Sunday, May 4, 2008

Does the United States Need a Revival?

In God we trust. America has always been a Christian nation, and that explains why, of all the nations on earth, God smiles on The United States of America. Anyway, that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.

The U.S. is 5% of the earth’s population, but we have 25% of the world’s prison population. Countries like China and Indonesia incarcerate political prisoners as well as criminals, buy they don’t lock up citizens in numbers like we do in America. They aren’t even close to us in their ability to fill their slammers. Helping to drive this prison population explosion is the fact that we have the highest murder rate on the planet, by a HUGE margin. No other Western, non-third-world country comes even close to our kill rate, and even countries at war like Iraq are only slightly ahead of us in wasting the lives of their own citizens. What I’m describing, here, is just the “civilian” part of the Great American Killing Machine. Add to that the fact the America spends more on military hardware than all the rest of the world combined, and every penny spent on this so-called “defense” has just one purpose: erasing human life. Backing up all that hardware is the manpower of the “armed services.” Television advertising to recruit volunteers for the military accounts for the single largest TV advertising budget spent by anyone running ads on the tube. And the average person doesn’t even see most of the recruitment ads, unless they are black or Hispanic, because 60% of all that money is spent on the BET and Telemundo networks. Only in America can a career in the Marine Corps look more glamorous than a career in medicine or teaching.

As Americans, we excel at squandering lives, but we’re not all that good at saving lives. America is #24 in the world in infant mortality. That means that 23 countries do a better job of keeping their youngest citizens alive. America is #19 in the world in providing healthcare to its citizens. That means that 18 countries on earth do it better. These other 18 countries don’t have better doctors or better hospitals. They just choose to spend their money on healthcare instead of their Army and Navy. But we do hold the #1 spot in one area of medicine. We lead the world in the number of elective cosmetic surgeries performed purely for enhancing appearance. I guess we like to look good for God.

There’s another area where we are #1,and that’s in the purchase and recreational use of drugs that are illegal and unrelated to medicine. Whether it’s cocaine from Columbia, or marijuana from Mexico, or heroin from Afghanistan, we in the United States buy it, and snort it, and shoot it, and smoke it with enthusiasm and gusto not seen anywhere else on earth.

The family has always been considered important in every culture on earth, and we are told that the family is important to God, too. Let’s see how we’re doing. More than half of all American marriages end in divorce. 52% to be exact. This is the highest divorce rate of any country, so that makes us number one in that dubious category. Sometimes, the wives that get out of marriage are the lucky ones because public health statistics report that 17% of all married woman report spousal abuse. Illegitimate birth rates in America are also the highest of any nation or culture, and in some U.S. minority population segments the illegitimacy rate is 70%. This is the picture of the “traditional family” in America that the hate-mongers say is threatened by homosexual marriage. The hate-mongers ought to know since they claim to speak for God. It would sure be helpful to hear from The Big Guy himself, but I won’t hold my breath on that.

So, here’s the question: Is the U.S. due for a revival? Evangelical revivalism is a good old-fashioned American invention, and Americans have been “revived,” over the years, more than the citizens of any other nation. We can see where it got us. And just who would do the reviving? James Dobson? John Hagee? Ted Haggard? (I heard that Pastor Ted has, himself, been revived, so he get back into the swing of things and tend to our salvation). One last comment from me. If the U.S. does hold a revival, I will be the first in line to buy tickets. I’m beyond salvation, but I could use the entertainment.

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