Few experiences in life can equal for drama or sheer delight that of standing with a group of fellow believers on the deck of an Israeli boat shoving off from Tiberius toward Capernaum across the Sea of Galilee. Shortly after the little vessel leaves the dock, the crew conducts a time-honored ceremony of raising the flags of Israel and the United States. With hands on hearts and eyes fixed on the Stars and Stripes fluttering in the wind, we anticipate the familiar strains of our national anthem. But, as often as not, it is not the familiar 'Star Spangled Banner' we hear but a rousing rendition of the late Kate Smith singing Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America'? Things being what they are today, the choice of 'God Bless America' as a theme song for those of us who love this country and what it stands for seems to be a pretty good idea. Above the sound and fury of the acrimonious political battle now swirling about us is a far greater and potentially more devastating conflict. It is the all-out struggle for the soul of America and, for that matter, the entire Western world. In his 1996 best-seller, "Slouching Towards Gomorrah", attorney Robert Bork spoke like a modern-day prophet: The late Christopher Lasch, who was by no means a conservative, asked "what accounts for [our society's] wholesale defection from the standards of personal conduct, civility, industry, self restraint, that were once considered indispensable to democracy?" He answered that a major reason is the "gradual decay of religion." Our liberal elites, whose "attitude to religion", Lasch said, "ranges from indifference to active hostility," have succeeded in removing religion from public recognition and debate. "Only religion", Bork added, "can accomplish for a modern society what tradition, reason, and empirical observation cannot. Christianity and Judaism provide the major premises of moral reasoning by revelation and by the stories in the Bible. There is no need to attempt the impossible task of reasoning your way to first principles. Those principles are accepted as given by God. Irving Berlin was right: God Bless America! Endnotes 1 Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah (New York: Regan Books, 1996), 274. 2 Ibid., 278. Elwood McQuaid is Executive Editor for The Friends of Israel. His most recent book, For the Love of Zion, is now available online and in bookstores.