The Eisenhower connection to the campus, and its Christian symbolism, weren't lost on me as I walked across the deserted campus in the clear blue morning. And as I searched for some background on the chapel's namesake, I stumbled across a listing of all of President Eisenhower's speeches. One in particular stuck out at me as I scanned the list. Entitled "Remarks Recorded for the "Back-to-God" Program of the American Legion" and recorded on February 20, 1955, this short address reminds us that even then, 55 years ago, leading citizens of our country were acutely aware of a national drift toward statism and the loss of liberty that it portended.
But in many lands the State claims to be the author of human rights. The tragedy of that claim runs through all history and, indeed, dominates our own times. If the State gives rights, it can--and inevitably will--take away those rights.
Without God, there could be no American form of Government, nor an American way of life.
It seems to me that the struggle we see being played out in today's society is in fact the struggle for the American ideal as expressed in the founding documents. For two centuries the average American has taken this ideal for granted. But those closer to the seats of power have known for decades that The State was chipping away at all expressions of personal freedom, and the foundation of that freedom which is God.
President Eisenhower closed this short speech with an appeal to all Americans to join the American Legion in their efforts to go "Back to God." How heartening it would be to hear a national leader speak those words today.
And how disheartening is their silence on the topic as The State continues to grow...