PERSPECTIVErnOne World, One Leader, One godrnby Thomas FlemingrnThe unity of Christendom and the restoration of the Americanrnrepublic are themes that have intertwined their wayrnthrough the numbers of this magazine, Hke the twin strands ofrnthe DNA double helix. The message does not always meetrnwith approval. Recently, a man of wealth and influence told usrnthat he was no longer interested in a particular nation like thernUnited States or in a particular religion, namely Christianity.rnBy implication, he would like to advance the goal of a world religionrnfor a world-state. This is a man who passes for wise onrnWall Street, and he has been intelligent enough not only tornmake huge sums of money on speculation but also to hold ontorniiis fortune in good times and bad, a veritable Baruchrn(Bernard, that is, and not the prophet). Like too many men ofrnbusiness, however, he knows so little histon’ (to say nothing ofrnreligion or philosophy) that he cannot see where his ‘isionrnleads. A conservative by background and self-interest, he hasrngiven his mind (and the minds of his children and grandchildren)rnover to liberals who have licked it into shape like thernproverbial she-bear and her cubs.rnOurs is hardly the first age in which rulers have dreamed ofrnuniting the world in secular government. Ever since the collapsernof the Western empire, European rulers from Charlemagnernto Hitler have used the trappings and symbols of Romernas justification for their expanding power, but even beforernRome began its rise to world dominance, other Mediterraneanrnraces had claimed universal authority: Akkadians, Babylonians,rnAssyrians, Persians—each in its turn dominated the stage like arnVegas showgirl having her moment in the spotlight.rnThe prophet Baruch, apparendy, lived in the time of thernBabylonians, when the Lord’s people were punished for theirrndisobedience. Mingling with strangers in a polyglot Babel, thernJews had given in to the temptation to assimilate and to worshiprnalien gods, which had neither physical might nor moral authority:rn”For as a scarecrow in a garden of cucumbers keepethrnnothing: so are their gods of wood, and laid over with silver andrngold” (Baruch 6:20). A futile experiment in power politics hadrnled to the subjugation of Israel and Judah, and the people paidrnin full the tragic wages of their error: the loss of their identit}’,rntheir culture, and the religion that made them who they were.rnEor the Jews, Babylon became a symbol of earthly empire, asrnwell as of their own desolation. Man’s libido dominandi, the desirernto subject the earth to one power, was exemplified in thernconstruction of Babel, whose builders said, “Let us build us arncity and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let usrnmake us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face ofrnthe whole earth.” The result, as we learn, was the opposite ofrntheir intentions, and instead of securing the unity they sought,rnthey were divided in language, and “the Lord scattered themrnabroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they leftrnoff to build the city.” Their uncompleted city of the world remainsrnthe unfinished business of fallen man.rnIn the ancient Middle East, struggles between cities and nationsrnwere inevitably struggles between gods, and when my cityrnbeat your cib,’, it meant that your gods were either destroyed orrninducted onto a lower level of my god’s pantheon. Religiousrnimit}’—in any sense except a unity in adhering to the Truth —rnis the spiritual dimension of the world-empire that keeps ambitiousrnmen up late at night, plotting and scheming over peoplesrnand territories that for them have little intrinsic worth. What anrnempire Mussolini coveted —Ethiopia and Albania, countriesrnnot worth the wig of a good tenor at La Scala! And when thernWorld Council of Creat Religions has its way, it will domineerrnover an empire of spiritual Albanias, welding UnitedrnMethodists, Evangelical Lutherans, Reform Jews, humanitarianrnMuslims, and Daishonin Buddhists into a universal unfaith.rnUniversalism —whether of power, of religion, or of principlesrn—is a chimera in both senses of the word: It is a monster asrnwell as a myth. The persistent heresy that all souls —includingrnlO/CHRONICLESrnrnrn