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Are we better or worse than in 1963? Yes and yes.

Reader comment on item: MEF's Surprising Straw Poll on Trump
in response to reader comment: not trusting any would be wise...

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Apr 22, 2016 at 18:48

Hi, Doug

Good talking points.

I was only 15 years old in 1963, and was unaware of the OHare suit. Was that the one about prayer? I was in a public high school, which I don't think ever had public prayers because we were mixed Catholics and Protestants. As a Catholic, I didn't expect the Protestants to pray, because I had no idea what they thought about religious matters. We were taught in Catholic school, that Protestants spent eternity drifting in a place called "Limbo".

Do you suppose God left me to my own devices, because I didn't send a letter to my congressman about a matter I knew nothing about? Of course not! Do you know that where I live, most middle school students have never read the Bible, even part of it; and some have no clue who Jesus was? God isn't leaving those youths to their own devices; and neither did He abandon me. In 1973, fully ten years after that court decision you mentioned, God revealed Himself to me when I was lost and called out to Him; and He's been helping me ever since. There was no "loss of grace" by me, nor by anyone else I knew. On my part, there was certainly a GAIN. You said,

"And, by virtue of that loss of Grace, look where we are in comparison to where we were."

Just think about what you said there. Where are Americans today? Materially, we're not bad off. The house I live in now is bigger than what my family and I lived in then, and we have an attached garage and an incredible mountain and forest view. We have deer and turkeys regularly visiting us, besides hummingbirds, squirrels, flickers, crows, jays, chickadees, goldfinches, robins, you name it.

I know that everyone has not been as blessed as I have; but even the poor are fed and clothed, not dying in the street. We have drug problems as a country; but we had that then -- alcohol and tobacco, deadly drugs that killed far more than Oregon's legalized marijuana ever killed. My daughter lives in China, where she is "cursed" by air pollution; but that pollution is there because her city is cursed by people having cars and factory jobs. Some things are harder than they used to be; and many things are easier.

In 1963, my mother operated a tabulator, probably an IBM 407


My step-father delivered keg beer, for one of Milwaukee's many breweries. Those were good jobs, union jobs with decent wages an benefits. How are my children living, by comparison? My daughter is married to a business owner, in the import-export business; and my son is living on disability. They don't have the same kind of livings my parents had; they're different in many ways, both from my parents and from each other; but the important things is that they both have livings, and their needs are being met. As for my generation, my wife and I are alive and reasonably healthy; whereas in 1963, both my wife's grandparents and mine were already years in the grave.

Those are just some random parameters I've thrown out. Donald Trump wants to make America "great" again. Were we as great in 1963 as we are today? Today, we face an emerging China and a resurgent Russia. In 1963, China was coming out of a great famine and Russia was a superpower. One year before the OHare case, we nearly had a nuclear exchange with the Russians. Today, Israel is troubled by repeated terrorist attacks. In 1963, it was six years since Israel's previous war with Egypt, and it would be only four years until the next one. We were a great nation then, but we still are a great nation. Things have changed over the years, for the better AND for the worse.

I have to get moving, so I'll skip to the end. You said,

"Given the outcome of a famous case where He left the residents to follow their own desires, the outcome may not be pleasant for anyone and the election will be the least of the issues US residents face. I hope it is not as bad as it was for the previous case I cited. But, on the other hand, Europe is undergoing a progressive decline that may be survivable, so who knows?"

Who know, indeed. You mentioned prophecies. I take comfort in the prophecies in the Bible, because they assure us that we are not faced with scary, random catastrophes. All these things have been played out before; and as we move into "crunch time" with our collective destiny, we can see that we are moving according to a plan. That plan, in a rather simple, general outline, is that those people and things who have exalted themselves will be humbled; and those who have humbled themselves will be lifted up.

I have to stop now. Shalom shalom :-)


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