Morality in America
When studying the founding of the United States, you can’t help but encounter the faith of the nation’s forefathers. Time and again they recognized God’s hand in the shaping of America. You will find Him repeatedly mentioned in their words and documents. And you will find Him having an active, vibrant role in the country’s early history.
Today, God continues His work in America – but it’s in a nation that has clearly lost its moral compass. Every week, “Morality in America” will address the myriad of moral concerns facing the United States and undermining its Godly heritage. After you read, remember to intercede in prayer for America – that this nation will return to the Christian standards that once defined it.
Secession is Again on the Table
Pattern of voter discontent becomes the norm
By Tom McDonald
King Solomon famously wrote “there is nothing new under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and California is proving him correct once again.
Just one day shy of two weeks after the election of Donald J. Trump, and exactly one month before he was sworn into office, discontented Californians on November 20, 2016, officially began an attempt to secede from the union. When the proceedings were initiated, Trump had not attained power and none of his policies had been implemented.
Rewind four years (or so) when Louisiana kicked off a secessionist movement that was mirrored in all 50 states—all of which went nowhere—after the re-election of Barack H. Obama to a second four-year presidential term. And don’t forget in 2009, when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, threatened to lead his state out of the union for perceived interference from Washington in alleged Texas-only affairs.
While this current movement in California is only the first step of a long (and arduously unattainable) objective, it still gives voice to the fractured “Un-united States of America.”
Sharon Bernstein of Reuters reports a recent opinion poll by her news service shows “(o)ne in every three California residents supports the most populous U.S. state's peaceful withdrawal from the union.” Many of those supporters, she said, are “Democrats strongly opposed to Trump's ascension to the country's highest office.”
The 33 percent support rate for secession in California is higher than the national average of 22 percent, according to the same poll. At this time, however, no other states have a formal secession petition on record.
California, which has 39 million residents and the sixth-largest economy in the world, in the recent presidential election overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Trump by a margin of two-to-one.
Robert H. Nelson, a contributor to Writers on the Range, expressed his doubts of the success of the California secession efforts, but suggested the possibility of a “limited secession” requiring “only an act of Congress.”
With 45 percent of the land in California under national government management, including 20 percent in national forests and 15 percent under the control of the Bureau of Land Management, Nelson said the state could assert control over those resources. In effect, he said, that move would restrict expected federal efforts to expand “oil and gas drilling, increased timber harvesting, and intensive recreational use and development on federal land in the state.”
Nelson, a professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and who has worked for eight different secretaries of the Department of the Interior, also suggested much of the western United States might support those efforts should California take the initiative.
“Since at least the 1990s,” he said, “many Westerners have become convinced that the management of federal lands in the West is dysfunctional, no matter what party is in power. This should come as no surprise, since much of Washington itself is dysfunctional.”
In fairness to the leaders of the California secession efforts, it must be noted that the election of Trump only sped up efforts that have long been in the dream stage.
Marcus Ruiz Evans, the current vice-president and co-founder of Yes California, the two-year-old group responsible for submitting the current proposed ballot measure to the office of the state attorney general, told the Los Angeles Times they had not intended to formalize their efforts just yet. The “overwhelming attention” generated by the election of Trump, however, moved their initiative forward.
The Times reported Evans’ group was formed around “California taxpayers paying more money to the federal government than the states receives in spending, that Californians are culturally different from the rest of the country, and that national media and organizations routinely criticize Californians for being out of step with the rest of the U.S.”
According to the Times, Evans hopes to collect enough signatures to get Yes California’s initiative on the ballot this spring. So far, about 13,000 volunteers have been amassed for that effort.
Discussions about the future of California as a state have been circulating for some time, according to the Times. A former attempt to make changes by Yes California failed, as did an effort by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper. He attempted to get an initiative on the 2016 ballot that would have divided California into six separate states.
As we pray this week, ask that all Americans recall the tragedy of the Civil War following the only successful secession efforts in our history, and that we join together to avoid a similar conclusion. Ask, too, that we find ways to tone down our discontent as we seek opportunities to again become the United States of America.
Tom McDonald is a journalist, speaker and thespian. He and his wife, Jill, live in Mesa, AZ.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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