Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Barack Obama’s 2012 “State of the Union” address is on tap tomorrow night, and it’s likely Americans will hear about economic improvement, staying the course and possibly about the “extremism” of the tea party’s constitution agenda, but a songwriter whose works include a stunning challenge under that same title says he wonders about the real status of the United States.
The question is being raised by Steve Vaus, who created the Buck Howdy character and has performed, produced and recorded with Billy Ray Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Willie Nelson, Kenny Loggins, Leann Rimes, Randy Travis and Kenny Rogers. He’s also a four-time Grammy nominee and has performed with the Billy Graham Crusades at the Grand Ole Opry and at the White House.
But it raises questions about the nation’s future, after Obama proclaimed that America is “no longer” a Christian nation.
“When I wrote the song six months ago it was a daydream of sorts. But with the president’s State of the Union speech looming and the near certainty it will be nothing more than candy-coated political promises, now, more than ever we need to be reminded of how far we’ve drifted from being a nation under God,” Vaus told WND.
The song has God giving the State of the Union:
Now you act like you don’t know me
or remember who I am.
You turned away from me.
We haven’t spoken.
Now you’re lost, your dreams are broken
Don’t think it can’t get worse, it can
If you won’t remember who I am.
“My ‘State of the Union’ is a provocative ‘what if,’ what if God delivered the State of the Union? What would He say? Surely it wouldn’t be pretty. But He offers our only hope,” Vaus said.
Vaus said that the U.S. used to recognize and honor God. Revivals swept across the states with people seeking His presence. But news reports from recent months are replete with grounds for the argument that America has changed.
A major Christian denomination has voted to remove “God the Father” from its organizational documents, a longtime Christian ministry has announced plans to remove “Christ” from its name, President Obama many times has left “Creator” out when quoting from the Declaration of Independence and a television network edited the Pledge of Allegiance to remove “under God.”
In contrast, when the Washington Monument was erected, God was recognized on its aluminum capstone 555 feet in the air, there are references to the God of the nation’s Founders at the U.S. Supreme Court building and at the Capitol. God is recognized on currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Creator is honored in the Declaration of Independence. Early meetings of the Founding Fathers opened with a time of prayer.
His challenge now to America:
WND reported earlier when NBC’s opening of the U.S. Open Golf Championship included two readings of the Pledge of Allegiance but omitted the phrase “under God” both times.
The program commenced with children standing in a classroom reciting an abbreviated version of the Pledge that omitted “under God.”
Radio host Rush Limbaugh, a well-known golfer himself, responded to the controversy by saying, “For [under God] not to show up on NBC, somebody had to take it out, which is an actual physical movement or decision.”
He added, “I think the lesson here for NBC is if it was an accident, they ought to learn how much this really matters to people. I don’t think they really know that.”
It was the United Church of Christ, the denomination whose Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright blasted the United States and white people for years from the pulpit while Barack Obama sat in his pews, that decided to banish God “the Father” from its organizational documents.
A report from Eric Anderson on the denomination’s website confirmed that delegates to the UCC’s “General Synod 28″ agreed to a series of proposed amendments to the constitution and bylaws. The vote was 613 in favor of the changes, 171 against and 10 abstaining.
The changes include a pointed deletion of a reference to God “as heavenly Father,” which has been part of Christendom’s description of the Trinity for millennia – the three persons of God being the heavenly Father, Christ the Son and Savior, and the Holy Ghost, the counselor and comforter.
A previous song by Vaus, “We Must Take America Back,” drew massive attention when it was released in the 1990s.
“There’s an unspoken fear, We’re on our way down,” he penned. “We must take America back, Main Street to Wall Street, cities and states. Washington, D.C., before it’s too late:”
Just a few months earlier, Vaus stirred controversy with his satirical look at the government’s decision to impose invasive body-scans and full-body pat-downs on airline travelers. Half a million viewed his work online in almost no time at all.
The song was a parody of “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
That issue surged back into the headlines today when Transportation Security Administration officials detained Sen. Rand Paul at the Nashville airport over an alarm that allegedly indicated something was attached to his leg.