No. 224



My friend Nancy Ballard sent me a terrific article the other day and I would like to share it with you. It begins, I grew up in rural America in the 50s and 60s. On any given day, you could walk through the high school parking lot and observe that half the vehicles parked there were trucks with windows rolled down and doors unlocked. Most of them carried, as standard equipment, an FFA sticker and a gun rack with at least one gun, usually loaded. You could make the same observation at any of the four high school campuses in our county. Amazingly, I do not ever recall reading or hearing about mass shootings in any of those high schools. What has changed in America is not the accessibility of guns, but the character of man.

On the wall in my parents home is a plaque awarded to my father in recognition of service for 27 years on the local school board. He told me that for years, a standard requirement on every teachers contract was membership in a local church. I remember starting every school day with the pledge and a prayer.

I remember when girls who got pregnant in high school were ashamed, when abortions were illegal, when the divorce rate was not 50% because couples stayed together for the kids sake, when there were no X rated movies, when milk cartons didnt have missing kids faces on them and I didnt know anyone personally who used drugs. I remember when kids were taught respect for authority and accountability to God.

Last night I attended a high school football game that was covered by local and national news. The news coverage was not about the football teams, but about the defiance of a court order by one brave little Texas town to preserve the right to pray before a football game. The more this country struggles to free itself from religion, the more we become entangled in the consequences. It is an observable truth that the best time you will ever make on any American city freeway is on Sunday morning because there are no traffic jams getting to church.

For those who believe that separation of church and state is not enough, that the world would be better off without religion, ask yourself this question. How many hospitals, universities, orphanages, homeless and abuse shelters have been founded by the ACLU or the American Atheist Society? It is the inclusion of the word Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian, etc., in the name of so many of these institutions that proves by actions, not just words, who really cares for the suffering of mankind and desires to make the world better. The question that people should be asking is not Why does God allow tragedies? but When will we realize that no nation in the history of the world, has ever separated itself from God and evolved to a better society. Well, how about that? The credit line on this article was given to a young lady in Alabama but when I asked her for permission to use it, she said she was not the author and did not know who was. If you know, drop me a note and I will give credit in a future column.

I would like to ask you one simple question: What has changed in America? The real problem that is facing our nation is not guns in the hands of our citizens but the decline of ethical and moral character by millions of people in this country. If the gun control people would spend the same amount of time, energy and money removing violence from television programs and video games, over time, our nation would be far better off. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)