Each moment of our lives we make decisions that lead us to either misery or happiness, liberty or tyranny, God or His evil foe. These decisions determine the state of our cities and nation. It is not a special interest group, political party or union that shapes our future. They are simply groups that carry out the choices we, each one of us, have made to follow one of two very different roads. America's 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt, was intently aware of these choices, both for himself and his nation. A century ago he said, "I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism. The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining." The choice that Roosevelt foresaw is upon us now as we face our nation's greatest challenges.
The following "tale of two cities" gives insight into the current crossroads we are facing in America. Each of these cities and their nations chose a different path, just as the choices we are making now will determine our future.
For hundreds of years France was the richest and largest nation in Europe. Paris had begun the first university in Europe and France's cathedrals and art were second to none. But by the 18th century, France as a nation had taken another road. They had imbibed deeply of the "free thinking" of the Enlightenment and humanists such as Rousseau and the atheist Voltaire.