This is a critical time in American history. I think we all know that something big is happening in America. The steady stream of news out of Washington the past couple weeks is just a fresh reminder of this. We are learning more about how far our Department of Justice went in digging through the phone records of members of the press. We are also learning about how our own government targeted conservative groups by delaying or denying their tax-exempt status. And we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop on Obamacare -- the rate increases, the religious liberty violations and the bloated government bureaucracy that it will surely bring. This is troubling stuff, but it's just more evidence of President Obama's real agenda.
A little more than five years ago, when Barack Obama was running for president, he said something to a private audience about my state of Pennsylvania that foreshadowed this agenda. He told this group in San Francisco that the people of western Pennsylvania "cling to guns or religion." This quote was a slap of derision to faithful Christians and believers in the Second Amendment. At the time, we all saw it for what it was, but I don't think we saw it for what he really meant. I think it goes deeper than that. Obama, in this last campaign, said he wanted to "transform America."
What is really happening now as we hear more about gun control, tax increases, Obamacare and same-sex marriage is a debate about who we are as Americans. America is not like most other countries in the world. Most others countries in the world are based on some sort of ethnicity -- France, Italy, Afghanistan, Russia. Not us. For Americans, it is a shared set of values. We are Americans because of what we hold together as a belief structure. So when Barack Obama says he wants to "transform America," he wants to transform that basic set of core beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence -- the words that bring us together which we all know and often hear repeated: "We hold these truths <i>(truths)</i> to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
So when Barack Obama says he wants to transform America, what does he mean? There was another revolution that went on, right about the same time as the American Revolution and the signing of the Declaration of Independence -- the French Revolution. The French Revolution was eerily similar to the American Revolution, but there was a significant difference. The French Revolution was also to overthrow a king, yes. The revolutionaries' guiding words were equality (sounds goods), liberty (good) and fraternity or brotherhood -- not paternity, fatherhood. That is, in France, the belief was not that rights come from a Creator. Instead, the other revolution was a secular, godless, anti-clerical revolution. Churches were burned; clergy were killed. It was a rejection of God.
Barack Obama's vision for America is the same vision that has been running wild for two centuries in Europe. All of Western Europe is now a descendent of the French Revolution. Churches there are empty. It is a secular culture and a dying culture. Europeans don't have rights, other than the rights the government decides to give and occasionally take away. American liberals like to look to Europe and say, "Look at the gun-control laws there." Well, how about looking at the free speech laws there, or the other freedoms? They don't have the freedoms we do, because they don't have the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution we have. So when Barack Obama says he wants to transform America, and he looks down his nose at people who "cling" to their guns and their Bible, he understands that the critical transition America has to make is to reject the Declaration, to reject that living, breathing document of the Constitution.
We are at a critical time in America because the transformation that Barack Obama has talked about is actually happening. Those on the left live this battle every minute of the day. They do it in their schools, in their homes, in their church, at work. They are constantly pushing their agenda, and they are marginalizing anybody and everybody who disagrees with them. And now it turns out many in the federal government are doing it, as well. Positions that have been the bulwark of American civilization are now the "fringe." You must, in every aspect of your life, understand the battle that is before us -- because they do. You ask what you can do? Be as passionate as they are about what you love about this country.
Former Senator Rick Santorum is the author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.
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