An email about being born in 1925-1975, God, the Pledge of Allegiance and Jay Leno: My response.

10 Jan

No matter what our kids and the new generation think about usWE ARE AWESOME !!

OUR Lives are LIVING PROOF !!! 

 To Those of  Us  Born1925 – 1975

At the end of this email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno. If you don’t read anything else, pleaseRead what he said. Very well stated, Mr. Leno. 

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drankWhile they were pregnant!They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes. 

Then, after that trauma, we were

 Put to sleep on our tummies

 In baby cribs covered

With bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets,

And, when we rode our bikes,

We had baseball caps,

Not helmets, on our heads.

 As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. 

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight.

WHY?

Because we were always outside playing…that’s why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.

–And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building

Our go-carts out of scraps

And then ride them down the hill,

Only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were

No video games, no 150 channels on cable,

No video movies or DVDs,

No surround-sound or CDs,
No cell phones,

No personal computers,

No Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS

And we went outside and found  them!

We fell out of trees, got cut,

Broke bones and teeth,

And there were no lawsuitsWe would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.We ate worms, and mud pies

Made from dirt, and

The worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and -although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. 

Little League had tryouts

And not everyone made the team.

Those who didn’t had to learn

To deal with disappointment.

 Imagine that!!

 The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best

Problem solvers, and inventors ever.

 The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

 We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.If YOU are one of those bornBetween 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives  for our own good.

 While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?

The quote of the month By Jay Leno: With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?

 MY RESPONSE

This is a clever and inspiring email being passed around to remember that things haven’t always been as they are now. I think we tend to lose sight of perspective when we forget what life was like for the preceeding generations, and that in the midst of hardships or circumstances much different than ours, God was still faithful to bring them through. I have the utmost regard for my parents’ and grandparents’ generations, who weathered through incredibly challenging days with a great deal of good-heartedness and tough-minded persistence.

That said, I do find this email somewhat misleading. It seems to look back on preceeding generations and paint their times (albeit, with a great deal of tongue-and-cheek humor) in rose-colored hues (I admit to being guilty of doing this often myself). We forget that each generation has its ups and downs, pros and cons, benefits and shortcomings. As the writer of Ecclesiasties said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Each generation of people in history has produced some real good and effected some great evils. Generally speaking, no matter how bad things may look to us now, it’s not as bad as it could be, nor necessarily as bad as it has been (it doesn’t get much worse than a worldwide flood that catastrophically drowns all of humanity and wipes out nature, except 8 people and an oceanliner full of critters. Think Tsunami times a billion! This is NOT a cute little story to use to decorate children’s nurseries. It was a mind-blowing, heartwrending destructive judgment from an Almighty God against His precious, hand-shaped creation that persisted in evil and refused to repent of it).

As for the Jay Leno quote, while I do appreciate that he is able to look around at the circumstances of our times and recognize that we need something or Someone bigger than ourselves to carry us through, keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance is not a saving grace for America, nor is it necessarily even a virtue. The problem with keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance is that we have to mean it. There is no virtue in saying some oft-repeated words with our mouths no matter how traditional and patriotic, especially if they are directed at the Divine Creator, unless our hearts are behind it. To pronounce “one nation, under God” is a great, and holy thing, if we really are acknowledging that we are under the supreme guidance, care and authority of the Sovereign God. But it is nothing short of hypocrisy to pronounce those words and go on doing (as a nation and as individuals) what we jolly well please with little to no regard for His laws, His authority, His commanding presence in our lives. That is no virtue at all, it is a bold-faced lie and it is something God does not regard lightly in the lives of nations or individuals. The Bible (His recorded Word and Will) is chock-full of just what He thinks about words, and motions and practices of people that merely keep the outward show of religions acknowledgement but lack the true heart of faith and repentance to motivate them. Those who practiced such things and did not repent of their failure to acknowledge Him truthfully were eventually judged dramatically and drastically. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, who is perfectly just and righteous (Jonathan Edwards – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God). The only escape we have from the wrath of a God we have dismissed so lightly is Jesus Christ, who being God Himself absorbed the wrath and punishment of sin for those who will repent. A righteous, holy God cannot overlook any wrong either in heart or action toward neighbor or nature, because ultimately it is treason against Him as Creator to whom belong the very atoms of neighbor and nature. Just punishment will either be eventually unleashed on the perpetrator, or it is absorbed by Christ Himself for those who repent and acknowledge God in all of life. He can overlook no wrong and must give full due punishment or cease to be God. Here are a few of the better known examples of what He thinks of those who masquerade allegiance but dismiss Him easily:

Psalm 50:11-21

11 I know every bird of the mountains, and the creatures of the field are Mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and everything in it is Mine. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call on Me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.” 16 But God says to the wicked: “What right do you have to recite My statutes and to take My covenant on your lips? 17 You hate instruction and turn your back on My words. 18 When you see a thief, you make friends with him, and you associate with adulterers. 19 You unleash your mouth for evil and harness your tongue for deceit. 20 You sit, maligning your brother, slandering your mother’s son. 21 You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But I will rebuke you and lay out the case before you.

Mark 7:6 He (Jesus) answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

Isaiah 29:13-16

13 The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service- yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship [consists of] man-made rules learned [by rote]- 14 therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden. 15 Woe to those who go to great lengths to hide their plans from the Lord. [They do] their works in darkness, and say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” 16 You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker, “He didn’t make me”? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, “He doesn’t understand [what he’s doing]”?

Micah 6:6-8

6 What should I bring before the Lord when I come to bow before God on high? Should I come before Him with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? 7 Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my firstborn for my transgression, the child of my body for my own sin? 8 He has told you men what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: Only to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Revelation 3:15-17

15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.

It is very easy to use traditions and patriotism and religious feelings to produce a veneer of pious acknowledgment of God to hide the fact that our hearts and minds are turned toward anything but Him. Let us not be guilty of this charlatanry, either as individuals or as a nation. If we truly do recognize that we are “under God”, then by all means, let us say it heartily and often. But if we simply pronounce rote words, without an inkling to even glance heavenward, let us at least be honest that we are anything but “a nation” or a person “under God” but more like “one nation, under _______”, fill in the blank (self, money, materialism, consumerism, government, the will of the majority, free market, capitalism, you name it).

I for one would be sorely grieved to have God removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. But this is not because I would feel that a great national motto had been tampered with, but rather that the travesty of our hearts as a people against the Almighty would be so widespread that the boldness of it found expression even to this point.

Peace to you! And may you truly know what it means to believe and live “under God” when you have opportunity to say it, in any time or place or circumstance.

©2011 Reformation Lady and Chandra E. Wellman. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “An email about being born in 1925-1975, God, the Pledge of Allegiance and Jay Leno: My response.”

  1. drew November 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Your commentary is right-on.
    Well-said. And you backed it up with excellent scriptures.

    Civil religion and patriotic nostalgia are nice but useless. If God doesn’t intervene in mercy we are doomed. Isn’t it sad how much religious buzz there was after 9/11 and how quickly it fizzled out and the herd went back to their shopping, sports and gadgets. I want to see another Great Awakening in my own lifetime.

    • reformationlady November 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

      So true. Human hearts are fickle. We want religion only if it gets us something, like an easy conscience. Then when it’s done it’s job, we cast it off for our favorite idols again and go on with life. We desperately need God’s gracious intervention, and I too hope and pray for a great awakening to come about in this generation.

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