I’ve been hanging around this old world for a pretty good while and I’ve observed much and commented on a bit. People sometimes tell me that I need to be more patient about things, but I guess that’s just a part of who I am. I was even impatient about being born and got here two months early. I was pretty small when I arrived… they tell me I could have fit in a coffee pot… and our coffee pot was not very big. But I made it over the hump and there’s one thing I’m not impatient about – and that’s leaving.

Being as old as I am I have a lot of memories about a lot of years. Most of them are pretty good. I remember Pearl Harbor and that was NOT good. The years following were not good either, but the outcome was. America, when challenged, showed the world what she could do! The fifties followed and they were healthy times. Then the sixties began a downward slide from which we have never recovered. I know there are many who will disagree with that statement, who think the sixties were glory days: when young folk marched to protest war, others marched to protest segregation and demand payment for former slavery. Women folk, having been employed during the war, began to seek jobs outside the household, some of them marched in complaint that they were not paid as much as men were for the same jobs. Everyone began demanding equality for all – then some began demanding more than equality to pay for years and deeds before things were equalized. Little progress demands more progress and the Progressives of today are demanding a government that forces equality for everyone – except for those doing the governing. A democratic Republic is insufficient, they must have power to insure equality. Under these conditions everyone but the governors are reduced to the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR. There is no middle-class.

Older folks, like me, can remember times when the government recognized its limitations and operated more-or-less within them. The general concept was that people aren’t equal and they should be free to achieve their individual potential so long as their efforts do no harm to others. One worked to provide for himself and his family not for humanity as a whole. What he earned was his, not the governments. The tax he paid was to provide him and his with safety (national defense and local police), to provide protection for his rights as a free person and to provide certain national resources such as highways and waterways. Businesses and institutions were not functions of a central government, nor did it exercise control over them, state governments could enforce necessary controls to ensure fairness. Free trade was to control costs through availability and competition. This is essentially how our Republic is designed to work, and how it operated for its first 150 years. 

But, as always happens, the fallen-nature of man entered the picture. In the later 1800s some men began thinking they had better ideas than Almighty God. Humanity had to be idolized. After all, no other creatures on earth could do what man had done and was doing. The HUMANIST MANIFESTO was created and began working to exalt humanity to its rightful position. The schools that had been created to teach biblical truth were compromised, their curricular was slowly and subtly changed until God was essentially eliminated from major universities. Teacher colleges began removing biblical teaching for future teachers who were being taught God had no real place in the general educational system. A teaching that was later justified in the courts which essentially said the State and the Church were constitutionally separated. This lie took root and abolished the teaching the schools were originally founded to teach. A first step in taking God out of the American culture. Our Founding Fathers, those who wrote the Constitution, warned us that the government they had created could only function in a Godly environment.

In the 1930s we were still living in a Godly culture. Even those families who did not regularly attend a church taught their children Bible Stories. We all knew about David and Goliath; Samson and Delilah; Noah and the ark; Danial in the lion’s den; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; and a few others, including the birth, crucifixion and rising of Jesus Christ. Embedded in the minds and hearts of the people was a system of what was right and what was wrong. A system most citizens tried to live by. One might go uptown leaving the doors unlocked, matter-of-fact most doors in our neighborhood were never locked. Everybody in the neighborhood knew everybody else and trust was a common factor. Of course we didn’t have all the modern-day fixtures and toys we have today but we had relationships one seldom finds in neighborhoods these days. I can’t think of anyone today who doesn’t keep the doors locked. Okay, I’m talking about the good-old-days; and everything wasn’t perfect, we didn’t even have a telephone in our house, had to go to a neighbor’s house to call somebody and that line might be on a shared line. We made out. Automobiles were scarce as hen’s teeth, matter-of-fact there were more hens on our block than autos. Downtown was about a mile or two away, an easy walk and good exercise. A bus stop was within a few blocks and a nickel would take you a long way. We had a local grocery store one block from the house, I could go by and get a cup of ice cream and have it charged to the family’s bill. To get to a Kroger’s was about a four block walk. The river was about a half mile away and you could go fishing anytime you wanted to. This was all before we had a McDonalds, but there was a great barbecue up near Kroger’s.  It was close enough from the schoolhouse we could make it for lunch if we hurried and had maybe fifteen cents for a hot-dog and a Coca-Cola. There was no TV back then but the movies were great. A quarter would get the double-feature movie, some popcorn and a drink with maybe a nickel change. Usually we kids saw the westerns with maybe a serial, a cartoon and a newsreel. The good guys always won and there was no cursing and the only sex was maybe a kiss on the cheek for the hero. We didn’t have computer games to addict us but Cowboys-and-Indians was a lot of fun, we just made things up as we went along, seeing who could come up with the best ideas. I jammed my knee one time when I jumped off the wood-house to get the supposed Indian who was coming down the trail. It took me a while to recover from that while my brother kept saying, “I tried to tell you it was a good Indian.” There were many other things I could talk about but perhaps this is enough of the 30s for now.

It’s hard to pick a time when things really turned about and our culture began changing. I suppose WWII is a major factor. There’s this old song that says “how’re you gonna get ‘em back on the farm after they’ve seen Berlin (or Paree).” I believe there’s a good bit of truth reflected there. I don’t have the figures to illustrate it but most of America was agricultural when the war broke out and many of the men called to fight were farm hands. The one man who captures this picture is the world famous WWI hero “Sergeant York.” He didn’t want to go fight but, as the story puts it, God influenced his decision to go. He went and as a result a great many American lives were saved because he was there. God does work in mysterious ways, so I’ve heard. It’s sort of hard for me to figure out how HE is working these days when it seems our culture is moving away from the religious foundation it was built upon. I think God brought President Trump along to show us some things we seem to have forgotten. Sort of a last-ditch effort to get our attention. He had been warning us many years in many ways and we were not listening. We kept electing government officials intent on removing Him from our culture. They took Him out of schools that were built to teach His word, but now teach His non-existence. While they aren’t allowed to teach Christianity they may, and are sometimes urged to teach about a god called Allah and his religion called Islam. Of course our churches may not protest this issue since that would be intolerant. I think we have just about tolerated ourselves out of existence. Doesn’t surprise me; I have read the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation. If we lose Trump in the coming election we lose America. And he needs helpers in the Congress. Amen!

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Mike Scruggs