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Posted February 16, 2012

Needed: An age of new citizenship

By Father Eugene Hemrick

News of daily corruption cannot but cause us to wonder whether Nikita Khrushchev's remark about corrupt American capitalism is coming true: "We will be present at your funeral."

Are the signs of the times signaling our imminent funeral?

In the U.S. Supreme Court, a frieze depicts the works of good and evil. On the left are Security, Peace, Harmony, Charity, Defender of Virtue, Truth and Justice. On the right are Evil, Corruption, Deception, Slander and Despotic Power.

Is it possible that the works of evil are presently far outweighing the works of good and pointing to our downfall?

Let's look at some historical facts to answer this and to find what is needed to counter this.

All great nations have fallen. No matter how strong we are, it is unrealistic to say this will never happen to the U.S.

Even though the Israelites were God's chosen people, their nation was destroyed and they experienced exile.

Americans are a blessed people, but blessings go only so far in the face of corruption, greed and neglect of God.

From outward appearances, it would seem that Deception and Corruption depicted in the works of evil are much more prevalent today. As we have advanced in the world of technology, so too have we advanced in ways of employing it to deceive and corrupt others.

Many of today's nations are experiencing desolation due to despotic power. The loss of a home, job and all of our savings is nothing compared to living under despotic governments.

A despotic government is not out of the question for the U.S. if it loses faith in its civil leaders and errs on the side of picking an autocratic dictator to guarantee security.

No doubt many people will take issue with the above observations, saying they are too negative, give a one-sided picture and do not take into account the nation's system of checks and balances.

This may or may not be true. But one thing is true: Citizens of the United States need to better read the signs of the times to learn of the moral and ethical practices these signs are calling for.

I also believe the times are telling us that the responsibility for bolstering our morality and ethics is no longer to be left solely to intellectuals and civil and church leaders.

An age of new citizenship is needed, one in which everyone becomes more vigilant in reading the signs of the times and takes action to guard against becoming one more fallen nation.

When visiting and studying the United States, the French political thinker and historian Alexis Deí Tocqueville pointed out the greatest achievements in our country are due to our devotion to the principles of citizenship at their best. We knew how to come together and work together as one.

We canít go back to the past, but we sure can learn from it to insure a better future.