A day in life is not meant to be lived in order to repeat the day before. Learning to live well is not easy, and in order to live well, one must live by moral standards. The origins of moral standards are constantly debated. As important as the creator of the standards is, it is equally important to question why the standards exist in the first place. Standards have the innate ability to make the mundane into something truly extraordinary. The United State of America, as a result of its founding, was able to create its own standards that allowed it to surpass every other nation before her. The rest of the world continues to criticize America, while unable to recreate its success. Regardless of historians’ refusal to acknowledge our country's Judeo-Christian core values, there is not another set of standards that parallel its cohesiveness.
To live is to learn what may improve one's self and the people around them. Although many fail, it is not an excuse to choose to not to continue to strive to better oneself and one’s future. The character Captain Jean Luc Picard expressed fervently that, "Inside you, is the potential to make yourself better...and that is what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are." Atheists try to explain this phenomenon away. The Judeo-Christian perspective asserts that man has always aimed to become greater than himself. This is why Satan offered Eve the opportunity to be “like” God, and the tower of Babel was engineered to try to become God. It is impossible to attempt such a feat without standards for inspiration, however misapplied.
Mankind is undeniably imperfect. The father of classical liberalism, John Locke, stated,” All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.” Again, that is not an excuse to quit. Man consistently fights between two things: what he wants, and what he needs. Man needs guidelines, rules, and ethics. To look towards man for those precepts is to fall prey to inevitable evil. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks gracefully states that, “When people lose faith in God, they lose faith in people also.” This is well illustrated in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life. When George Bailey reduces his worth to all the things he could not obtain, he wanted to die. However, when he recognizes that his worth is the sum of all the decency he imparted to others, he found the reason to live happily. That purpose is a construct of law that Judeo-Christian values confirm.
The United States’ constitution does not promise happiness, but it promises the liberty to pursue happiness. One must be willing to seek it out. “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government,” says Thomas Jefferson.
Happiness, and the joy by which it is fueled, can only be achieved by the acceptance of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharius explains that, "The world out there will try to provoke you to live in a total violation of God’s law. And you live that way, and you will be on the path to total self destruction. You do it God’s way, and you live a life of perpetual novelty."
How one walks out a routine can look mind-numbing until one gives it meaning. Eat, drink, work, have sex, sleep, and die are meaningless until you give them purpose. Live, celebrate, achieve, love, rest, and be missed is how one can exist in a state of sustained wonder.
This is the reason why many treat the Christmas/Chanukah season differently than they do the rest of the year. Without standards, this season is just about cute stories, and their commercialization. With application of standards, this season is a representation of a fulfilled promise, and a victory over adversity.
The same goes with the United States. To most, America is the chief power responsible for the spreading and preserving of liberty, justice and hope. Devoid of standards, the United States is just another barbaric, colonial, greedy superpower.
The United State of America and the values on which it was founded are some of the most precious gifts both man and God could give to humanity. Pray that those that come after this generation do not squander them. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah from the first world country!
By: Rosemary Dewar