On January 10, 1994, President Bill Clinton announced the United States agreement with Ukraine and Russia to dismantle Ukraine's entire nuclear arsenal, hailing the long-sought accord as "a hopeful and historic breakthrough that enhances the security of all three participants."
The United States, Russia and Britain then committed "to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine" and "to refrain from the threat or use of force" against the country. Those assurances played a key role in persuading the Ukrainian government in Kyiv to give up what amounted to the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal, consisting of some 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads.
Doubling down on that wide-eyed blunder, Ukrainian officials then colluded in 2016 with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to smear Donald Trump as a Russian stooge, demonstrating again the massive miscalculation that a Democratic administration would provide better protection against Vladimir Putin's Russia.
The result of the 1994 Ukrainian lapse of judgement—to give up their military defense assets—reminds one of the exceptional intellectual abilities of the American Founders in masterminding the Second Amendment to the Constitution : "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
In the present light, Ukraine's decision to give up its weapons of self-defense for so-called "security assurances" from the U.S., Russia and the U.K. has lacked both foresight and scope.
St. George Tucker (1752-1827) was one of the most influential jurists and legal scholars in early America. The lawyer, teacher, poet, essayist and inventor in his spare time taught law at the College of William and Mary from 1789 to 1804. America's fourth president, James Madison (1809-1817), appointed George Tucker in 1813 to the United States District Court for the District of Virginia (later the Eastern District of Virginia) from 1813-1825. Judge Tucker accurately determined the essential quality of the Second Amendment as the "true palladium of liberty."
As to The Budapest Memorandum of 1994, Russia did not keep its commitments to Ukraine, bringing to mind Dr. Bruce K. Waltke's (born 1930) spiritual analysis of Proverbs 14:34: "Ultimately a nation's exaltation depends on its piety and ethics, not on its political, military and/or economic greatness. In its external affairs, a sinful nation among other things breaks treaties, propagandizes, lies and bullies weaker nations. In its internal affairs it allows its judicial system to break down so that criminals and sluggards are rewarded, and good citizens are overtaxed and intimidated."
The American Church's Failure
The Herculean effort by secularists over the last 75 years to remove God's Word from the public square, public education, U.S. courthouses and federal government buildings comes across as completely without a basis in reason or fact, particularly in consideration of the detrimental impact it had, and still has, on society and culture. Christians sitting on the sidelines, in a sense licensing the war on religion over the last century, absolutely disregarded what should be known to all Christians, namely that "the Holy Spirit works not independent of the written Word, but through and by means of it."
This helps explain the decline of faith and biblical authority in the modern public square. The following listing can rightfully be regarded as the direct consequences following naturally from Evangelical and Pro-life Catholic Christian abandonment of the public square throughout the 20th and 21st centuries:
- Removal of prayer to Jehovah God from public education in 1962 [Engel v. Vitale].
- Removal of the Bible—after 300 years of America's meteoric rise—from public schools in 1963 [Abington School District v. Schempp].
- Constitutional right found to kill unborn babies in 1973 [Roe v. Wade].
- Removal of the Ten Commandments from public schools, courthouses and government buildings in 1980 [Stone v. Graham].
- Constitutional discovery found to exalt, normalize and codify into law homosexual intercourse and same-sex marriage in 2015 [Obergefell v. Hodges].
- Aggrandizement and 'special rights' for homosexuals and transgenders in 2020 [Bostock v. Clayton County].
Dr. Peter J. Leithart's assessment of America's spiritual apathy and indifference to idolatry can't be repeated often enough: "Indifference to idolatry has its roots in the early modern period. According to a common telling of the story, Europeans discovered that theology was bloodily divisive and concluded that the only way to restore comparative harmony was to expunge theology from the public square, forcing theological decision and debate into the recesses of the conscience or, at best, safely behind the walls of the church. Christian capitulation to secular politics—more the rule than the exception in the modern church—is nothing less than apostasy, a denial of the gospel that announces Jesus as Lord."
While Christians founded and built America, secularists nonetheless lord over the current intellectual, educational, economic and vocational levers of power and influence, allying themselves with Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Media and Big Government as they manipulate, distort and inject secularism's toxicity into the culture's headwaters.
There is, however, extraordinarily good news.
The ark was not captured and neither was Samson. Neither is the church. When Peter goes to prison, he considers it another mission field. When Paul is hauled before kings, he calls them to serve Jesus the High King. We are never captured. We are deployed.
Being deployed by the reaction to the debauched culture, Gideons and Rahabs are finally beginning to stand.
David Lane is the founder of the American Renewal Project
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David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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