification to grab more power over law-abiding citizens, to pay any attention to a drive-over killing. However, this crime is so shocking some are asking how we arrived at such a place where cold-blooded murder is callously carried out like a virtual video game.
But should we really be surprised? As a nation, we’ve pushed God to the outskirts of society. Instead of teaching our children that they are created in the image of God and therefore have value, we are telling them they come from animals, and then we are shocked when they act like animals.
This is a moral and spiritual crisis. But don’t expect political leaders, especially on the Left, to acknowledge that fact because they refuse to look beyond the symptoms.
Take the Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, who is calling for city-owned grocery stores to be placed in neighborhoods that have become what he calls “food deserts” after Walmart and Whole Foods shuttered their stores because of unsustainable losses.
Retailers nationwide are going under and shutting their doors because of a $100 billion-dollar shoplifting epidemic. It’s gotten so bad here in Washington, D.C. that almost everything is behind locked plexiglass.
Commentators and conservatives point to lax policies like California’s Prop 47, which reduced theft from a potential felony to a misdemeanor. These lenient policies only compound the lawlessness fostered by depleted and demoralized police departments in the wake of the Left’s Defund the Police movement.
But it’s not just civil government that has facilitated this moral and spiritual crisis that threatens the future of our country. I’ve often been asked this question while in conversation with political leaders. “Tony, why do pastors want us to vote on and speak about issues they won’t preach about from the pulpit?”
To be sure, many pastors are preaching on these issues; some were at Family Research Council’s recent Pray Vote Stand Summit: Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Cornerstone Chapel’s Gary Hamrick, Bishop Vincent Mathews, and others. But far too many fail to see their God-given role to not just preach the truth but challenge people to live by the truth in every area of life. In the church, pastors must rediscover their prophetic voice to address this moral and spiritual crisis.
Yes, the lawless, anti-God policies of government have fostered this violent and deadly environment, and the church has, for the most part, only whispered its objections. But where are the parents?
I know the government has usurped the role of moms and dads in many ways, hiding critical information from them about their children’s mental and spiritual well-being at school. In some cases, they’ve refused to allow parents to get counseling for their children if it is not in lockstep with leftist ideology.
But a recent report from King’s College London suggests parents in the United States are not concerned with their children being civil or even obedient. Coming in nearly dead last in the two dozen surveyed countries, only 21% of American adults said obedience was a priority for children. What did rank near the top of priorities? Tolerance.
There was little tolerance for Mr. Probst.
To 21st century ears, it is archaic to quote a Founding Father. But considering that they did craft what has become the longest-surviving written charter of government in the world, maybe we can learn from them how to keep this experiment in liberty going.
John Adams, America’s second president, warned, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In other words, if we don’t go beyond the litany of crises facing our nation, which are just symptoms — whether it be the border, fentanyl, guns, or stolen cars used to run over innocent people — to see what is truly at the heart of this crisis, we will lose this country as we have known it, because we will miss the moral and spiritual crisis confronting us.
We must return to God and to His word.
Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.
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