America is broken


~ As I sat at my computer yesterday, looking at images of Baltimore burning, I couldn’t help but think that our country is broken.

Conversation at the coffeehouse has all but simmered down lately. Thanks in large part to computers and WiFi, it becomes more rare to see strangers connect with each other in positive dialogue. Instead, the scene that plays out at the coffee house most days is a myriad of people with headphones in their ears, and their eyes staring blankly at glowing screens.

A good friend of mine called yesterday and bemoaned the heat that he is getting for moving into a predominantly black city, “Almost all of my friends and family are trying to convince me that I’m wrong to be moving there….and all I can think is that its because they are racist; they don’t believe a young white guy should be living around a bunch of black people”

America is broken.

When I was younger I used to believe in the church as the hope for our country. I had fanciful beliefs that the church really cared for the poor and brokenhearted. I believed that pastors and priests truly cared about the people at the bottom-rung of society, but in recent years those beliefs have been all but dashed. Instead, the christians I run into are more interested in arguing and endless debates; they have all the answers, but have nothing to give to those who are hurting. Being a Christian these days has apparently evolved into being a professional arguer; being prepared to pepper your language with superlatives and nasty rhetoric is what too much of Christianity has become.

Perhaps I was foolish to read the stories about Jesus and take them to heart. Stories about a dude who spent all his waking hours with the poor and neglected. Stories about a guy who gave of himself freely, without asking for money in return.

America is broken.

It is sad to me that most people only go into human service for the money. Doctors, nurses, social workers, foster parents; would any of the people who work in these fields do it for free? Would any of the people in these fields do it for minimum wage? How many people would be a pastor or priest if they had to do it for free, receiving no money in return?

How many politicians would work in “public service” if they had to donate their time for free? What if being senator or working in congress was nothing more than a free public service we asked of people; would men and women be spending millions of dollars trying to get elected?

Hillary Clinton is said to be trying to raise 1 billion dollars for her election campaign. Doesn’t that tell you right there that America is broken? I could clean up quite a few cities if you gave me a billion dollars. I could create quite a few companies that employed a LOT of people if you gave me a billion dollars.

People all over the news keep asking questions about police brutality. Yet I’m sitting here wondering why people are surprised about what we are seeing in video after video of cops killing and beating civilians; for the last fifty years Police Academies have been training officers to treat civilians like crap. Police Academies have been training police to intimidate the public; we give massive salaries to men and women whose full time job is harass us for going 5 over or for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.

Police are no longer our friends. The days of Andy Griffith are over. Instead we have given power to an army of police officers who believe they rule over us like Greek gods. We are nothing more than “civilians”, we are the enemy in their eyes.

America is broken.

More than fifty years ago the small little country of Costa Rica banded together and kicked out a dictator. This little communal society did not want a government that ruled over them with an iron fist of fear. They disbanded the military and vowed to never allow a leader to rule over them with a military again. For more than fifty years Costa Rica has enjoyed life without a military and life without police who brutally beat and murder civilians.

America is broken…..because America is violent.

Americans believe the answer to everything is violence.

—) Problem in the Middle East; drops some bombs and send troops with machine guns over.

—) Problem in Vietnam, drop some bombs and send troops with machine guns over

—) Problem in Baltimore, drop some tear gas bombs and send troops with riot gear on

Americans believe brute force and violence is the answer to everything. We are a violent people. President Obama who was elected into office on a platform of being against war has carried on every single middle eastern policy of his predecessor. Hillary Clinton, the current front runner in the next election is nothing more than another war monger. Her and her husband started proxy wars without abandon during the 1990’s. And don’t even get me started on the GOP.

America is broken because Americans are obsessed with fighting.

Where Jesus came as the prince of peace, Americans build massive monuments in honor of those who killed for our country. It is a crazy country we live in.

I really need a coffee,


Categories: Culture & Society

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41 replies

  1. Now comes the question of how to combat the violent nature of our culture. If the people in power use violence to keep civilians in line how do you overthrow them without using violence? How do we revolt peacefully? They’ve figured out how to stop peaceful organized protests so we see violent riots break out. Can you end violence with violence? Can you end violence without violence?

  2. That is the world’s problem.

  3. “America is broken…..because America is violent.” You nailed it. This is so true.

  4. It’s just Baltimore Kenneth, and a historically troubled portion of Baltimore to boot. It’s not America. It’s not even all of Baltimore. And I don’t think the man’s friends are bad for warning him against moving to a predominantly Black city. They are thinking in terms of his safety, and quality of life. He thinks of it only in terms of race, apparently.

