- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 22, 2019

Two headlines of major interest rocked national news at very nearly the same time this week — the first, from CNN, “Supreme Court rules ‘peace cross’ in Maryland can remain,” and the second, from the Associated Press, “Alaska government meeting opens with ‘Hail Satan’ prayer.”

The battle lines just don’t get clearer than that. Do they?

On one hand, there stands the 40-foot “Peace Cross,” a World War I monument built in 1925 by The American Legion to honor 49 local men who died during military service — a memorial that yes, is in the shape of the Christian cross. The Supreme Court ruled it can stand. But the significance is the fact the Supreme Court was called upon to decide in the first place.

On the other hand, there stands a member of the Satanic Temple, cloaking herself in the group’s supposed non-religious mission of advancing a spirit of “benevolence and empathy among all people” — but delivering an invocation before an Alaska government meeting that included the mocking trailer, “It is done, hail Satan.” Mocking, because “it is finished” were the final words of Jesus as He died on the cross for humanity’s sins.

And here’s the conundrum: All parties concerned in both cases see themselves as representative of America’s values. Impossible. Strip away all the shop talk and what’s left is a stark show of Christianity versus satanism.

The two are incompatible. America’s at an impasse and it’s society’s time to choose. For what do we stand? To what do we pledge allegiance?

That used to be a no-brainer. Now it’s a matter of massive disagreement.

Now it’s a marker of America’s great divide.

Nothing shows cultural degradation like a nation that was forged by Christian faithfuls on a quest for religious freedom and built by Judeo-Christian principles being torn asunder and cast into judicial, legislative and cultural confusion by the likes of group that hails Satan during a prayer moment at a government get-together.

As founders noted, our government was only intended for a moral, virtuous people — and as they warned, when the people fail to be moral and virtuous, the pillars of the democratic-republic would fall.

This is where we’re at now.

The First Amendment is being twisted and turned inward and used as a weapon of cultural and political destruction against America by cockroaches that, just a few short years ago, were constrained to dark corners. And they were constrained to dark corners because the moral majority wouldn’t tolerate it otherwise.


Now we live in a society where good is bad and right is wrong — and boys are girls or whatever they choose to be, and so forth. The absolutes have crumbled; traditions and norms, disintegrated — taking with them the last vestige of what used to be considered accepted and usual for interpretations and applications of the First Amendment.

Enter the Satanic Temple.

Enter loud-mouthed opposition to public displays of the Christian cross.

The Satanic Temple has made inroads — is making inroads — because America’s moral compass is out of whack. The atheists and humanists and secularists are making waves and rocking legislative and judicial bodies because America’s once-proud, once-noble Judeo-Christian foundations are getting shaky.

And here’s the thing: We can blame the schools and teachers and unions. We can blame corrupt and self-serving politicians and secular organizations and activist judges. We can blame the divorce rate, the rise of single-parent and even no-parent households and the sad and sorry state of latchkey kids. We can blame the opioid crisis, we can blame the watering of the churches, we can blame a host of other societal ills and ailments.

But in the end, the fault is our own.

If it’s as Edmund Burke wrote, in a letter to Thomas Mercer, that “the only thing necessary for the triumph for evil is for good men to do nothing” — the fault is that for far too long, too many of good character have done far too little to resist the advances of those of bad character. The scales have tipped, the morals have flipped.

Wake up, America. It’s high time to send the cockroaches back to their dark corners.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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