Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
March 29, 2011

What does America stand for?

Are we doing the right thing in Libya? Last night, President Obama told the nation that our intervention was necessary to stop a potential massacre which would have “stained the conscience of the world.” Some have criticized the president for moving too slowly, while others argue that the intervention lacks a compelling national interest.

The debate raises a question: what is our “compelling national interest”? Where are we going as a country? What does America stand for today? Yesterday I stated my belief that the next generation of Americans will be critical to the future of our democracy. Let’s consider that assertion this morning.

According to a recent poll, 75% of Americans believe things are going badly in our country. This was the most negative response in 40 years. How would you have responded? Why is there such pessimism today?

Let’s peruse this morning’s headlines for a moment. As you know, Charlie Sheen has been much in the news. The actor was fired on March 7 from his television show after recurring bouts with alcohol and cocaine abuse and much-publicized sexual affairs. Now we learn that he has been guaranteed a minimum of $7 million for his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is not an Option” tour. His appearances are sold out around the country. What does his popularity say about us?

Abercrombie & Fitch sparked a media firestorm this week with its padded bikini for seven-year-olds. What does the store’s profitability indicate about our values?

Today’s New York Times tells us that for the first time, rural Americans are as likely to be divorced as city dwellers. Continuing with family news, USA Today reports that Britney Spears is making an effort to maximize her support in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The former Mickey Mouse Club cast member made her stage debut at age five, singing “What Child Is This?” at her kindergarten graduation.

How do you feel about the moral direction of our country? How does God?

The prophet Micah asked, “What does the Lord require of you?” Here is his answer: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Our Father values justice in our character, mercy in our relationships, and humility before God and others. Do we value what God values?


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