Glenn Beck's remarkable rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Saturday was a wake-up call for his beloved America. This nation, he reminded us, is and has been since its founding a nation under God. Failure to recognize our absolute dependence upon God, he said, has put this nation in peril.
His warning echoed that my father once delivered when he told Americans, "When we stop being a nation under God, we will be a nation gone under."
For a long time we have been slowly drifting away from that reality, acting as if our destiny were solely in our own hands -- it's as if we were saying to the Almighty, "Thanks for the ten suggestions, and such trivial admonitions as the Sermon on the Mount, but we'd rather do it our up-to-date modern way."
I don't need to remind you that doing it our way: slaughtering the innocent unborn by the tens of millions; now defying the integrity of marriage, that most ancient of institutions; allowing our government to be profligate not only with our own resources but those of generations to come has led us down the road to ruin for us and our children and our children's children.
We have allowed our government and our representatives in Congress to squander not only our financial resources but those of future generations of American so that we can enjoy all those wondrous benefits Washington offers us, now and allegedly free of charge.
We have replaced the old adage that God proposes, man disposes. Now it's solely man proposes. And what a mess we've made.
In his book, "The God that Did Not Fail" (Encounter Books), Robert Royal warns that the movement toward "progressive irreligion" encourages ignorance of religion's unparalleled importance in the development and maintenance of western culture.
Glenn echoed that explanation of our current condition.
Prior to the Glenn Beck rally Saturday, our newest deity, the all-knowing mass media, predicted that Beck would rant and rage about politics and the current administration and perhaps provoke violence on a frightening scale.
It never occurred to the atheistic media that Glenn's message would be about God's love and our solemn obligation to love one another even as we love ourselves.
Much to their astonishment, instead of dwelling on the political differences that divide is, Glenn beseeched us to acknowledge our absolute dependence upon the Divine will and our obligation to love God and our neighbor, no matter who he is.
A friend of mine complained to me the other day that when he went to confession, the priest told him that he was obliged to love his neighbors, all of them. When he almost jokingly asked if that meant he even had to love Barack Obama, the priest said an emphatic "yes."
Sometimes, he complained, God demands the impossible. The priest reminded him that with God's help, all things are possible.
That, in a nutshell, is what Glenn Beck was telling us last Saturday: Love of God and love of neighbor, not political rhetoric and dissension, is the sole solution to our national woes.
My Dad, Ronald Reagan, warned us that a nation that shuns God is on the road to ruin.
Thanks again for the reminder, Glenn.