Marines.Together We Served

Monday, November 19, 2007

Troubling Trends

There’s only so much nonsense any society can tolerate before we either wake up from our lethargy, or we simply collapse for want of a backbone.

I’m referring to several news items that have surfaced this past week wherein our liberties are challenged and thwarted. Allow me to list a few of these for you.

1) Boy Scout Troop 45 was collecting toiletries and other comfort items for our troops overseas. They placed boxes at the thirty-three polling sites on Election Day in early November around their town in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Someone complained to the city that this was a “political statement,” and the boxes were removed.

I grew up in New England, and even lived near Cambridge in Wellesley for a couple of years. This suburb of Boston has historic significance, not only for our nation, but specifically for our military. It was in Cambridge at the onset of the Revolutionary War that George Washington organized a band of volunteers in 1775 on Cambridge Common, considered to be the birthplace of the United States Army. (Let’s hear a HOOAH!). Later, using artillery captured from the enemy at Fort Ticonderoga, these American forces defeated the British and drove them out of Boston. Cambridge boasts numerous schools of higher learning, not the least of which is Harvard and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Being a kid in New England in the 50’s and early 60’s I recall people who were very patriotic. We had big Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. As a trumpet player, I remember standing on a knoll overlooking our town, Wellesley, preparing to play the “echo” of Taps played by another trumpet player down below in the center of town where the Memorial Day ceremony was held. It was a special moment, filled with the appropriate solemnity for such an occasion when remembering those who have given their lives in defense of our nation.

Even today when my wife and I travel through New England by car on our way to vacation with family in Maine, I am always awed by the massive display of the American flag flown from nearly every home (or so it seems) as we meander through the towns and back roads where so much of our history was formed. Where’s the disconnect?

2) Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia leads out in public prayer for end of drought in his state. Yes, you heard right – the governor of this southern state dared to step out from his office and lead numerous lawmakers, public officials and ministers in a prayer to God. The region has experienced severe drought, causing various businesses and industries to be adversely affected.

The governor’s plea to the Almighty came not long after Alabama Governor Bob Riley issued a proclamation declaring a week in July as Days of "Prayer for Rain" to "humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady in times of difficulty." The Atlanta Freethought Society opposed the Georgia governor’s rain prayer saying in a statement, "The governor can pray when he wants to. What he can't do is lead prayers in the name of the people of Georgia." Oh really? Why not?

The hue and cry from certain quarters would lead you to think that the governor had committed the unpardonable sin. How dare he pray to God from the steps of the capitol building! Why, this is a violation of the separation of church and state! And it’s apparently an outrage that he "pray in the name of the people of Georgia."

A quarter of an inch of rain fell the next day.

3) Hotel chains have decided to remove Bibles from their guest’s rooms, replacing the Scriptures with "Intimacy Kits." I will allow you to imagine what is offered in an intimacy kit. Here’s a clue: Another name for the kit is the "One Night Stand" package. Such a package may include "concierge personnel" to assist those wanting to have a memorable evening. Wanting to entice potential patrons, Marriott Hotel spokesman, John Wolf, describes the new approach as "cutting-edge," "more urban," and "less values-oriented." Newsweek writer, Roya Wolverson, wrote, "Now, there's a marketing slogan no one's tried yet: ‘Sleep with us. Leave the values at home.’" Reminds me of the slogan used by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas." Comforting, isn’t it?

So, there you have it! Boy Scouts are not allowed to help our troops with comfort items. A state governor is lambasted for praying to God for relief from drought in his state. And Bibles in hotels are being replaced by "Intimacy Kits."

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, dare we have the audacity to raise our eyes to heaven and give thanks? Tell me again why God should bless America?

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