Tony Perkins is President of Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Christian Post on September 18, 2014.
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Americans have been shocked to see the brutality and barbarism of the Islamic militants of ISIS. Americans been stunned by the revelations that their fellow Americans have joined the ranks of ISIS are taking up the cause of the caliphate.
Pundits and politicians alike have publicly pondered the question as to how young Americans can be sucked into such an evil venture. While it may be troubling, the answer is not hard. Atheizers have been driving out of our schools, our entertainment, our military, and our government the very definition of who we are: our Judeo- Christian heritage. What has been left in its place has been called a naked public square. But just as nature abhors a vacuum, something was bound to rush into this void.
We see in the violent nihilism of the hip-hop gang banger music from which Hollywood sucks billions of dollars. Into this naked public square has rushed a morbid hatred of women, an ugly sexualized pop culture, and the appalling phenomenon of teens "sexting" lewd pictures of their classmates-in our children's schools.
We see in the Advanced Placement U.S. History standards an anti-Americanism foisted on some the brightest of our young people. In place of the heroism of Bunker Hill and that "stillness at Appomattox," of the sacrifices of the Boys of Bedford on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, we see people whose salaries we pay teaching our young people to have contempt for their country and its history.
There has been a jihad in the classroom as students are given an air-brushed history of Islam and too often taught that Christianity is the root of many repressive attitudes toward women and minorities.
Every American student should know the story of George Washington's Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island. In 1790, the newly elected president personally delivered his address to Jewish patriots at Tuoro Synagogue, one of this country's oldest.
[H]appily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants - while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
Those beautiful words-spoken by "the gentlest of Christendom's captains"-could not describe any of the 54 countries represented in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In not one of those lands can people sit in peace with "none to make him afraid." In not one of those countries do people enjoy religious freedom. In too many of them, religious minorities are persecuted and women and girls live in constant fear of violence.
George Washington, a Christian, was the first ruler in history to address the Jews as equal fellow citizens. That is just one of the amazing truths about America that make us an exceptional country.
Our young people need to know the truth about America's storied past. And those who deny it to them are actually feeding the flames of jihad.
Without a creedal vision that a society can unify around, the people the nation will perish. Unless we are content to allow ISIS or some other radical belief to fill the void left by secularism, we must rediscover America's Founding, Christ-centered vision.