Silent Night 7 O’Clock Déjà vu

A few months following high school graduation, Simon and Garfunkel released “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme”. 1966 was on the upward side of the bell curve of civil unrest and active protest. From that time to now, it seems mainstream media took on the goal of discrediting practically everything our founding fathers thought virtuous.

Less than a year following high school graduation I was in Memphis TN when Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. His death greatly compounded public anxiety fueled by civil rights and anti-war protests. We seemed on the edge of civil war.

While I secretly held misgivings about the war in Vietnam, I never had misgivings about loyalty to my country, to my fellow citizens. My “shipmates” were, generally speaking, very discouraged by anti-war news media. “Short-timer” attitudes and drug use were the rule, not the exception. It was a time when publicly being a loyal American was a challenge; being a “peace-nik” was easy.

Immediately upon my release from active duty in 1971, an aerospace company recruited me and in short time I became a member of the “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” aboard CVA-64, the USS Constellation. For what it’s worth, I was in the Vietnam Theater longer than John F. Kerry who became an active member of “Vietnam Veterans Against the War” upon his return to the states.

The last song on Simon & Garfunkel’s album mentioned above, “7 O’clock News/Silent Night”, haunted me then and continues to be the song I remember best from any of their albums.

Why re-introduce this song at this time? You need to understand this time of unrest is not the first for us. In fact, we have had many terrible times since the foundation of this country.

I expect greater civil disobedience, greater civil unrest, greater loss of freedom than we as a society have ever experienced. Already we see new laws like the recent National Defense Authorization Act and various oppressive executive orders that diminish civil liberties. In fact, unless my fellow Americans educate themselves to know our history, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the Bill of Rights will slowly become a relic of history.

Over half of all Americans receive monetary and medical benefits from the ever growing federal government. As many as 10,000,000 jobs have been permanently lost. Official unemployment runs around 8%, actual around 16%. One estimate places unemployment among African-Americans at 40%. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and our national debt run along like to mules pulling us in opposite directions. We are in a crisis of “Biblical” proportion as the entire world anticipates global economic collapse. Our situation: we are sitting somewhere on the crown of the bell curve of crisis and the ride down the curve will be no fun whatsoever.

What about all this talk about another “Great Depression”? Some estimates number over 7,000,000 deaths from starvation and malnutrition during the last Great Depression. Are you prepared?

What to do? I think I’ll stand just where I was way back there in the 60’s. Only today, I put my faith in the Living God as my number one priority, adding to my faith, love of my country, reverence for our foundations and an expectation of good things.

Let’s be realistic about present circumstances, but let’s not surrender. The lives of our children, grandchildren and generations yet unborn depend on what we do in the next year. Run the race as though there be only one prize. Have faith in God. Educate yourself on history and current events. If you don’t know where you came from, you’ll have a difficult time discerning where you’re going.

What will you do? Will you choose to be a loyal American or will you join the growing population crying out for “hope and change”? What will be your posture? Will you be looking for a hand-out or will you be standing with your hand out to others?

When a Constitutional Convention met in 1787 to “fix” the confederacy, delegates made no progress due to wrangling and disputes. Several unproductive weeks into the process, aged Benjamin Franklin addressed the delegates, reminding them of their history and divine intervention from the Living God without whose aid our revolution would have failed. He, Franklin, pointed the way to resolution: put God first. Here is an excerpt of Ben’s exhortation to the Convention.

  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.”  


Read the full account of Franklin’s speech, as James Madison recorded it, on Wall Builders website: Franklin’s Appeal for Prayer at the Constitutional Convention.

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