â€œThen answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.â€ (Matthew 27:25)
Isnâ€™t it surprising that it was actually the people who tipped the scales against Christ and gladly accepted the responsibility for His crucifixion? In America, â€œWE THE PEOPLEâ€ is championed as the cure-all for all of our countryâ€™s ills. To suggest that â€œWE THE PEOPLEâ€ could actually be the cause of our countryâ€™s ills is to commit sacrilege in these United States. Yet, just as the crucifixion of Christ finally boiled down to the will of the people, so also does every major problem in modern-day America.
Pogo was right: â€œWe have met the enemy and he is us.â€ Regardless of the national crisis under consideration, there is no way to exonerate the American people from all culpability. To one degree or another, weâ€™ve played a part in creating the problem. And all too often, ours was the major part played.
Take for example our countryâ€™s current economic crisis. While much has been made of the blame to be laid at the feet of government and lending institutions, hardly anything has been said about the fact that the crisis would have never occurred apart from the covetousness of the American people. If the average American refused to use credit as a means for purchasing what is personally unaffordable, and insisted instead upon living within his or her financial means, there would be no credit crisis in America.
Oh, I know, we believe in the â€œpower of the people.â€ We incessantly speak of the â€œwisdom,â€ â€œstrength,â€ â€œresilienceâ€ and â€œgreatnessâ€ of the American people. It is as though our populace is the sole secret to our success. We need neither God nor anything else, being self-reliant, self-sustaining and self-sufficient. All we need is ourselves; after all, â€œWE THE PEOPLEâ€ are invulnerable. In light of such hubris, I cannot help but wonder if â€œLady Libertyâ€ is really no lady at all; see Revelation 17-18.
In a recent speech in Turkey, our president, Barack Obama, announced to the world that â€œWE THE PEOPLEâ€ no longer â€œconsider ourselves a Christian nation.â€ It is important to point out that our president was not lamenting this fact, but actually bragging about it. That our nationâ€™s Christian distinction has been done away with by â€œWE THE PEOPLEâ€ is something for which most Americans are more than willing to be held accountable. Like our president, â€œWE THE PEOPLEâ€ are not ashamed of it, but proud of it, and even willing for the consequences of it to â€œbe on us and on our children.â€ Sound familiar?
â€œWe have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!â€ (Abraham Lincoln)