July 7, 2011
A Nation Adrift
By Mike McManus
Fourth of July is a happy holiday for me. This year, however, I felt a
sense of foreboding – a profound unease with the drift of our culture.
Nothing is going right.
Democrats and Republican seem to be playing chicken over America’s debt and
deficit crisis. Republicans only want to cut spending, while Democrats want
to raise taxes. The President has entered the battle belatedly.
is limping along at a stunning 9.1% unemployment rate. Why? Two reasons:
Our economy has almost stopped producing goods for sale. We imported $561
billion more goods than we exported, while China had a surplus of $272
billion, Japan, $166 billion, and Germany $162 billion. Even Norway had a
$60 billion surplus.
Second, there are 76.6 million Baby Boomers
who are trying to downsize by selling their big homes and retire. But they
only had 49 million kids who can’t possibly buy that many homes. So housing
values plummet, and housing construction has almost disappeared.
were selfish, aborting a million of their own children a year, because they
wanted a more comfortable lifestyle that fewer kids offered.
There are three workers for every retiree today, but in 15 years the ratio
will be 2.3 to one. Inevitably, they will have to work more years, retiring
at age 69 or 70.
also gave us the Sexual Revolution, which rationalized promiscuity. This is
what lies behind some of the worst trends in our culture.
has soared 17-fold, from 430,000 in 1960 to 7.5 million last year. Young
people think they can “test the relationship” by living together. That’s
one of the myths my wife and I wrote about in our book, “Living Together:
Myths, Risks and Answers.” In fact, of the 7.5 million only 1.4 million
married last year. So four out of five cohabitants broke up in an often
painful premarital divorce. Further, cohabitants who marry are 61% more
likely to divorce. Thus, cohabitation is actually a step away from marriage.
parents nor churches warn young adults about the dangers of cohabitation.
marriage rate has plunged. In 1990 there were 2.4 million marriages in
America but less than 2.1 million in 2009. Meanwhile, the nation’s
population jumped by 60 million. If population is considered, there has
been a 31% drop in the marriage rate in only 19 years.
reported recently that 30% of American adults have never married, and only
48% of adults are married today, down from 78% in 1950.
Fully 41% of births are now to unwed
mothers. In Japan, it is only 2%. Our divorce rate is triple that of
Britain or France, with 23% of American divorcing in five years vs. only 8%
of the British or French and 10% in Canada. Yet we consider ourselves a
What can be
done about these serious problems?
Each of us have a sphere of influence. We
must move out of our comfort zone, and urge others to consider steps that
could change these trends.
that is what the founders of America did.
set high goals. “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
the primary author of the Declaration, was a slave owner, yet those immortal
words ultimately did inspire an end to slavery and gave women the vote.
Yet from a
British point of view, the Declaration was treasonous. Therefore, the
patriots “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes and our
later, nearly 400 British ships arrived in New York with 32,000 “well-armed,
well-equipped, trained force more numerous than the entire population of New
York or even Philadelphia with a population of 30,000,” writes David
McCullough in “1776.”
today face no such risks. Therefore consider four steps that could change
your pastor to preach on the dangers of promiscuity and cohabitation, and
the need to strengthen marriages in your church.
you are a parent, organize your PTA to confront public school officials
about these issues. Two-thirds of high school kids think cohabitation makes
you are in business, help your employer consider products or services that
might be produced by Americans.
encourage your children or grandchildren to live abroad to experience
another culture and get perspective on our own.
All of us
must become patriots.