The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

December 16, 2012

America’s best days may still be ahead

Some would have you believe that America is doomed. But the demographics in population and societal moral values have been changing for a number of years. In 1946 America had just been through the Great Depression and World War II, and piety had become fashionable in America on a popular level.

Church attendance and membership rose sharply during the war, but so did alcohol and cigarette consumption; and women’s fashions became more skimpier, Hollywood became more brazen, and live entertainment became more vulgar.

Rising teenage crime became a worrisome domestic problem during the war. Crime-prone street gangs emerged in most large cities, and bus and train stations were full of “Victory Girls” offering sexual favors to servicemen in exchange for a good time.

Some folk cried, “America is about ready to fall,” but she continues to be blessed by Almighty God and is a beacon of freedom for those who are oppressed.

The advent of the Vietnam War and the anti-war protest by large numbers of America’s youth set the stage for further erosion in conservative Christianity’s sway over societal morality standards. Bob Dylan’s hippie anthem, “The Times They Are A-Changing,” became the hallmark of the march toward a more liberal social agenda in America.

A watershed moment came to America in 1969 on a dairy farm a few miles southwest of Woodstock, N.Y. The music festival was supposed to be Aug. 15-17, but spilled over into the 18th. Around 500,000 gathered on this rainy weekend to listen to radically new music, while the sweet smell of marijuana filled the air and free love abounded. Many folk believed that the fall of America was imminent at that time.

God will pass judgment on all humanity on His own timetable. I don’t like all that is happening in America, but it is still the best place on earth to call home. Morality cannot be legislated. That will not regenerate the hearts of men; they will simply take their activities to hidden places as they did in the past.

It is up to the collective church to change the hearts of men, from a heart full of hatred for those who don’t believe as do they, to a heart of love for everyone.

We must understand that we no longer live in a conservative social society. We may go through some tough times, but America’s best days may still be ahead. God will continue to bless America if we heed the words of Ezekiel: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

Christianity is much more than being against abortion and gay issues. Christian values mandate that society care for those who can’t help themselves. I believe in America’s future and refuse to listen to the naysayer who says otherwise.

Rev. Jennings Angell


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