May 26, 2019

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

In the Book of Genesis we hear God say to Noah, “I will establish my covenant with you.” Covenants can be either conditional or non-conditional. A conditional covenant is one which says, “I will do this for you if you will do that for me.” This covenant that God made with Noah, however, is unconditional. God promised to never destroy the earth again by water. There are no conditions for the covenant. To this day, we have the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of God’s eternal covenant. But the story of Noah teaches us that sin and disobedience is serious. It reminds us that our good and righteous God, who is the creator of all, has the right to expect certain behavior from His children.

We live in a land blessed with God’s gift of liberty, in a nation built on Judeo Christian principles. Our Declaration of Independence begins with the statement,

We hold these truths 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.

We have been blessed. The United States of America is the wealthiest nation on the face of the earth. The total market value of the goods and services produced by this country amounts to approximately one quarter of that produced by the entire planet. Yet the population of the Unites States is less than 5% of the global population.  We must ask ourselves, have we been good stewards of the gifts we’ve been given. Are we obedient children, faithful to the will of our heavenly Father?

We are permitting the moral decay of our society as evidenced by every measurable criterion. We, for years, have exploited the rest of the world by greedily consuming the majority of the earth’s resources. We can’t control our spending. As a nation we are currently 15.5 trillion dollars in debt, and we are increasing that debt by 6.6 billion dollars every day. Common sense tells us that this is not sustainable.

Pericles, the ruler of ancient Athens, gave a speech in 398 B.C. in which he said, “Our nation, this most powerful, wealthy, and dominant people on the face of planet Earth, shall shine on for millennia to come.” Unfortunately, only one year after making that speech, he was dead. And four years after making that speech his nation was gone, completely broke, battered, and ravaged. History tells us that many great nations have come and gone before us. Each disappeared by making the exact same mistakes. Each overextended themselves militarily and financially. Each bankrupted their nation through uncontrolled domestic spending. Each experienced internal corruption through the moral decay of their culture. And each gained far too many enemies by their belligerent, aggressive behavior. In our arrogance, are we allowing ourselves to repeat the same mistakes?

We must rededicate ourselves and our nation to the will of our heavenly Father and His principles of love, generosity and service. For if we don’t, we have every reason to question the continuance of His favor. It is not too late. This is an election year. As children of God and as citizens of the United States we have a responsibility to make our voices heard. Together we can make it happen.

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Written by
Deacon Donald Cox

REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. He is currently assigned to St. Cornelius parish in Dryden, Michigan. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit's Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

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Written by Deacon Donald Cox