The Eve of Destruction

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There is an adage that says “those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it”.  The popular music of the 1960’s and 70’s often protested the dissatisfaction of the youth with the world.  The problems weren’t new, but nonetheless true.  Historically, music has always been a used as a vehicle to profess societal wrongs, imbalances, and frustrations.  Consider the lyrics written by Barry McGuire and recorded by The Grass Roots and others.

The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.

Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it’s bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place

The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction.

The words speak of the social battles of the sixties, but think how easy it is to insert today’s trouble spots into the lyrics.  Five decades have passed, but racial tensions remain, China remains a military threat, and Israel is still struggling to survive amidst a sea of Islam.  Perhaps Bob Dylan was right when he wrote:

The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

 

Religious Freedom

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The Constitution of the United States was written to establish and protect personal freedoms the founders believed to be fundamental, freedoms denied in many ways by the colonial rule of the King of England. Many colonists had fled England in order to be free of the rules of the official church of the monarchy, seeking to worship as they chose. The importance of this liberty is expressed in Article I of the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

During my life I have witnessed a barrage of challenges to this freedom, often misquoted as guaranteeing “Separation of Church and State” as a vehicle to remove any reference to God on our money, in our Pledge of Allegiance, the oath to tell the truth in a court of law, and any official documents. Our nation has many flaws, but recognition of a Supreme Being isn’t one of them. Interestingly enough, freedom of speech, press, assembly, and to petition the government allows the abuse of religious freedom Article I protects.

This abuse has taken many forms, but most recently, the demand for Sharia Law to be observed by our courts. In a nation where the rules of the Christian, Hebrew, Buddhist, Hindu, and all other religious orders are subservient to our statutes, Sharia seeks to be placed above, and recently, under pressure from the White House, has been held to be so. Two individuals sought and acquired work as delivery drivers for a distributor of alcoholic beverages. Subsequently, these drivers refused to deliver the products they were hired to deliver, claiming it violates their Islamic faith. The employer terminated them for refusing to do their jobs. Seems rather straightforward, but enter the twisted view of religious freedom and the two men sue the employer for wrongful termination. The obvious decision here would be that the employer hired them to do a job, they accepted the job, refused to do the job, and therefor were released. Not for their religion, but failure to perform the tasks assigned. Sadly, justice did not prevail. The White House advised the judge appointed by the President that the plaintiffs would prevail. The result is a decision demanding the employer pay a fee of $240,000.00 to the men for firing them.

Keep in mind, the Koran does not prohibit sale or distribution or delivery of alcoholic beverages, only the consumption of them. As a confidence game, this decision sets a terrible precedent for our judicial system. In a system based on preceding decisions, it opens the flood gates to a swarm of claims of religious repression. A decision demanded by the office of a man who took an oath to protect and defend The Constitution, a document he is supposedly an expert regarding.
Islam has been at war with all other religions for more than two thousand years. Unless we defend our Constitution, this nation, under God, will perish from the earth.