Nostalgic moments seem to be coming at me more often these days. I do not believe it is a sign of aging. I am still a juvenile in the eyes of some of my more senior acquaintances. Maybe it is an anxiety state. Maybe it is a manifestation of a fear of what might be slipping away from us. Leaving us with only memories of the land of liberty. Perhaps it is because those of us with memories, self-included, are not standing up and speaking out forcefully enough. There is a reason for that too I expect.
It is a self-inflicted slipping away. It is self-inflicted because we insist on proving that we are the tolerant and accepting group of people that we are always accused of not being. It might be time for us to point fingers back in the other direction and ask why it is that you cannot accept who I am and what I believe? Is it because you, Mr. Atheist et al are an intolerant lot? Surely that cannot be.
Are you growing tired of the insinuation that you are a rabid proselytizer because it just happens to become public knowledge that you are a Christian? Then they want you to shut up and get into those now vacated closets. What do you call it when atheists insist that you accept their premise that nothing follows this life? Is that not atheistic proselytizing? The meaning of proselytizing after all is an attempt to convert someone to a religious faith or to a political doctrine. There is much of it going on in our world. If one looks at our shrinking Churches and the state of our government, he can only conclude that the atheist, moral relativist, homosexual, anti-free market, anti-personal liberty etc. proselytizers are winning. Apparently, watching our country’s transformation into something not recognizable, unless you are familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah, is preferable to being labeled intolerant by the most intolerant people imaginable.
It would have been late August or early September 1958. That is when my 5 year old self began the first grade at Wyoming Grade School. It was a one story wooden school house holding grades 1 through 8, and a couple of years later only 1 through 6. We never had a kindergarten. I was allowed to enter the first grade at age 5 because I would turn 6 in September.
I have a rather vivid memory of my first school day. Before we went into the school house, we were gathered by class in front of the building. The first thing we did is recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Granted, not a first grader among us had any idea what was happening, but we learned from watching “the big kids” to place our hands over our hearts and in a day or two of school, we mastered the words. After the pledge, we sang, “My country tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died. Land of the Pilgrims’ pride. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.” After that first time outdoors each classroom day began the same way, except that inside the classroom it was common to also add The Lord’s Prayer.
Can you imagine the law suits if any of that happened within a mile of a public school today? A cross-dressing drug dealer has a better chance of getting into your child’s classroom today than does the pledge to our flag, a song of pride in our country and most assuredly God.
They took prayer away from our schools in 1962. They gave us Woodstock in 1969. We gave them the country in 2008. Because we are tolerant here in the former land of liberty.