The Great Unravelling
Young people today don't get it.
When I was young, sometimes it seemed like old people just didn't get it. Their opinions often seemed either irrelevant or inapplicable. My grandfather occasionally would pontificate about someone's lack of character as demonstrated by their behavior in a given circumstance. Things that were offensive to him just didn't bother me that much. I would think to myself, "That's old fashioned. People don't relate to each other on that basis anymore."
Today, of course, I can easily see that the reason I thought he was unnecessarily judgemental, was because I had been indoctrinated by the public education system. I had been taught the high value of empathy. It was part of the wave of anti-prejudice education that permeated the schooling of evey kid who grew up in the sixties and seventies.
We were taught never to rush to judgement about any individual on the basis of whatever group or class he or she may be in or have come from. I suppose this was good, except that my educators never alluded to the fact that it is nonetheless appropriate for a person to carefully weigh all sides of an argument, and then come to a conclusion on the matter.
They drilled into us the badness of prejudice, but failed miserably to teach us the value of judiciousness. In the process, the distinction between prejudice and basic discretion was lost altogether. As a result, my entire generation left high school and entered college with little ability to distinguish right from wrong, though most of us would acknowledge that right and wrong both did exist.
College kids today, however, generally are not only unable to distinguish right from wrong, but they are additionally unsure that there is any difference between the two, or that either of them actually exist. The whole concept of prejudice, having fully served its purpose, is now largely obsolete. In fact, you hardly hear the word in use anymore. Why, after all, would anyone need to warn us about the dangers of prejudice if they know that no judgement will ever come anyway? So our educators, true puppets that they are, have served their purpose as well. You can read the story straight out of the Marxist playbook.
So today's topic of discussion was, of course, the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to lift their ban against gay scouts and gay leaders. My son simply cannot understand my disgust with the whole thing. He doesn't get it. I'll spare the reader all the details of our discussion, which don't really matter anyway, in light of what I wish to communicate here.
In a last ditch effort to offer him a clue as to the vantage point from which I was approaching the whole issue, I told him the following:
The issue here is not about what gays are or are not allowed to do. The issue is about what the Boy Scouts are allowed to do. They are not allowed to exclude anyone, for any reason. It's only a matter of a very short time before no organization will be allowed to exclude anyone. Within a very short time, churches will be disallowed from excluding child molesters from teaching Sunday school. This is because child molesters are currently actively forming clubs and groups, and will soon be claiming their rights.
You have no idea what I'm talking about, because you weren't around when I was a kid, and you don't know what I know. When the choir from Sandy Hook Elementary School sang America the Beautiful at the Super Bowl, did you get a lump in your throat? As Alecia Keyes sang our National Anthem, were you holding back the tears? Were you, as I was, on the verge of sobbing simply because you love your country, but even more so because you know how great this nation once was, and you know how entirely lost we are today? I have watched, within the span of my own life, the fabric of our society literally unravel before my own eyes. This is not figurative speech. I am first hand witness to our nation's descent into a pit of mediocrity and marginality.
I love you, my son, but don't pretend to be more enlightened than I. You have not seen what I have seen. You don't know what I know.
You have no idea how great our society once was. You have no clue because you have no frame of reference. I know this because I know that I only got to see a small glimpse of it myself. Even in my early years, our society's degradation was already well under way.
One day you will look back and realize that my greatest hope is to leave with you a kernal of potential greatness, and an internal desire to aspire to and inspire others to its virtue. Perhaps after our society finally breathes its last gasp, after all has finally crumbled into oblivion, you may be among those who lead his generation into a new and better way; one that looks more like where we came from than where we have been heading.
But you don't know where we came from, for you never saw it. I only saw it from afar myself. You don't know that you are not free. I only know the freedoms I have lost, and my father once had more than I ever knew, though he may not have recognized my loss as it encroached. But I see your loss, though you don't see it yourself. You don't know it, but your generation is blind, though they think they have sight. They have been taught by blind teachers, and they are being led by blind leaders.
Nonetheless, the important things, you do know. You know the importance of knowing God, and of knowing who you are before Him. Bob Dole, though never since quoted, said it well: "...under the immense sky where I was born and raised, a man is very small, and if he thinks otherwise, he's wrong." This is the central ethic that made our nation great—the recognition that it is God who sets up nations. It is God who seats rulers and unseats them. Earthly affairs go according to His will, not ours.
So to you and your generation, I want only to say this: Greatness and excellence are not attained through the endeavors of men. A man can be great only if Almighty God is the source of his greatness. Apart from God, a man is but meager and small. And a society's greatness is only a measure of the collective greatness of that society's men and women. A charismatic ruler cannot make a society great. Social programs cannot make a society great. A political system cannot make a society great. And a strong economy certainly cannot make a society great. Greatness is a gift given only by the Giver of gifts Himself.
A nation without God is a nation lost.
Even up until the last hour of the last day of our nation's existence, there will be feminists proclaiming their independence from men. There will be politicians claiming the virtues of their social programs. There will be capitalists claiming they are self-made men. And there will be throngs of people depending on the government for their daily provision. All of these people are alike in that they forgot God, having failed to realize that it is God who provides, and no one else. But their society will fall, for they themselves are fallen.
So know God, my son, and know His Son. Know him well if you want a better life. Be great, and lead others into greatness. A great society can arise when great men lead. Perhaps God may bless you and your countrymen with a nation as strong, as beautiful, as capable, as compassionate, and as filled with His grace and providential blessings as the nation I once knew.