New York Times best-selling author and radio host Eric Metaxas is warning that the United States is in danger of becoming "America in name only" if Americans don't stand up to protect the liberties and values of self governance that made the nation a blessing to the entire world.
In a new book released last week titled If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, the 53-year-old Metaxas explains that the American republic was created by the nation's Founding Fathers to be shared with the entire world.
But, Metaxas stresses that Americans today have become too complacent with their freedoms and are too willing to give up their ability to govern themselves. He argues that complacency displayed today towards the rights and responsibilities of Americans to hold their governments accountable will cause America, as the world knows it, to perish.
"We have to live our lives in this nation in such a way that we are an example to the whole world and they want to have what we have," Metaxas told The Christian Post in an interview last Friday. "Christian faith is at the heart of that idea, it wasn't just a secular idea about a government, it was about a community that had never been tried before where people would live in harmony."
"These were ideas that were very new at the time and we forget what a wild and unprecedented idea that self government was when we began this country in 1776," Metaxas said. "We have lost a proper reverence for it. It is a crazy, wild idea that was almost destined to fail unless everything went right. We shouldn't take it for granted."
As the secularization of the American society over the last 40-plus years has resulted in crackdowns on religious freedom and limits on faith in the public square, Metaxas asserts that the Founding Fathers understood that faith and virtue are what enable freedom and self governance to flourish.
Metaxas relies on the concept known as the Golden Triangle, which he borrowed from British author and social critic Os Guinness, to prove his point. The Golden Triangle is the idea that freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith and faith requires freedom.
"All of the founders, including the ones we think of as somewhat secular — Franklin and Jefferson — knew that a robust expression of Christian faith was at the very heart of the success of the American experiment," Metaxas told CP. "There was no doubt in the minds of any of them that virtue and faith were utterly crucial to the success of this experiment in self government and true liberty for all. The extent that we have forgotten that and utterly pushed that away, we have destroyed the very thing that will allow us to continue to be who we have been and to be better than who we have been. That's a vital part of what we have to relearn."
Metaxas writes that the title of the book is a reference to words spoken by Benjamin Franklin when he was asked while leaving the Constitutional Convention whether or not America was to be a monarchy or republic. Franklin's response was, "A republic, if you can keep it."