  5. Yes, broken it is. And unlikely to change anytime soon.

  6. Walter Wink’s “Engaging the Powers” is a good resource on this issue. He shows where the idea of violence as a “problem solver” comes from in our culture.

  7. I wanted to see if you were here Kenn

  8. Violence in the form of defense is in my opinion moral. Violence in the form of offense is in my opinion bad. A big question here is what is considered violence? There are the obvious one guy hits another. I believe there is much more violence then just that. Our nation has become extremely violent with our rhetoric. We take great pleasure in devaluing people with words, attitudes and lock step. If someone does not fall in lockstep with the correct way of being then the are now considered extremist and that is equated to terrorist or even worse. Yes America is broken. America has rejected Biblical principles and found itself waffling around an ocean of philosophy with nothing to provide purpose or reason except money. We all know that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. There are those who still understand what it means to give of themselves who do not expect anything in return (in this life). These people are dwindling in numbers but the salt is still here and the day that salt ends is the day the world will end.

  9. …..And there is very little respect that precipitates the violence. Everyone is out to get what they want, not bothering to think about the rest of society. The ME generation now predominates.

  10. While I agree with a majority of the post, the police brutality is 50/50. We can’t psychologically evaluate every cadet that gets hired and check him/her yearly, but if we saw what they see in criminals on a daily basis we would crack under the stress too. For cops, it’s a never ending battle with criminals that never seems like they are coming out on top. Lock one drug dealer up and two more will take his/her place.
    It’s not the cops that need to be “fixed”, it’s America and society as a whole that needs to be fixed. Graduation rates have dropped and unemployment has increased. Rate in single moms with multiple kids they can’t keep a grip on. It just spells eventual disaster.
    Cops are not the problem, society and it’s lack of morals and respect are.

  11. Hi Kenneth. I think a lot about the state of culture as well as the state of individual minds and hearts in America and around the world today. My personal conclusion is a little bit different than yours, but there are some similarities. As community and personal relationships have broken down, so has personal responsibility for choices and thoughts. There is no freedom without responsibility. Our leaders in business and government have no sense of compassion, because unbridled greed and competition is the capitalist spirit, carried to an extreme. Because there no longer exist any cultural boundaries around the nature of success or social responsibility, narcissism is allowed to expand without limit. The state of our culture is a state of collective immaturity. People are not teaching boundaries to their children, not seeming to understand that order brings a sense of security and a feeling of being loved to children. Indulging a child’s every whim is not love, and it is not in the child’s best interest. Violence abounds because we don’t cultivate care for the small details of life and for one another. These are values of the soul, and our spirits are suffering. We can change our world by changing our minds and our hearts, and we need to teach our children how to be self-aware as well as responsible in their choices. We are simply functioning at a very low level of awareness, collectively, and it could be very different. Perhaps America is not yet ready to grow up…


  12. I truly enjoyed your writing and your thought-provoking perspective. In my humble opinion, America has always been broken, at least to certain groups of people as we don’t all face the same reality nor do we live in the same America. I think what you’re describing here is simply light being shed upon a truth that has been well hidden for a very long time.

  13. This is all so true, sadly I have no idea what can be done about it

  14. America is not broken at all, but the media and the politicians sure seem to want to try and convince us of that. The church, even in all it’s imperfection, is still a beacon of light. America is her people and no, her people do not all advocate violence, in fact, we’re some of the most charitable and giving people around.

  15. I do not think that America is as broken as you have pictured here. I also think you would agree we are each sinners, that we cannot make a perfect America.

    Are the police somehow evil as pictured here? No. The people we choose to police us are among the best of us.

    When we point fingers at others we judge them. That is something we must sometimes do, but for the most part we can only rightly do so in self-defense. We can rightly protect ourselves and others from what we anticipate will be bad behavior, but it is unChristian to condemn others. It is so easy to forget that God is our judge, that He did give us that authority.

    Instead of condemning others, we must each ask our Lord to help us to become a better person. It is only our own attitude we can fix, not someone else’s.

  16. Broken, devided, and sputtering in a downward spiral.

  17. Well said, Kenneth. (I tried to like your post, but my WordPress is being wonky.) I would add an observation that you’ve implied: Christianity is broken. Too many of us are focused on what people are doing with their genitals rather than on Jesus’ radical pacifism. We also worry about proving the historical accuracy of the Bible when we should be trying to figure out how that old, misused, abused book asks us to live. My two cents, anyway. Peace and best, John

  18. Reblogged this on Fear God and commented:
    Thank you Kenneth. I agree with you, Americans, or people in general are stuck on negativity. If it is cold, people want it to be hot. If it is hot people want it to be cold. We are always complaining about something.

