America's Deadly Sins
Most Americans are sick of self-righteous, breast-beating leftists moaning about the shame they bear for being American. They claim we have become wealthy “on the backs” of the “oppressed” –- as if no American ever worked for anything himself. They whine that America has treated its women badly, its natives even worse, and that the poor are still poor, and the rich, heaven forbid, are still rich. Shame on us. Really? Let’s take score.
In our brief history from the early European colonization efforts until now, Western society in North America has only existed a little over 500 years, and as a nation we’ve only been in business for 241 years – about which the average college student knows very little. However, said students seem certain that we do not measure up to some unstated scale they have set for national behavior, and, despite of their lack of historical expertise, they seem sure that our sins are mostly buried in our deep, dark past.
Slavery, of course, comes to mind. Though the average liberal seems unaware that only 1.4% of Americans ever owned slaves, that only about 250,000 ever arrived in North America. In fact, in 1860 when the slave population was at its highest there were under 4 million slaves –- 20,000 of whom were owned by other blacks. None of which mitigates the fact of slavery, but to hear a leftist tell the story you’d think our entire economy was built on the forced labor of a quarter of a million blacks. And the left ignores the fact that 360,000 Union soldiers were either killed, wounded, or imprisoned trying to stop slavery.
But even before slavery we were awful. When Columbus and subsequent explorers landed in the New World, they brought with them smallpox and other diseases for which the natives had no immunity. That they didn’t do this on purpose seems not to alleviate our white, privileged, European guilt.
Some historical events do sully our history -– the Salem Witch Trials, the Trail of Tears, the massacre at Wounded Knee, and the decimation the Great Plains bison herds. There was both carelessness and evil in those events, but most were perpetrated as isolated incidents and none were stated policy of the majority of the people of the United States.
It is true that in our free enterprise economic system some people become very rich and others remain poor. Which, to a conservative, seems better than everyone being poor, but to a leftist it is a situation most dire. That our poor have hot and cold running water, electricity, heat and air conditioning, TVs, phones, cars, and access to food from all over the world doesn’t seem to matter. That we all have an opportunity of climb out of poverty is also of little importance.
All of these indictments are:
1. So far in the past that we can do nothing to change them;
2. No worse than the general muddle human beings have been making of history since the dawn of time; and
3. Mostly the result of a cherry-picking, Marxist twisting of history. But what is really disturbing is that the things this country is guilty of right now – things that land squarely in the leftwing lap – are what we should be concerned about.
You see, we are alive now and can do something about our current national sins, but instead, half of this country seems just fine about it all.
It doesn’t bother liberals that cities like Detroit, and Baltimore, and New Orleans –- once powerful, prosperous cities – are now, after decades of Democrat rule, fiscal and moral disasters, mere ruins of their former selves.
No one seems particularly worried about what has happened to the black family. Fuss and moan and complain about what happened over 200 years ago, but not a word about today. Over 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock. That’s over two-thirds of black males growing up without fathers, who no longer need to be there for their families because the government has taken over their responsibility for supporting their children. Black youth are gunning each other down in their own neighborhoods because they have never been taught not to. America did this to these people when Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty swooped in to make dependents out of a vital portion of America. Therefore, the inner-city blacks are still slaves but we’ve taken from them the dignity of work. That we should feel guilty about; it happened on our watch.
We’ve further trapped the poor in this nation by forcing them into failing schools. It’s hard these days for the average middle-class white kid to get a really good education, but these inner-city kids don’t have a chance, and yet liberals fight tooth and nail to keep at bay efforts to free them with school vouchers and charter schools. Teachers in their unions care more about their jobs than they do about educating children. There’s some remorse to chew on.
We have promoted, both with governmental policy and by cultural rot, a broad-spectrum of sexual immoralities, which have further destroyed the family and the stability and prosperity that strong families bring to a society.
During the Obama administration –- with his sanction and involvement -– we left Iraq high and dry for Iran and ISIS to set up shop in. We destroyed civilization in Libya, and aided and abetted Syrian rebels, who turned out to be ISIS. Twenty million people in the Middle East have been displaced and 500,000 Christians, Jews and Yazidis have been brutally murdered. Rape and the taking of sex slaves is endemic, and the world has not seen the current level of brutality in a thousand years. Crucifixion is back, as are beheadings and immolation. In turn, Europe has been inundated with these Middle Eastern refugees and will never again be Europe as we have known it. All this on our watch.
In the name of Mother Earth, our new goddess, and a demi-god called the snail darter, we have destroyed the economy and the hard work of generations of Americans by cutting off the water supply to family farms. Drive through the dead orchards of the San Joaquin Valley in California and see the devastation. We can be blamed for letting this happen.
But none of those national sins come even close to the lives we’ve taken (using taxpayer money) before they even got started. Most estimates put the number of aborted babies since the Roe v. Wade took effect in 1973 at some 60,000,000 children. Sixty million. Who would those tiny people have become? What gifts would they have brought with them? What effect has this had on the black community, which has been hit especially hard by the presence of Planned Parenthood in black neighborhoods? I have been complicit in this, coming late into the realization of the demographic devastation. The hard-hearted selling of baby parts and the cruelty of the methods used makes my stomach turn. We allowed this to happen.
We have driven God out of our schools, allowed drugs to be brought across our borders, and sexualized our children. We have much to atone for and much that can be fixed, that can be stopped. But before we do that we have to stop wallowing in a pit of pointless guilt that can help no one, and get on with undoing the damage we ourselves have done and making things as right as we can for those who have suffered under our stupidity.
Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking.