We are getting close to Christmas the singers proclaim is the "hap-hap-happiest day of the year." That is what we are hoping it will be for each of you.

Things don't seem to fit that category today. They say we are approaching a "fiscal cliff," and Congress, whose confidence level among the public seems less than 10 percent, spends most of its time arguing. The president spends his time placing the blame. America's debts are impossible and are increasing every day.

Dr. D. James Kennedy, a man who wrote more than 60 books and held nine degrees, said in a recent book before his death, "Sadly, we have now turned our backs on the God of our Founding Fathers. George Washington warned that 'reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.' Yet modern America has chosen to exclude religious principles."

Kennedy tells of a visit with the Honorable William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education who spoke of the "dumbing down of America."

Kennedy said, "He told me some of his concerns about what is happening in education in our country today. Truly, my friends, the situation has gone from deplorable to catastrophic."

There are many things happening in America that cast doubt about where we are heading. That is the reason I am quoting for you what some of our forefathers had to say about our country. We seem to have either forgotten them or we have chosen to ignore them.

President Woodrow Wilson: "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about."

Samuel Adams, one of America's greatest patriots and statesmen: "A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America common enemy. While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued, but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security."

George Washington, in his first inaugural address: "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."

In 1776, Founding Father John Adams: "Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their ruler and the forms of government, but they will obtain a lasting liberty."

In 1837, John Quincy Adams: "In the chain of events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission. It laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior, and predicted by the greatest Hebrew prophets 600 years before."

It was the end of the year, 1812, when John Quincy Adams penned these words in his diary: "I offer to a merciful God at the close of this year my humble tribute of gratitude for the blessings with which He has, in the course of it, favored me and those dear to me."

My suggestion for quoting the above remarks is to read each one of them with special attention and then compare them with what you see happening in America today. Dr. Kennedy's quotes are from his book titled "What If America Were A Christian Nation Again." All of the rest of the quotes are from Peter Marshall's and David Manuel's book "The Glory of America," and all of them are listed in its bibliography by source name and year.

We wish to each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Arris Johnson is a member of The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.