August 31, 2012
Someone told me that Rick Santorum had given a speech at the Republican National Convention that spoke to some of the real issues facing our country. I pulled up a video on an ABC news site and began to listen. About seven minutes in, Santorum mentioned “getting married before having children.” A few seconds later ABC cut him off—a political commentator began analyzing his speech even before it was finished. I considered that rather odd, and frustrating. I wanted to hear the Senator from Pennsylvania, not a pundit. I found another site that (thankfully) streamed Santorum’s entire speech without interruption. Just after the point that ABC had cut him off, Santorum went on to clarify the consequences of the assault on marriage. No wonder ABC would not let us hear that part. Santorum went on to praise “hands that pray” and a party that “welcomes all life, born and unborn.” I heard bits of other speeches at the Convention, and most talked about “belief in America” and “belief in ourselves.” Rick Santorum got as close as anyone to urging belief in God when, for instance, he insisted that we can only realize our potential “with God’s help.” But even that indirect reference to religion was too much for ABC News.
What does our country need? More jobs? More empowerment of the private sector? More oil? Sure, those things would help. But what it needs is repentance, and few dare to say it. This struck me today as I was reading the breviary Scriptures from Jeremiah 3. God said, “How I should like to treat you as sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage among the nations…but like a woman faithless to her lover, even so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel.” What Israel had that we do not have is a national sense of repentance.
It was not always this way in America. Consider the words of President Abraham Lincoln in his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation: “I recommend to [my fellow citizens] that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers…” The President of the United States recommended both thanksgiving and humble penitence to God. Until our nation publicly acknowledges from Whom all blessings come, and does “humble penitence for our national perverseness,” there is little hope for any positive change, no matter who is elected in November.