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Or Else: Why America Needs Morality

During the course of any given month, publishers send me dozens of books to review. I don’t get the time I’d like to even page through most of them, but the other day one caught my eye. It’s called “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.”

Now, I’m not into sensationalism, but the book was written by conservative commentator Mark Steyn. In the first chapter, Steyn penned something that stopped me in my tracks. He’s identified the source of our economic and governmental woes. And, I’m not shy to add, I’ve been talking about this for two years now.

Here’s what Steyn had to say:

“When government spends on the scale Washington’s got used to, that’s not a spending crisis, it’s a moral one. . . It’s not just about balancing the books, but about balancing the most basic impulses of society. These are structural, and ultimately, moral questions. Credit depends on trust, and trust pre-supposes responsibility. So, if you have a credit boom in an age that has all but abolished personal responsibility, it’s not hard to figure how it’s going to end.”


How did we get into this economic mess? The denizens of Wall Street, Capitol Hill, and yes, Main Street, U.S.A., cast prudence and responsibility to the curb and chased dollars, votes, and the good life. And it all came crashing down around our heads.

And have we learned anything since the crisis struck? Apparently not, as the recent escapades surrounding the debt ceiling show all too clearly.

Steyn predicts that if Americans do not change course—personally and corporately—the America we know will collapse within years, not decades.

While I’m not in the “within years,” column, I do believe that unless we can summon the courage to stop spending money we don’t have and to place the common good above purely personal interests, then yes, we are doomed as a nation and a society.

Three years ago, when I and Princeton professor Robby George and others began brainstorming what is now our “Doing the Right Thing” DVD series on ethics, we didn’t know just how critically important and timely it would be.

“Doing the Right Thing” is a clarion call for Americans of all creeds or no creed at all to re-embrace the moral and ethical principles upon which our nation and Western civilization were built. We discuss how we can know truth and the moral law, how we pursue virtue, what human flourishing means, and ethics in the market place and public life.

And on September 24th, I will be hosting a nationwide simulcast on Doing the Right Thing. Please, find out how you, your church, your school, or your business can host it in your community. Just go to Doing the Right Thing Event.com.

And, to show you just how powerful “Doing the Right Thing” is, I have a moving preview for you on today’s Two Minute Warning. It features a military surgeon describing a life-or-death decision he had to make during Vietnam. It shows just how critical it is that we understand right from wrong—how important it is to do the right thing. That’s on today’s Two Minute Warning at ColsonCenter.org.

Folks, time is running out. We do the right thing, or we perish.

Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Publication date: August 10, 2011.

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