Pondering the current national security debate — any moral sensibility beyond utilitarian self-interest is hard to spot. If the prophets have taught us anything, it is that armies, weapons, and foreign alliances cannot compensate for expelling God. We still have “in God we trust” on our money only because the courts have accepted the defense that it is a “theological affirmation devoid of content.” Indeed.
We are not self-securing beings. God controls the pre-conditions that make possible profitable labor. Apart from his blessing, we labor under a futility curse. Heedlessness cannot defeat lawlessness — it turns us into something not worth defending and stores up judgment for ourselves and our posterity. The chaos that results from disregarding the first commandment prepares us to welcome tyranny and its empty promises of order and glory.
We always fight on two fronts — within and without. No atheist or idolater troubles me so much as the atheist in my own heart, that tempts me to follow my own counsel and rely on my own fretful efforts.
Our collective outrage confesses our national atheism.
Yet, into this very darkness, “A child is born…”