Mark Shepard
America's 239 year trip -- from liberty to decadence
By Mark Shepard
July 4, 2015

Just as we in the United States were preparing for the annual celebration marking the most amazing national experiment in liberty, our nation was mortally wounded. But make no mistake about its source, as it was administered by our own hand and is far more devastating than any external adversary could inflict. The very center of our nation raced to embrace ideas completely contrary to the created order. Those entrusted with the stewardship of our government drank a lie and have now drunkenly dragged our entire nation into deception branded as truth.

Twice in one week, our highest court, having no authority to make law, twisted clear meanings of words to create law out of thin air. When words in law are allowed to take on any meaning, none of our rights as Americans are secure. Truly, we live in an "ends justifies the means" time. Our founding documents were not forged to guarantee particular ends, but rather the means by which we may live free lives to forge our own, individual ends. Yet as of last week, the clear meanings of the laws defining our liberty were thrown aside by an "all-powerful" government of humans presuming themselves superior to nature and nature's God.

A few thousand years ago, our Creator God cast a rainbow in the sky as a sign He would never again destroy mankind with a flood. Thus the rainbow signified God's protection of, and patience with, commitment to and love for humankind, His highest creation. Those who mock the very creation of man by openly parading unnatural, destructive, unbounded sexuality in streets, legislative bodies, and courts, have stolen that very symbol and use it to represent defiance against God and His amazing creation. With God's symbol of love for His creation, the mockers force their out-of-control perverse sensual ways on our entire nation and beyond, trampling over anyone who dares to question the wisdom of their path. The freedom to express rational thought is all but gone in America today.

Prior to the flood, which is solidly supported by fossil records and anthropological findings throughout the world, man was on a suicidal path. The flood saved mankind from extinction when God put Noah, his family and animals of all species on a very literal floating zoo. He put them on as male and female pairs, not male and male or female and female. The evil so blatantly paraded in recent years by ISIS and other killers of the innocent has helped me understand why God had to wipe out mankind to save mankind. While we strive against such evil, we must come to terms that we as a nation are not without innocent blood on our hands. Indeed, we have "legally" snuffed out over 50 million innocent American lives in the past 40 years by abortion. That is equivalent to wiping out twice the population of Vermont every year; almost 3,500 little lives every day for forty straight years!

And while America has a history with its own stains, God's hand has certainly been active in our nation. July 4, 1776, America was conceived by proclaiming that mankind was indeed a creation of God and that our Creator endowed us with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. England, with the most powerful military at the time, was defeated by volunteering colonists. And our 1787 Constitution rests on many Biblical principles, among them the value of the individual person and a clear understanding that man cannot handle power, which is why our federal government was framed as a very limited and divided three-branch government with checks to try to protect against man's unquenchable thirst for power. The flag, with a star for each state, represents separate experiments in representative self-government. That also is a division of power between the states and the federal government. Sadly, that no longer represents our nation, for the concept of separate stars has essentially been replaced by a huge blob of out-of-control power and corruption, centralized in the federal government.

Many of our nation's framers made clear that a nation of free people could only survive as long as the people internally embraced God's instructions for human behavior. Operating outside of God's design is sure to fail, as demonstrated by the horrific carnage wrought by the evil of legalized slavery.

It was in that environment, of personal property rights, individual liberty, and a culture that largely embraced Biblical teaching, that Americans were naturally encouraged to be all they could be. By the 1940s, America was powerful enough to simultaneously defeat two huge forces of destruction on two fronts, and America was the key to restoring the nation of Israel, fulfilling unimaginable biblical prophecy written thousands of years prior.

Indeed God had a purpose for America and He created America for that purpose, part of which was to bring about the restoration of the nation of Israel. What other nation from the Old Testament era has been torn apart, scattered around the world, and then brought back together? Surely God's hand brought that about and America played a leading role.

Americans, of their own free will, have also brought God's message of true liberty all over the globe. That true liberty has been on display in the lives of Christians murdered by violent followers of Islam. The right to pursue happiness, as penned in the Declaration of Independence, was not about sensual pleasures, but rather to seek true liberty, through the freedom as individuals to search out our Creator and live in united harmony with Him.

That effort can certainly be made more difficult when fraudulent ideas are forced on society. If left unchecked, fraudulent ideas will take root and shape the culture, and it does not take but a generation or two to completely flip a culture on its head. Indeed, a huge portion of our nation has flipped, trading ideas consistent with Biblical teaching for false and destructive ones. If there were any doubt, last week's Supreme Court decisions took that away. We are trading ideas that liberate humanity for ideas that enslave humanity.

Our culture seems to have no understanding that the instructions provided in the Bible are so we as individuals and as a society can flourish. When God is absent from a culture, depravity followed by destruction fills that vacuum. America is well along this path.

