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Lamentations for a nation in decline

One of the fascinating and inspiring things about the Bible is the light it sheds on humanity; not just the humans living at the time biblical books were written, but all humans.

The Jewish prophet Jeremiah has been considered the author of Lamentations. The author mourns Jerusalem, which was “once great among the nations” but “has now become a slave,” plundered and mocked by those who once feared her: “Her foes have become her masters; her enemies are at ease … Her enemies looked at her and laughed at her destruction … The enemy laid hands on all her treasures.”

Israel was not only sacked — she was abandoned by her allies. Because the Israelites abandoned the laws of God. The people were led astray by their leaders’ weakness and venality. Those leaders were also arrogant. “The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the peoples of the world, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous.”

These passages could be describing the future of the U.S. Look how many of our leaders have abandoned the principles that were the basis for the success of the founding of America. Right and left, we see how America’s elites have embraced deceit and depravity, selfishness and greed.

The crisis in Afghanistan is a perfect example. President Joe Biden’s execution of the U.S. military pullout resulted in the collapse of the Afghan government. The decision to remove military before civilians left Americans and foreign allies scrambling to escape the country. Some Americans remain stranded, and many Afghans who helped us have been executed by the Taliban. Afghanistan is firmly in the control of Islamic extremists, and in possession of billions of dollars in military weapons our government left behind.

Some corporate leadership is just as bad. U.S. investors have lost billions of dollars when Chinese companies enter the U.S. market, only to have the companies’ assets, and those dollars, seized by the Chinese government. Our sports and entertainment industries are just as weak. Professional athletes give penitent speeches in Mandarin if they dare to defend the freedom of the Taiwanese. Hollywood is quick to edit their films to suit Chinese censors.

Hollywood should try censoring itself. Singer Demi Lovato posted an Instagram message, telling them to, “Be a slut. Show your body. Get naked. Have all the safe, different, consensual sex you want. Be Kinky. Masturbate. Make/watch porn. Make money.” Why anyone would listen to this deeply troubled young woman is a mystery. But many will. And she is not the only entertainment personality promoting promiscuity among other destructive behaviors. Where promiscuity goes, abortion follows. As America abandons God, other idols have taken his place. Abortion has become the sacrament of this warped and perverted “religion.”

Salon is one of the first to say so. They published an article last week titled, “Why Satanists may be the last, best hope to save abortion rights in Texas.” According to spokesman Lucien Greaves, the Satanic Temple is claiming abortion is a religious ritual for them, and demanding access to it under the First Amendment.

In another saner era, such a headline would have been unthinkable. But as the Bible also says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Canaanite followers of Moloch sacrificed their children to statues of him. The Aztecs and the Chimu sacrificed their children to placate pagan deities. We have dwarfed their numbers; more than 60 million babies have lost their lives to abortion since the practice was legalized by Roe v. Wade in 1973. Tens of millions of Americans still believe in loyalty, honesty and responsibility. But the hour is late. If past is precedent, we are far less likely to turn this ship around, and far more likely to fall victim to our egos. At least, if we rely only on ourselves. The author of Lamentations called upon the people to repent and turn to God in prayer: “(L)et us return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say, ‘we have sinned and rebelled … ‘”

That was the only thing that would save them then. It may well be the only thing that will save us now.

Laura Hollis is a nationally syndicated author.

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