Category Archives: Vietnam

"Big Brother" is Watching Everyone. What Happened to God?

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Surveillance is a lovely word. Derived from the French word, surveill, it flows harmlessly off the tongue. But what it means when it lands is anything but lovely. It means  continuous observation of a place, person, group, or ongoing activity in order to gather information. And today, as we enter the highly upscale and sophisticated year of 2015, it is most likely that every single one of us has been somehow surveilled. This is, to me, scary, scary stuff. So I ask the question, why? Why in the name of all that is FREEDOM is it necessary for us all to be monitored, watched, photographed, videotaped, and even scanned?  I will tell you why and It Makes Sense To Me–just look at the empty churches.

Yeah, that’s right. It started when the sophisticates began their quest to eliminate God from our Judeo-Christian, uniquely American foundation. The chipping began long ago but over the past 50 years the jack-hammers and explosives have been busy busting up and blowing up the very fabric of our nation’s identity which had been woven together by God’s own thread.

Prior to 1960 we did not need so many rules, regulations and surveillance because the vast majority of people were –get ready, here it comes–were considered “God fearing, law abiding Americans”. The US Government has kept on expanding, like a huge hot air balloon with an unlimited capacity to embrace the “hot-air” that has created so much of our lost privacy and freedom.Today many Americans have morphed into more of a “Self-serving, I am entitled, I’m not bothering you American”. Whatever have we wrought? What we have wrought is Secularism.

I grew up in  New York City in the South Bronx during the 1950s and early 60s. We lived in an apartment that had four rooms, one of which was a small, eat in kitchen. There were seven of us, Mom, Dad and five kids. We were no different than any one else in the neighborhood. Some families had two kids, some had ten. No big deal. No one complained or considered that they were deprived or different or poor. During the heated summer months the humidity spent the sunlight hours steaming the bricks on the buildings so as to keep the nights hotter than the days, We kept our windows and front door wide open. There was a fire-escape outside the rear bedroom window and any one could have walked right in at any time of the night. Most everyone kept their apartment doors open to grab the breeze that might waft upward through the stairwells. It was a time when people enjoyed an inner peace.

Things began to change and before you knew it it was 1969 and front doors and windows were suddenly shut. Attendance at church became less and less. People, mostly younger folks, were demanding more “rights” inhibiting the rights of others in the process. The War in Vietnam was raging and more and more deadbolts were being installed. Vatican II changes were implemented and the Catholic Church experienced an upheaval by secularists who decided to interpret the changes to fit their personal beliefs. The 80s led to the 90s and more sophisticated, personal  alarm systems were developed for homes and cars. The computer age captured us all and by the 21st century we are all subjects to these incredible machines. They are the “ones” controlling and monitoring our personal lives, including our safety.

During October of 2014, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia gave a lecture entitled “Strangers in a Strange land”.  He pointed out that in 1950 Quebec, Canada had a 90% attendance by Catholics at Sunday Mass. In 2014 it as at 6%. There are young “Catholics” in Quebec who, if asked “What time is Mass?”, reply, “What is that?” In the United States attendance in 1960 on average was about 75%. Today it hovers at about 20% and half of those folks do not believe in the “Real Presence”,  a fundamental doctrine of the catholic faith. Almost 50%  of people who call them- selves Christian do not believe in the Resurrection of the body, another basic tenet of Christianity.

Fifty years ago most folks had a fundamental respect for each other. Since the age of secularism that seems to have waned severely. There is a sense of self-gratification that has grabbed hold of many. Women wanted equality with men. They now stand on subways and buses and do not have the door held open for them. Not all men are like that but it is not like it was.

As God was slowly diminished  “Big brother” slowly expanded his presence. Today he watches us like a “hawk” with cameras and recorders virtually everywhere imaginable. That is because we, the people, cannot be trusted. Drones for everyone will become the vogue especially private detectives, lawyers, and government agencies. Our back yards are no longer our private domain. Every aspect of out lives is now being scrutinized.  It seems we have traded God and His commandments for a Government that has power over your entire being. I liked it better when we kept the doors open.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”
—-John Adams; 2nd President of the United States

                                                                     

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The "Tipping Point" is Approaching and God has Our Backs

by Larry Peterson

What are the “Good Old Days”? I heard that cliche when I was growing up and I can remember thinking when I heard it , Oh no, not another speech about when “I was in school or when I was growing up or when this was this way or that cost this much and that was when people had respect for a dollar” and so on and so on. I always hated that and I am sure that my eyes did not get stuck in a rolled up position because I always lowered them quickly when I heard, “Don’t you be rolling those eyes at me young man!” 

Then I grew up, got married, we had kids and my wife and I said the same things to our kids and they rolled their eyes up inside their foreheads and now I hear  them doing that to their kids. So the beat goes on and the world keeps turning and the generations come and go and some things change and some things never change. Things like technology and medical advancements have given us amazing things and expanded our life expectancy dramatically. Heck, I still cannot figure out how you can pause a live television program and play it later. That doesn’t even make sense to my geriatric brain. These are good things.

What about our Nation? Have the changes we have seen over the past half century become so permanently instilled into the younger folks that there is no turning back? I am talking about  attitudes, common decency, morality, honor and integrity, love of God, family and country. ‘That’s what I’m talking about’ (which is a new age cliche). Well, I’ll tell you why we not only can, I will tell you why we will.

The 1960’s began with the end of the Eisenhower presidency and the transition to the Kennedy Presidency, aka “Camelot”. Well,  Camelot was shattered  with President Kennedy’s assassination. The war in Vietnam was in its early stages and President Johnson expanded our role. The draft was still the law of the land and all young men were required to register when they turned 18 years old. As the war expanded protests erupted on college campuses all over the country.  “Hell no, we won’t go” was a popular slogan of the day.

President Johnson declined to run again and in January, 1969, Richard Nixon was sworn in as president. Troop deployment in Vietnam soon surpassed 500,000. Needless to say, one of the defining moments of the decade of the 60’s was the unexpected and spontaneous Woodstock Festival that took place in upstate New York in August of 1969. Over 400, 000 young people descended on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, NY for this event. (The concert was NOT in Woodstock. Rather, it was 45 miles southwest. The organizers could not get a permit to have it in Woodstock.)  Anyway, in pouring rain and without sanitation facilities, the young folks partied hard for three days and turned “Woodstock” into a symbol of a new age. The age of “meism” was officially upon us.

So why, in a ten year period, did so many of the liberal minded in this Woodstock generation who were  flexing the muscles of “meism” turn to Ronald Reagan and his conservative mantra and cast “meism” to the curb? I believe it was religion. There was a revival of sort throughout the 70’s and millions of baby-boomers were “born again”. Now, in 2013, it seems that we have turned totally secular. The past five years have witnessed an actual attack against God being part of Country. The leftist liberal press and  the executive branch  of our government have been on a quest to separate the two. It cannot be done and the attempt to do so will ultimately fail. Many do believe it is too late? Many believe that we have passed the point of no-return. I say, “nonsense”. Please, do not roll your eyes at me.

Look, there are millions and millions of Americans who believe in God and Family and Country. Just like when Ronald Reagan came along and was swept into office in a landslide, I think we are getting close to that point again. Maybe it is a bit further down the road than I think it is. But it is there. The ‘tipping point” will be reached soon and the power structure will be changed. God has our backs–no problem.

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