Has America, like Rome of old, crossed its Rubicon? Some observers say yes. They have begun charting the republic’s decline and impending fall. Apart from any threat of sudden international war, they insist, America is tottering on the brink of tragedy. A decisive turn in national thought and life assertedly has placed the United States beyond redemption; the only hope that now remains is for emergency rescue and ailing survival.

The Sense Of Doom

Pronouncing judgment on America is no longer an exclusive franchise of a few weeping Jeremiahs. Nor is it peculiar to evangelists constantly reminding the nation of its spiritual decline, its neglect of a great Christian heritage, its whoring after false gods of money and ease. Many pulpiteers are indeed swift to show that despite America’s religiosity no sweeping repentance and faith, no decisive change of heart and life, places social forces in our great cities conspicuously in the service of the living God. Billy Graham readily admits this even of New York City. Religious analysts are finding America spiritually and morally second-rate.

While indisposed to talk much about the one true God, students of American culture likewise decry the idols of the masses. Determination of the right by mere majority opinion, and an infatuation with popular approval, have inseminated a cheap and artificial sense of values into modern life and thought. Broadway measures worth by length of run. On television or on radio, Neilsen and Hooper ratings and audience polls determine contract renewals. What is popular is right, not to mention “good” business. Thus the god of conformity snares individuals into group thinking, and loyalty only to society. Detachment of responsibility from the will of God has ...

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