    I read in the bible the other day, there are 2 things in the bible that if we do not have them, we are nothing. Love your neighbor, and trusting our Lord, Jesus.

    I do believe that every single human being should do the 12 steps. Every one has something that they can get rid of, no one is perfect. It is a great way to draw closer to God, build a relationship with a higher power. Maybe just maybe we can all stop complaining and make this world not so broken. Thanks again

  19. I agree with many of the comments made in response to this post — the American society is broken and is spiraling down at an incredible rate. Rather than parents, schools and the Church, television, movies and music, are the primary agencies by which standards are taught today. I believe that the radical shift from reliance on Scripture and the evangelical teaching of the Church has removed the standards upon which the country was founded and without an established standard, erosion of the moral fabric of country should not be a surprise. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes. In short, it is a very selfish and self-centered society that focuses on what’s-in-it-for-me today. Remember the song “I want it all, and I want it all now!” I don’t think it is too late for America, but I do believe that much needs to change quickly if we are to survive rather than implode.

  20. “America is broken…..because America is violent.

    Americans believe the answer to everything is violence.

    —) Problem in the Middle East; drops some bombs and send troops with machine guns over.

    —) Problem in Vietnam, drop some bombs and send troops with machine guns over

    —) Problem in Baltimore, drop some tear gas bombs and send troops with riot gear on

    Americans believe brute force and violence is the answer to everything. We are a violent people. President Obama who was elected into office on a platform of being against war has carried on every single middle eastern policy of his predecessor. Hillary Clinton, the current front runner in the next election is nothing more than another war monger. Her and her husband started proxy wars without abandon during the 1990’s. And don’t even get me started on the GOP.

    America is broken because Americans are obsessed with fighting. ”

    Very true. Violence is the first response to everything. It is like they are looking for something to fight about. Not me, I have had enough of the fighting.

  21. I would say it is a foolish country we live in. If you are interested in this statement check our my reasons .

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  22. Reblogged this on Rudy u Martinka and commented:

  23. As a non- American, I find your post very interesting.
    By saying that ‘America is Broken’ you are implying that once upon a time America was perfect – ie ‘unbroken’, but that was never the case. I have been a visitor to your great country several times, and to me it seems that most of the country is NOT broken at all, and indeed admirable. (Declaring an interest here – I now have an 11month old grandson who is a US citizen although he is living in India)

    Of course there are times and places when for a year or more things go horribly wrong and everyone (particularly the media) wrings their hands and asks ‘what has gone wrong’, and this happens in other countries too.

    As a non-American I must admit I do get majorly pis*ed off with the American government trying to tell the rest of us to do everything their way because it is the best way – it seems rude and arrogant.

    And the USA certainly seems to have a love affair with the gun that baffles non-Americans, especially when one reads endless reports of kids accidently shooting themselves with their parents weapons; of yet another major killing spree by some dissaffected youth mowing down students at a school, strangers in a mall or in a cinema.
    Having said that – on the whole America is a country with good people who want the best for their fellow men wherever they may be. It has serious problems – naturally – whatever made you think it wouldn’t have, we all do, but the good far outweighs the bad.

    So cheer up, and enjoy your coffee!

  24. “In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls”

  25. How do we overthrow violent people without violence? Perhaps we should study the life of Ghandi and M..L. King? They will still be violent but if we are not violent in return, their violence will ultimately change.

  26. Where have you gone, Kenneth?

  27. will check back later Kenneth

  28. I miss you, hope that everything in your life is OK. Thank you Kenneth

  29. Missing you, CultureMonk and hoping all is well.

  30. Culturemonk . . . what do you expect? . . . Jesus was always preserved for the white man while he built his empire on the bones of countless American Indians/Chinese labor and black slaves . . . . . . guess what?

    Karma’s a bitch BUT while you live through this collapse, know that although the signs are everywhere these days and it is easy to get discouraged and depressed. . . .

    The sun is always shining
    It shines above on a cloudy day
    Even in the darkest night time
    It’s just the world that’s turned away
    So if you keep your vision climbing
    You’ll find light above the storm
    Trust in the dark It’s in Gods timing
    Just endure until the morn.


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