top of page

A Very Sad State

Updated: May 17

Unfaithfulness breeds unhappiness



Face it, my fellow Americans: We’re miserable.

 

In the United States today, depression is ubiquitous. Suicide is surging. Drug abuse is rampant. Overdoses are up. Purchasing power is eroding. Trust is in retreat. Life satisfaction is declining. Life expectancy is down.


The latest confirmation of our deepening national malaise can be found in the University of Oxford’s World Happiness Report, an annual analysis that surveys citizens of various countries about their overall quality of life and ranks nations according to their self-reported level of happiness.

 

According to the newly-released 2024 study, the United States is not faring well. From 2023-2024, our nation plummeted from 15th to 23rd place in overall happiness — one of the worst performances among the 134 countries surveyed.

 

What’s happened to us?

 

Was it COVID? The political climate? Inflation, perhaps? Or social media?


Undoubtedly, each of these has played a role in our widespread psychological and emotional cratering. But I suggest that the root of our unhappiness runs deeper, that it springs ultimately from our abandonment of God generations ago. I posit that our present misery is a testament to the natural law — the result of God allowing our collective sin to run its course.

 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, of course. Some 80 years ago, our people were brimming with pride and bullish on the future. Eager to leave the horrors of Hitler and Tojo behind, mid-century Americans leaped forward into the future, chasing visions of lives made glorious through the careful application of science, capital and beneficent government planning.

 

And for a while, it worked. We worked. We built. We grew. We prospered. 

 

By 1960, with America leading the way, the world had come so far, so fast, that anything seemed possible. But then, the unthinkable happened: We began to throw it all away.

 

Somewhere along the way, self-satisfaction set in. And as we grew rich, our hearts began to wander. We grew tired of God, tired of His commandments, and before long, self-satisfaction had given way to self-indulgence.


We abandoned Christ and His Cross. We cast off our innocence, desacralizing sex with pills and porn, all in the name of ‘freedom.’ Hailing “better living through chemistry,” we toyed with new forms of transcendence, seeking “god” in technicolor trips often crafted in underground labs. And, of course, to assuage our consciences, we amended our legal codes again and again along the way. The permissive society would allow the sampling of various flavors of indecency, yet maintain a modicum of respectability by forbidding obscenity. It might be immoral, but at least it’s not illegal, the thinking went. Of course, this soon morphed into, Who are you to say it’s immoral? After all, it’s legal  

 

It all felt good — for a while. But the deeper effects of this frenzied experimentation were calamitous. Numbed by sin, untold numbers of Americans failed to notice their souls slipping away as the 1960s wore on. Too many failed to see that they were ditching divine truths for devilish lies, and that their very conception of God was disintegrating.

 

A tsunami of proxy movements, false prophets and counterfeit faiths followed. And for fifty years, these sorry substitutes have failed in their promise to bring contentedness and peace. Women’s liberation, gay liberation, the New Left, the New Age, the New Atheists, the Neo-Marxists, and all the rest — they have failed to deliver happiness because, foundationally, they are diabolically false. 


And yet, so deep is America’s devastation of soul that millions of our countrymen cannot comprehend the root of their unhappiness — our unfaithfulness as individuals and, as a nation, our collective abandonment of God. So dark is their blindness that they fail to see that a return to Him would restore their happiness — a promise God Himself establishes in II Chronicles 7:13-14, telling Solomon:


“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

And there it is — if we’ll just repent, all will be well with us once again.  

 

Now, I know some who say that a reckoning for our sins is coming — that, sooner or later, we should expect the wrath of God to fall hard on the United States. Frankly, given the state of things, it wouldn’t surprise me if such a thing were to unfold.

 

After all, I wonder how much longer God will tolerate our embrace, via ballot, of butchery of the unborn — our voting, in state after state, to preserve the murder of our own children in the womb? How long will He preserve a nation that incites gender confusion within its classrooms — encouraging students to hack off their genitals after convincing them they were born with the wrong body?

 

In view of such wickedness, to me it would come as no surprise if America were, sooner or later, slammed by an outsized calamity or two. However, I suspect that in some way we are already suffering the wrath of God.

 

I see it in the daily headlines and when interacting with fellow citizens in the streets: manifestations of anger, melancholy, confusion, disorder, and despair. It seems to me that God is punishing us with our own darkness, allowing us to reap what we have sown. Perhaps things will get worse — far worse — further down the road. But it seems that His chastisements are unfolding all around us, even now, in and through the very sins we celebrate. Our wickedness is accumulating, evolving, and rendering us more miserable with each passing year. 

 

In the latter years of the twentieth century, Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Christian and staunch anti-communist, often spoke out against the accelerating decadence of the West. Awarded the Templeton Prize in 1983, in his acceptance speech he reflected on how his country, once Christian, utterly unraveled. 


"Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’
Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution ... if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’
And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: ‘Men have forgotten God.’"

His message was clear: Ominous similarities have emerged between pre-communist Russia and the contemporary West — namely, their shared desertion of God. 

 

Solzhenitsyn closed his address by recommending a simple course of action to turn things around — repentance:


"[W]e can only reach with determination for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently pushed away. If we did this our eyes could be opened to the errors of this unfortunate 20th century and our hands could be directed to set them right. There is nothing else to cling to, in the landslide: all the thinkers of the Enlightenment can give us nothing. Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during such trials that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone."

What was true for Russia a century ago is true for America today — we face a clear choice: repentance or ruin.


Writer, editor and producer Stephen Wynne has spent the past seven years covering, from a Catholic perspective, the latest developments in the Church, the nation and the world. Prior to his work in journalism, he spent eight years co-authoring “Repairing the Breach,” a book examining the war of worldviews between Christianity and Darwinism. A Show-Me State native, he holds a BA in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University and an Executive MBA from the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


To support articles like this, please consider a donation to Souls And Liberty.

575 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All

4 Comments


Cag
Cag
Apr 25

Wow P, why were they persecuting you?

Like

Psychiatrists who sent millions to be sterilized, then disinfected, their euphemism for euthanasia, a euphemism itself for murder, did not escape ultimate judgment by blame shifting what they did onto their victims. Neither will the doctors who mutilate children, who sell drugs, who murder babies, who practice IVF, or who lock up Christians in mental hospitals because their beliefs offend others. This present situation is merely a continuation of the madness preferred by bad doctors and investors intending to make a profit off of the gullibilty, innocence, vulnerability, and powerlessness of their victims. Nothing has changed since what psychiatry did decades before Hitler, except now authors are blaming children for what the doctors and greedy are doing. Students do…

Like

Cag
Cag
Apr 18

Well, if Jesus was with me in a garbage can, I’d be happy. To know, really know Him and of His love is to be happy.

Like
Replying to

That is exactly what I once did in a mental hospital. I hid out in a garbage can. And escaped out a back door from a cafeteria and took a jet to Denver. Jesus was with me in all those things I did to evade my persecutors. Even in the refrigerator I hid in, or the garbage can, or the back of a vehicle, or my flight to Switzerland, or my flight to Denver, or my climbing a tree where they could not take me down, or my drive to Canada, or my hiding out in Alvarado, Texas. Garbage cans work too.

Like
bottom of page