The Times Are 'A Changin'


Sometimes  I feel like I must be 100 years old. So much change has taken place in  my lifetime. Some of that change has been for the better. Not all of it,  though. I remember standing for the pledge of allegiance in first grade  in Tucker County, West Virginia. We all stood. We, all, said the pledge  - proudly! We were taught that America was the greatest country in the  world. If someone, anywhere, said a prayer, we bowed our heads.

Now  - let me be clear. Not everything was good. There were racial  prejudices. I didn’t witness it because in our small coal town it seemed  everyone was poor. We were all in the same class. However, I did see it  on TV. Life was good. We could go fishing and my parents and  grandparents allowed me to play, run around or roam Blackwater Canyon  all day – alone. Today children are kidnapped daily in our country so  they don’t get too far away from the watchful eye of worried parents. 

The  rise of fake news, social media, the polarization of our countrymen, is  tearing us apart. In grade school, we had drills in case the Russians  bombed us. Today, it seems, we are destroying ourselves. Politicians on  the left and right have never been more apart. Newspapers used to be  staffed by reporters who checked the facts. Then, their stories were  handed over to an editor that also checked the facts and sometimes even  more editors and eyes read the articles for accuracy before publication.  Today, people can write whatever they want. Anyone can post whatever  they write on social media. Readers can select the version of the story  they like best. That is hardly holding up the ideals of the ‘fourth  estate’.  

Even  at times of great strife, such as in the time before the Civil War, it  seems that Americans were not as divided as they are today. It seems we  have no more middle ground. Christians and their businesses are shunned  because of their faith. In first grade in Tucker County, I recall that  all of us kids went to church on Sunday. It did not matter that some of  us were Protestants, some Catholic, we all played ball together. 

Today  in schools, even a Bible can be cause for fear and teacher action. The  Gideons recently handed out Bibles in a public school. The students were  told they could have them, but that they must take them to their locker  immediately. I guess we don’t want to traumatize other students with  the mere sight of a Bible on a desk.     

Historical  statutes are being destroyed.  I am obviously not saying that  everything we did as a nation in the past was right. Many times we were  plain wrong. Slavery is a prime example. It was always wrong. But  tearing down our own history does not change that. We should look at our  history, embrace it, and learn from it, copy our successes and pledge  to never make the mistakes of the past.

I  don’t know what will happen to future generations when we just pretend  that we don’t have a past. Students are taught that our founding fathers  were wrong and that we were not founded as a Christian nation. 

I just don’t get it. 

So  now we are facing major changes in our country. As you have read in our  paper many nations have collapsed into total chaos. It started small  many times but in the end, all has been lost. We should be thankful for  our freedoms, pledge to serve our communities, churches, and the less  fortunate, and thank God that we have a great country with a flag that  still flies free and a people whose motto - in God we trust - is at once  nationalism and a surrender to God Almighty.

Jeff McCoy


The Missions Tribune