How Much Do You Have to Hate Someone Not to Proselytize?

Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

One of My Favorite Songs

An Inspiring Song


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paul's Valley, OK, the Broken Arrow of my Childhood, and the Culture War

The notes for this post were written a few months ago, just before the end of October, I think. Almost forgot about them.
I was in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma today, and found myself, as I went through their downtown, which is very attractively paved with brick, wishing that I had allowed enough time to take pictures. It is really quite a picturesque little downtown, very much like so many of the small-town downtowns I've seen all over Oklahoma, filled with buildings, many nicely maintained, that are clearly eighty, ninety, even a hundred years old.

As I drove through the town and gradually became aware that it was somewhat larger than I had first thought, something began to tug at my memory. A little while later, as I passed Stevenson's BBQ and got a good whiff of one of God's finest gifts, hickory smoke, I realized what it was.

"This," I thought, "is about what Broken Arrow was like when I was a kid."

And then I immediately thought of A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and then I felt a little sad.

I will explain.

I am 47 years old, born in 1962. I was born, to my everlasting regret and embarrassment, in an Arkansas military hospital, and then spent about the first year of my life in Paris, France. We spent a short time in Wisconsin, then came back to Oklahoma, where my family--on both sides--has lived since before The War of Northern Aggression. First, in a little green house, then in a red brick one, the address of which, believe it or not, I can still remember. Both were in Broken Arrow. I have memories of going to school in Broken Arrow, and of playing there, from the time I was about five 'til I was about eleven or twelve. I have a few vague memories of going to a Baptist church.

This was all 35-40 years ago, one biblical generation.

I remember playing all over the neighborhood, quite unsupervised, for hours on end. My mother sometimes wouldn't see me for hours. Everyone did that. Nobody thought anything of it. There was no fear.

I remember trick-or-treating. Yes, my parents checked the candy, but I don't think they really expected to find anything wrong.

I remember that you might see an occasional schoolyard fight, but nobody worried about weapons being used.

Everyone spoke English. You never heard anything else.

Most people--or at least a lot more people than now--went to church.

This was before LBJ's Great Society programs had time to create a permanent--and apparently permanently resentful--underclass, before our government managed to effectively destroy the black family as an institution.

This was before the Supreme Court manufactured a right to murder the unborn out of the "emanations and penumbras" of the Constitution.

This was before a radically changed immigration policy, a wide-open border, multiculturalist propaganda, and an almost continual assault on the idea of American exceptionalism combined to so erode and denigrate the country's common cultural basis as to bring it to the brink of balkanization and fill it with millions of illegal aliens, many of whom have no interest in assimilating into the dominant American culture.

This was before judges decided that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." actually meant that high-school valedictorians couldn't offer up graduation prayers in the name of Jesus.

This was when a TV Christmas special could actually quote Scripture saying that Christ is "Lord," and climax with a hymn that decares that through Him, God and sinners are reconciled.

This was before policies of "free trade" and profligate spending stagnated working Americans' real wages.

In short, the Broken Arrow of my childhood looked much like the America portrayed in those two Charlie Brown TV specials. No, it wasn't perfect. Yes, it needed to change some things. Overall, though, it was a pretty good place.

Some of you disparage the idea of a "culture war."' Perhaps that's because you don't quite get or are too young to remember just how massively different this country was only a generation ago (A biblical generation, that is, generally held to be about forty years). I think there is a culture war. I don't see how anyone could doubt it, not when they've witnessed, over three or four decades, their culture gradually becoming a casualty. I still don't see what the dickens was so bad about it, that some people felt the need to do their best to bust it all to pieces.
Just as an aside, I can't help but repeat a few of Ted Kennedy's quotes vis-a-vis that now long-ago immigration act:
First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.... It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.
Sure, Ted. Sure.

And now that I've noted that, I have to include my standard disclaimer: No, I do not have anything against immigrants, not from anywhere in the world, as long as they come here legally and desire to become Americans.


  1. The phrase "multiculturalist propaganda" caught my eye and I have to ask, do you think multiculturalism is a bad thing?

  2. Hmmmmm. How about before I answer that one, you tell me your definition of "multiculturalism?" I have a pretty good idea of what I mean by "multiculturalist propaganda," but it may not be exactly what you mean by "multiculturalism."

  3. Fair enough. I think that the definition of multiculturalism at is a pretty good one -- A philosophy that recognizes ethnic diversity within a society and that encourages others to be enlightened by worthwhile contributions to society by those of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

  4. Ok--as far as that definition goes (and there is a lot of "wiggle room" in it), I don't think that is a bad thing.

    I should have lots of time tomorrow. If the power and the telephone line stay up, I may have a little bit more on the subject for you.