Posted by: Thomas Richard | January 24, 2012

Building a Nation on Quicksand?

What is the “bottom line” for this presidential election? Is it still, “the economy, stupid”? Most campaign speeches so far say yes: the crucial, essential issue for this country is economic: jobs! If only we can get the debt reduced, the budget balanced, the housing market active, and more jobs, then America can be secure and strong – “that shining city upon the hill” once more.

Such hope is shallow and misplaced. Unless this country begins to see more deeply into what did make America great, and thus what our priorities must be now, we will surely continue our slide to decadence, corruption, disintegration and poverty.

Rick Santorum is the only candidate that I have heard recognize this truth: “… at the core of the American experience is the family, and … without strong families, we cannot have a strong and vibrant nation.” Santorum seems to know the central importance of the family for any culture and nation. The family is the foundational cell of any society, and when the family is weak, the nation is at peril. Our nation is at peril.

Yes the economy is important, but only after we recover our national moral sanity. If money remains the foundation of this nation then we are already doomed. Jesus said we must seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all these other things will be provided. National strength begins in strong moral families standing upon the rock of sure truth. May we awaken soon, before it is too late.


  1. One thing Solzhenitsyn said in his Harvard address in 1978, which shocked everybody at the time but was profoundly true, is that the whole of secular fundamentalism and the murderous nature of the culture of death, if you like, of secular fundamentalism, is not restricted to communism. He said in that address that the same poisonous materialism also animated much of the philosophy of the West and its decadence.


    • Solzhenitsyn did see deeply into things. “Poisonous materialism” indeed is one more name for the problem with the “city of man”, as Augustine observed, that city of secularism and all its contradictions and confusions. I begin more and more now to see this secular city as one with a pseudo-religious foundation – how better to masquerade as the answer to man’s true need? – a city of idols and idolatries. Secular and idolatrous! The worst of both worlds! But in such a way do all counterfeits fool the foolish: it seems good; it seems real; it seems to have value. But it is false, and empty, and poisonous – lethal to man made in the image of God who is True.

  2. Dear Thomas,

    Yes, the Lord and His Church have been repeatedly urging us all to build up one another in love. Everything begins with the family, and if we neglect the family we will continue to suffer greatly in this country and in the world. May we listen and do the Truth God has revealed to us:

    “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2Ch 7:14)

    While there is time, by God’s Grace, let us pray and do God’s Truth, lovingly. Let us pray for one another that we elect leaders who speak and do the truth; remembering we are all responsible for the graces God gives to each of us. May God bless us that we may be a blessing to all.

  3. Dear Thomas and Deborah,

    Our Church is in desperate need of new re- evangelizing.

    Here is an example of what my wife experienced just a few days ago. She met a person she had studied with in a private Catholic school run by excellent nuns. There were three girls in this family and they attended the same schoo,l but Gaby was disappointed to learn that they were either divorced, remarried, or co-habiting. Their father was a very pious person, trained to teach theology, and before he died he would visit us to discuss religion, which he enjoyed

    The lady boosted how well they were doing and all the traveling they were experiencing around the world. When the subject turned to myself, Gaby explained that I had been sick for forty five years. The respond she got from her was “Why don’t you leave him?” “He is my husband and I would not change him for the world.” was her respond. The lady, who considers herself a Catholic, looked at her as if she was an abnormality and walked away!

    I hope also for leaders in the Church who will speak and do the truth, so far I don’t see any evidence of this, at the least not in this region.


    • Hello Gene,

      It can be disheartening – to me, and perhaps to others, and perhaps to you – to see some leaders of the Church failing to lead in such critical and dangerous times. I am grateful, and I shout in praise to the good Lord, for the faithful and courageous and wise ones that I have met and known! God has not left us impoverished, though the times can seem very lean.

      One such wise and holy priest often said to me, “It’s a mess! But – we have the Holy Spirit.” It will be well. It is a trial, and Jesus promised many trials, and He also promised that at the end of it all is glory. Glory! Let us not waste the grace of the moment, then, but entrust it all to Him and do what we can, each of us, in “confident expectation” (that is, hope) of the glory to come.

    • Dear Gene,

      There is not much I can add to Thomas’ reply except Jesus’ words: “Watch and Pray”. As we watch, let us pray lovingly, for one another and for all those in most need of God’s Mercy, especially our leaders.

      The Hearts of Jesus and Mary were both pierced, knowing the heartache of betrayal by religious authorities and by friends. I am sure Mary prayed with her Son, “Father forgive them…”

      Let us offer our pain in union with Jesus to Our Father, as Mary did. St. Therese of Lisieux wrote that love is the willingness to suffer. By God’s Grace, I try to remember those words often in times of trial.

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