With the arrival of a new year has come a wave of new laws and new political leadership, the result of November's election choices.
In the state where I live, officials and law-enforcement authorities are trying to sort out the mess created when voters approved growing, sharing and consuming marijuana for personal use. It's raised a whole tangle of legal issues, not least that it conflicts with federal law under which marijuana use remains illegal. The moral issues involved are far more serious, but a majority of voters have already dismissed those as not worthy of consideration.
Liberals in my state are also enthused about their gaining control of both houses of the state legislature—where, for the first time, avowed homosexuals now hold the top leadership positions in both the state house and state senate.
And although the state faces many serious challenges, what's at the top of their legislative agenda? To no one's surprise, legalizing civil unions is one of their highest priorities (only because same-sex marriage is banned in the state constitution, though I don't doubt we will soon see efforts to reverse that).
To top it all off, voters also approved a number of higher taxes, which will grow government even more at the expense of taxpayers and businesses.
What's happening in my state only mirrors what's taking place at the national level, where after four years of exploding government spending, skyrocketing debt, growing government handouts, high unemployment, stagnant economic growth and expansion of government intrusion into the lives of individual citizens, Americans went to the polls and decisively voted for more of the same.
As a student of history, I'm fascinated by the factors that lead to the rise and fall of great powers. I've walked among the ruins of the long-vanished empires of Egypt, Greece and Rome and studied what led to their decline and collapse.
The noted philosopher George Santayana penned one of the great truths about human history: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
His observation echoes a somewhat more cynical version written earlier by the German philosopher Friedrich Hegel: "The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history."
We are at a turning point in human history. It's not often that we witness the point at which a nation's momentum, driven by its collective choices, carries it in a direction it might not otherwise go and which it finds itself unable to change.
Watching what is taking place in the United States today is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The train has jumped the tracks, the engineers in the locomotive can't stop it, and the train's momentum makes the disastrous outcome unavoidable.
You need to wake up to what's really happening today. The United States is at a critical turning point—if it hasn't passed it already. America's role as world superpower was foretold long ago in the pages of the Bible—as was its downfall for turning its back on the God who blessed it so abundantly.
You need to understand what's happening and why. You need to know the answer to the question posed in this issue of The Good News—"Where Does America Go From Here?"