In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina several experts began research to discover the reasons behind the pervasive flooding in the city of New Orleans. The bulk of them concluded that the devastation was due to breaches in the levee system. Some reported that the levee system’s failure was due to faulty construction and poor maintenance, while others cited that the levees were built based on antiquated data. Whatever the reason the levees where inadequate to stand against the flood, the fact remains that the cause behind a city being 75% underwater was less about the strength or size of the storm and more about the quality of its defenses.
Much like the levees constructed around New Orleans were made to protect the city from the probability in nature to produce a storm of destructive size and scope, there are principles for a society to protect it from the destructive propensity in human nature. To say it plainly, there are principles that keep the civil in civilization, and without them we become a city without walls. A glance at the recent headlines may suggest that we are. In one weekend in Chicago there were 41 murders. The flash mobs of “occupiers” that have swept the country have been the breeding ground of crimes ranging from public indecency and defecation, to rape, arson, and even murder. The recent incident in Miami may suggest the farthest separation from civility, as a man in a chemically induced rage publicly ate the face off of another living human being. While these crimes may be nothing new under the sun, what is new is the sense of numbness that has crept into our souls when confronted with these things. Have we become desensitized? More importantly are we losing touch with our conscience? Conscience is to society what pain is to the body. It’s an alarm that signals that something has gone wrong. But, what if the alarm doesn’t sound? What happens to the city if the storm is approaching and the sirens aren’t heard? An active conscience is the levee that holds back the rising tide of evil in human nature. However, conscience cannot exist alone. It can only work when buttressed to an objective standard established outside of ourselves.
The conscience needs a moral law. A moral law needs a law-maker. The maker of the law then becomes the catalyst for the conscience.
I don’t think people understand the damage they are doing when they attempt to minimize the presence of God and His laws in a society. Nature abhors a vacuum. What God’s laws do not govern someone else’s laws will, and since the only alternative to God is our fallen human nature, those laws will never coincide with what is best for anyone but the maker and his or her own selfish impulses. Ladies and gentlemen there are moral absolutes, and those absolutes mean everything to a nation where men attempt to govern themselves. Without them we are trying to navigate with a compass with no indicators for north, south, east or west. How can we expect justice in our courts, truth in our journalism, wealth in the economy, and peace within our borders, without the guiding light of a conscience nourished by God’s moral laws? There is much clamor in our country today about the enormous size of government and its interference in our lives, but the discussion should not be centered on the size of government but the size of God. Government always becomes God where God is not allowed to be God.
We are at a very strategic time in our nation and consequently our lives. The teaching of moral relativism is attempting to erode the Judeo-Christian soil from which the conscience of our nation grows. Adherence to God’s commands leads to a reverence for life, truth, and personal responsibility. These are the spiritual levees erected in a society for its protection against itself. Will we learn our lesson and maintenance them to make sure they hold, or will we one day find ourselves morally underwater?