The Public Religion Research Institute, in its just-released 12th annual American Values Survey, found that between 2013 and 2021, the level of Americans who believe God has ordained this country for His special purposes fell from 64% to 44%.
That’s a massive drop that carries a massive warning about a crumbling America.
Think about it.
If fully 53% now think it’s ridiculous to say God blessed this nation at its founding for any type of special mission or purpose — as this survey makes clear — then that’s the same as saying a majority of Americans no longer believe in the concept of American Exceptionalism.
And those who don’t believe in a concept aren’t prone to defend and preserve that concept.
So much for God-given, over government-granted — right?
America’s greatest trait, the characteristic that has set the country apart and above from all others, has always been the idea that individual rights are granted by God, not government, and that government is simply there to protect and preserve what citizens already possess, at birth, by birth, from the heavenly creator. These limits placed on government actually open the door for individuals to achieve, or fail, in line with the choice to use, or not, the seeds, talents, missions and gifts bestowed by God — with the less government regulation and infringement on citizen choice resulting in the greater opportunity for individuals to flourish.
It was, it is, a system that has bucked collectivism and kept at bay the evils of communism, socialism, Marxism and all the other “isms” that set government at the top of the chain; as the decider of winners and losers; as the force to be petitioned and begged — worshipped even — for what God already freely gives. It keeps the government subservient and the people free to self-determine.
Founders staged the government this way because they believed America was to be the shining city on a hill for the rest of the world.
American patriots fought to keep this spirit of individualism alive because they believed America was ordained by God to be an example of freedom for the world — more to truth, an example of how the Christian concept of freedom in Christ can play on earth via democratic-republic governance, via a Constitution rooted in individual rights, via a system based on moral leadership and biblical principles.
We lose this idea and we lose our identity.
We lose this concept and we become like every other nation in the world — parcels of land populated by groupings of people, ripe for the taking and exploitation of the elite and powerful.
An America without a compass that comes from God is an America on a course to destruction. If America is to be great, if America is to stay free, Americans must believe heart, mind and soul that God has a heavenly purpose for this country. It’s the faith that forms the foundation.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.