Sunday, November 29, 2015

Without a Paddle

I’ve often described the culture of a military organization as being like a river.  Once you join that organization, or dive-in, there is a culture or current that moves you along with the rest of the team.  Going with the flow, so to speak.  The better the unit and the more motivated the members, the easier it is to get swept-in and pushed along in the right direction. 


America had such a cultural current.  We had a distinctly Judea-Christian outlook  When an immigrant arrived they became immersed in a distinctly American milieu.  Sure, there were ethnic enclaves and national neighborhoods, and even ghettos that were reminiscent of “The Old Country” some thirty, forty, or even one hundred years ago, but they were launching pads for the younger generation to go out from, not sanctuary cities or virtually-gated communities to keep American culture out.       

Don’t miss the effect technology plays in enabling these new “Americans” to reach-back to their previous homeland.  They can stay linguistically and culturally unassimilated through the world-wide web and satellite entertainment in such a way that they will never be anything more than a nominal American.  Push 1 if you have no intention of learning English.  

That’s not to say that the media, entertainment and technology are all negative.  There was a time when the main stream media was actually pro-American.  Someone under 30 may have never heard a National newscast where we weren’t the bad guys – at least until Fox News.  That’s not to say they’re the answer, but at least they don’t actively seek to undermine the formerly prevailing American cultural tradition.

Believe it or not young folks, there was also a time in the past when lots of shows on the three networks (when that’s all there was) that promoted family values.  These shows depicted largely healthy families (i.e. a Mom and Dad) and promoted traditional mores and values.  Police, military and even cowboy characters were largely portrayed as good guys.   

Moses parted the Red Sea with the help of God; Obama has divided the US with the help of the liberal media and secular-progressive academia.   The unifying effect the media once had is now used to promote division and contention. 

A major new survey by the Pew Research Center of more than 35,000 Americans summarizes the changes: “The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”  It is understandable that people would question God’s existence nowadays.  It is hard to reason exactly what god was behind the Mali hotel incident where people were required to cite (from memory) verses of the Koran or be shot.

Why the precipitous drop in America?  “The percentage of adults (18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014.” It would be unfair to ascribe all of this to academia, the media, or Obama.  Nonetheless, something has happened since Obama has assumed the highest elected office in our land. 
 
According to the same survey, there has been a corresponding increase over the same period in the percentage of Americans who are “religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’ – it has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.  The share of Americans who identify with non-Christian faiths also has also inched up, rising 1.2 percentage points, from 4.7% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2014. Growth has been especially great among Muslims and Hindus.”

To the followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; take heart!    The Psalmist saw this day coming and encourages us with these words:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.   The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”


 This column appears in The Upson Beacon, 2 DEC 2015 published in Upson County, GA.

1 comment:

  1. Col.,

    Your mention of TV shows with good family values reminds me that back in 1987 I stopped watching TV altogether (still watch dvds). I hated the news , slanted badly even back then (although much worse now), and most TV shows were drivel. It wasn't worth it to me to remain hooked up just to watch the Discovery Channel and a few other educational stations - which were showing their liberal skirts, even back then.

    Sometime around '96 or '97, my wife and I were traveling and stayed in a motel for the night. Bored, and without our usual books to read, we turned on the room's TV, looking for the History Channel or a movie we might be able to tolerate. As there was no channel guide in the room, our search through the channels took us to something called "Married with Children". After seeing about 90 seconds of that, we turned the TV off, and never turned one on again that was connected to the outside world in any way.

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