Money and things do not a great nation make

It doesn’t take a theologian to know that America is on a wayward moral course. Even as our political leaders tell us that the economy is our most important public issue, a nagging sense of despair nips at our societal conscience. Most Americans know in their hearts that without a solid, principled set of guidelines concerning life, liberty and the pursuit of true happiness, there aren’t enough riches on earth to fill the void in our national soul.

Democrats long ago abandoned any reasonable position on cultural issues. Their party now embraces the unfettered right to abortion and the notion that two people of the same sex can form a “marriage.” This year they have even written it into their party platform.

At the Republican convention, the two individuals who spoke most eloquently about the social issues our nation faces were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — my personal choices for president in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Santorum recalled those he met on the campaign trail as he was vying for the GOP nomination earlier this year. “I cradled the little broken hands of the disabled,” he said, “hands that struggle and bring pain, hands that ennoble us and bring great joy. They came to see us — oh, did they come — when they found out Karen and I are blessed with caring for someone very special, too, our daughter, Bella.

“When Bella was born four and a half years ago, the doctors told us she was incompatible with life and to prepare to let go,” he said. “They told us that even if she did survive, her disabilities would be so severe that Bella would not have a life worth living. We didn’t let go and today Bella is full of life, and she has made our lives and countless others much more worth living.

“I thank God,” Santorum concluded, “that America still has one political party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God’s children — born and unborn — and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream.”

Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor, laid to rest any remaining doubts about where he stands on religious freedom and politics.

“Let me clear the air about whether guys like me would only support an evangelical,” he told the delegates. “Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, he believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and he tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls ‘health care.’

“The attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me,” Huckabee said, referring to Obama’s mandate on religious institutions to pay for contraception and abortion-producing drugs in their health care plans. “This isn’t a battle about contraceptives and Catholics, but of conscience and the Creator.”

A nation cannot destroy more than a million of its unborn children every year for nearly 40 years without sinking into a death culture that now includes the very real prospect of euthanasia for the old, the weak and infirm, especially as Obamacare saps our resources and makes rationing of health care a necessity.

We cannot radically redefine a core institution like marriage and continue to function as a free people.

And it is axiomatic that Barack Obama and his fellow radicals have declared war on religious liberty.

John Adams gave us this warning more than two centuries ago: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and a religious people; it is wholly inadequate for the governing of any other.” Without shared, humane cultural mores that go deeper than the exchange of money, we are just a collection of narcissists worshipping at the altar of government while clamoring for more stuff. That is not America.