Consider the enormous costs resulting from refusing to control sexual passions within the God's framework of a lifelong union between one man and one woman, where children are conceived in love and raised by both of their biological parents. Sexual diseases have certainly cost millions, if not billions, of dollars for treatments and the never-ending search for cures, other than simply living according to God's design. Counselling has become booming sector trying to deal with the havoc resulting from separating sexual intimacy from Biblical marriage.

Education costs have skyrocketed and education has become less effective as educators have been forced to deal with ever-increasing family dysfunction wrought by the sexual free-for-all path. And even the educators' hands are tied by the banning of truly restorative ideas from government-controlled schools. Indeed, children raised without a father in the home account for a tremendous cost on society, never mind the pain borne by "fatherless" children and their mothers. Pornography is a precursor to sexual abuse, rape, and a huge sex-slave industry. Human life has been reduced to an object for temporal "pleasure." And the costs go on and on.

And as much as we may pretend that individual choices only impact the individual, that is just another lie. We are all interconnected, and our entire culture pays the bill for decadent behavior, which is of course why there is also a push for greater and greater government (taxpayer) responsibility when it comes to paying for healthcare. Healthcare is made a "right" to force everyone to pay for the results of depraved choices. This is not liberty; it is decadent self-indulgence and nothing more.

Billions upon billions of dollars poured down the toilet of momentary pleasure, while turning a blind eye to the plight of millions upon millions of people who do not even have a source for clean drinking water. Life has no greater meaning than temporal pleasure, we're told. After decades of preaching evolution in secular schools and universities, with hardly a whisper of any alternative explanation for life, it does become difficult to find deeper meaning in life. Ideas do have consequences.

So here we are coming up on July 4, and we are somehow supposed to celebrate America. How is that even possible? Shall we just go on and eat, drink, and be merry, as in the days of Noah, while our nation is self-destructing along with any meaningful understanding of liberty?

Shall we continue on defiantly boasting of our might as a nation, like so many nations before us that landed in the ash heap of history? How fleeting such might is, for a nation that turns its back on God and His ways. There is no protection like the hand of God. Yet, if we as a nation insist that God depart, God, being the ultimate libertarian, will depart, along with His guiding and protective hand. Just do not later ask, "Why would God allow...?"

September 11, 2001, was a short-lived wake-up call to our nation's need for God's protection, even as mighty as we are. For a few days, shell-shocked Americans thought a bit deeper and even reached toward God, but then defiance took hold again. Americans forged ahead, pushing God and His ways out of our culture, and as Romans chapter 1 makes clear, if a people are persistent in their defiance, God will step back and give a society over to their destructive passions.

Was the election of Barrack Obama to the presidency of the United States an act of God, giving us over to destructive desires? Surely Mr. Obama has nothing in his history that he should be elected president of the most powerful nation on earth. How could he possibly have gotten elected without God's help? Mr. Obama has intently pushed our nation further and further from its Biblical foundation, while he also pushes ideas that are completely contrary to God's Word.

We now completely rest on our own human understanding and might. We don't need God. We will determine what is right in our own eyes. Our mighty military and intelligence sectors scour the world chasing down those that want to bring harm upon America. We shoot them down with drones. Yet the killers grow faster than we can kill them, worse than weeds in an untended garden.

As long as the devil roams and man has a thirst for power, evil will be a part of our lives. However, when evil is made legal, the entire nation bears the consequences. July 4, 2015, is not a time to celebrate; it is a time to repent and ask God to again shed His grace on America. It is a time for each of us to turn toward our Creator, embrace His redemption gift, and do what we can to bring clear understanding of our dire situation to those within our sphere.

239 years ago, American men and women literally put their lives on the line for a new idea, based upon certain unalienable God-given human rights. That has all been trampled on this week with two ignorant court opinions. Oh how I pray Americans wake up before more destruction hits our nation, turn 180 degrees, flee from the destructive, wrong-headed ideas, and once again embrace true and proven ideas that have stood the test of time and provide a basis for individual liberty. Then we can again ask God to bless America and celebrate His ways of true liberty.

* Out of respect for the reader, I have always had a goal to keep my columns below 600 words. While I have found ways to shorten this piece, I have not been able to get it down near 600 words without leaving out sections that I feel are important. The shortness of time between the court decision and the Fourth of July and my being blessed with a very busy work schedule (over 80 hours/week) at this time have made that process more challenging.

© Mark Shepard


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Mark Shepard

Mark Shepard served two terms in the Vermont Senate (2003-2006) and ran for Congress in the 2006 Republican Primary. (Click here for more.)

For a number of reasons, not the least of which is its small size, Vermont has been targeted as a key beachhead by those desiring to move America away from its liberty-based birth – where the laws of nature and nature's God were supreme – and toward socialism, where the state (man's wisdom) is supreme. It was in that environment that Mark ran and served in elected politics... (more)


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